Blog

5 Things Buyers And Sellers Need To Know About Foundation

The most expensive purchase you’ll ever make will be a home. It’s a massive transaction with severe financial and emotional repercussions for both the buyer and the seller. The house’s foundation is one crucial structural component you should always examine. It is the part of a building that bears its weight, and the entire building is put in jeopardy when it is damaged. The walls might start to give way. The roof may begin to look droopy and wavered. The floors could start to fracture as well. Worst case scenario: Your house might become inhabitable.

You’ve now identified possible foundation cracks or other problems with the home you want to purchase. Although it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker out of the gate, a skilled foundation engineer will need to conduct additional research to determine the extent of the damage. Depending on their severity, issues with the foundation may offer a chance to negotiate a better price for the home.

However, does this imply that you should refrain from considering purchasing a house with foundation issues? No! The degree of the problem and the level of risk you are willing to accept are the only factors that matter. We’ve compiled all the information you need to know about purchasing a house with foundation problems to assist you in making the best choice.

Recognize the typical foundation problems symptoms:

The most expensive and significant investment many Americans will ever make is a home. As a result, it only makes sense to make the smartest purchase. Numerous symptoms of foundation issues can be seen all through a house. Be on the alert for these indications of foundation problems when inspecting a home.

  • a concrete floor covered in vinyl or ceramic tile cracks
  • Wall cracks, particularly around windows, doors, or where the walls meet the ceilings
  • Masonry joint fractures the size of stair steps
  • Spaces between the walls’ seams or the walls and ceiling
  • Drywall over a door frame with cracks
  • Slanted stairs or floors
  • Stubborn windows that are challenging to open or close
  • Distancing of the garage door, walls, doors, and windows
  • Doors that stick or improperly latch
  • Make a foundation repair firm your first call if you see any of these indicators.

It’s not a do-it-yourself job to inspect and fix foundation problems:

Experts in foundation repair are needed for this task. You should hire a foundation engineer or inspector to assess the home’s foundation if you suspect a problem. The average cost of hiring a structural engineer is roughly $600, and the cost of an engineered solution can reach $2,000 in some cases. You’ll feel more at ease knowing that a knowledgeable specialist has examined the concerns. Your lender or insurance provider can also require official documents attesting to resolving difficulties.

Call a foundation repair specialist:

The next step will be to call a foundation repair specialist if you detect anything during your inspection. You might contact a foundation inspector or foundation repair business. To ascertain the scope of the issue is the main objective here. You should be able to decide on the purchase after receiving the inspection report. Sellers typically are okay with having the house assessed by a professional. But if they do, that could be a warning sign. We suggest leaving.

Should you purchase a house with a weak foundation?

There are numerous types and sizes of foundation issues. Some repairs may run the gamut, while others may just cost a few hundred dollars. Because foundation difficulties can complicate and increase the danger of the home-buying process, more than half of all purchasers view them as a deal-breaker. A structural inspection will cost you money upfront, and depending on what the inspection reveals, you might have to pay more or engage in a complex negotiation with the seller.

If you intend to finance the cost of the repairs, you might also have fewer financing options—options that demand a lot more time and paperwork. You may be able to negotiate a lower price because there aren’t as many purchasers eager to acquire these properties. And in many instances, the discount can be more significant than what it would cost to repair the damage.

In addition, rather than instantly writing off your dream home if you find out it has foundation problems, it would be prudent to find out how much it will cost to fix them. By all means, go for it if you adore the house and have the money. With this choice, you can also renegotiate the home’s price. Don’t forget to demand that the contract have a contingency clause. It will be to your best advantage to walk away if you don’t have the money to buy the house outright and address the problems.

The price of repairs can vary greatly.

Two phrases that are certain to send any property buyer running are “foundation issues.” The reason? According to research, the typical homeowner spends $4,500 on foundation repair. Minor foundation cracks can be repaired for as little as $500, but significant work requiring hydraulic piers might go upwards of $10,000. The extent of the damage and the specifics of the restoration has a considerable impact on expenses.

When it comes to a home’s foundation, always be prepared.

Any important decision, like buying a house, can be dangerous. A house could look lovely from the outside, but please give it a thorough inspection both inside and out. Call RSH Engineering for assistance with your inspection and repair if you suspect problems with a home you adore. It may be easier to fix the foundation. RSH Engineering is the premier house inspection business and offers top-notch services. We have a team of skilled foundation engineers who can help you with any project. Contact us as soon as possible if you require home inspection services at great rates.

Blog

Buying a Home with Foundation Issues – RSH Engineering

You’re nearing the completion of your home purchase when you encounter a snag: the foundation problems in your ideal home. You were picturing your life in your new house, and now you’re debating whether you should forward with the transaction or back out.

Although purchasing a home with foundation issues can be intimidating, not all must be deal-breakers. A foundation inspection engineer can resolve all the foundation issues. Read on to learn more about foundation issues.

Causes, typical issues, treatment options, and costs for foundation issues

The problems you might encounter when shopping for a property, their potential causes, available solutions, and associated costs are described below. Remember that this is just a comprehensive overview. Depending on where you live, the issues and costs could change significantly.

Common reasons for foundation issues

  • Insufficiently compacted soil before construction – Insufficiently compacted soil will consolidate after construction and may result in a differential settlement.
  • Expansive soil: This type of soil expands when exposed to wet and contracts by the same quantity when it dries out. This cycle of swelling and shrinking creates ground movement, which may harm foundations over time.
  • Drainage issues: Water, it’s true, is the main cause of foundation issues. It might lead to problems if there is an excessive amount of it in the soil surrounding your foundation.
  • Weather variations: When the wet season returns and the soil expands, a house built during the dry season on top of growing soil will experience foundation movement.
  • Extensive digging close to the foundation – If you dig too close to a chair, the chair will eventually fall into the hole. Similar problems might arise when extensive excavation is conducted close to a foundation. Although the home won’t likely fall into the hole, it may harm the foundation during the digging.

Signs That a House You’re Buying May Have Foundation Problems

The following are indications that the home you’re considering purchasing may have foundation problems:

  • Windows and doors that don’t open or close correctly – If this only affects one window or door, the foundation may not have a problem. However, multiple windows and doors that don’t open or close properly indicate that there might be a problem with the foundation.
  • Floors and ceilings that aren’t secured to the walls – Even tiny separations could indicate a foundation problem.
  • Cracked floors – If the damage is contained to one or two tiles, it was presumably brought on by a drop. However, a fissure that spans multiple walls indicates foundation movement, which could result in damage.
  • Walls with or without bowing cracks – The cracks may be on a house’s exterior or interior.
  • Torn wallpaper — Torn wallpaper may indicate that the wall behind it is weakened.
  • Angled cracks run up toward the ceiling from the corners of windows and doors.

Purchasing a property with a bad foundation

You’ve decided to purchase a home with foundation problems, and you now have to deal with them. The following advice will assist you:

  • Hire an expert: Licensed foundation inspectors and highly skilled professionals are needed for foundation repairs. Even though you might desire to do these repairs yourself, you’ll need to hire pros. Bonus: Look for contractors who offer guarantees when you compare bids. In this manner, if you experience problems in the future, their warranty might cover them.
  • Be conscious of your spending: Major repairs, such as stabilizing, can cost up to $12,000, and foundation repairs can add up quickly. So that they feel like a manageable expense, include these fees in your home-buying budget.
  • Recognize that this can indicate that your home isn’t quite move-in ready: Most homeowners favor move-in-ready homes over fixer-uppers. A house that needs foundation work will require significant attention, which, fortunately, won’t significantly delay your settling plans. Basic foundation repairs typically take 1 to 3 days to complete. However, more complicated repairs take longer.

Here are some crucial factors to consider if you are considering purchasing or selling a house with foundation problems.

How to Address Foundation Problems

  • Don’t undervalue the significance of even seemingly minor foundation problems. The foundation is one of the essential parts of the construction, even while it’s not the most exciting aspect of a house—you’re probably much more enthusiastic about the walk-in closets or your planned primary bedroom décor. Even minor problems might grow into significant headaches very fast. Even if little cracks or leaks can hide more serious issues that are less evident, they can occasionally be misleading. It is impossible to truly understand what you are dealing with without a detailed examination. This frequently takes place during the home inspection.
  • The price range might be vast: You will only be able to estimate the cost of foundation repair once you are sure of the specific nature of the issue. Simple patching can usually repair minor fractures brought on by regular settling. You might also need to fix any drainage problems resulting in flooding and fractures. On the opposite end of the range, serious foundation problems can necessitate expensive replacement of the foundation, extensive repairs, or even both.

Why you shouldn’t attempt to inspect and fix foundation issues.

This is not a job for novices. Ask a foundation inspection engineer or foundation inspector to examine the foundation. You desire the comfort of knowing that an experienced expert is handling the problems. Aside from that, your insurance provider or lender can demand official paperwork demonstrating that the issues were fixed.

Buyers assume responsibility—and can run into financing issues: A foundation issue is one of the scariest things you could run into when buying a house. If you decide to purchase a home after foundation problems have been identified and documented, you are taking on the obligation (and cost) of fixing those problems. Later on, you cannot attempt to hold the former owner liable. Additionally, you could not be qualified for some financing options, such as government-backed loans that demand that the house be structurally sound and free of serious problems. On the plus side, you can use this as a powerful negotiating tool to lower the price.

Always be ready when it comes to a home’s foundation.

Any significant choice, like purchasing a home, can be risky. Even though a house could be beautiful on the surface, please give it a full inspection inside and out. If you fear there may be issues and it’s a home you love, call RSH Engineering; we can assist with your inspection and repair. The foundation repair may be less of an issue than you think.

Blog

What is Forensic Foundation Inspection?

The foundation of a house is among its most crucial parts. Because everything else is constructed on top of the foundation, any issues could result in a significant financial burden. Additionally, any foundation flaws can lead to major structural problems in your property that are challenging and expensive to remedy if you skip the foundation examination step when purchasing a home. The best way for a real estate investor to prevent foundation issues is to have a house foundation inspected. Cracks in the foundation may be a symptom of a problem or simply the result of the house sinking. To learn more about forensic structural engineer, continue reading below, and get in touch with us to arrange an inspection immediately. A complete structural assessment from the roof to the foundation, inside and out, is a part of our basic building inspection.

Both individuals who possess property and those who purchase one should consider a forensic foundation inspection. The first group receives any upkeep or improvements required to maintain the structure secure or raise its resale value. A foundation engineering offers buyers two advantages: it gives them crucial information about a potential purchase and satisfies lenders and insurance providers.

Steps in the inspection process:

An inspection can also be required if there are indications of foundation damage. There are three fundamental steps in the inspection process:

1.    Assess Your Need for Professional Assistance

For purchasers, a general inspection is required, but for sellers, foundation maintenance or repair services are needed. Due to their knowledge, the latter can do a comprehensive inspection to determine whether the foundation exhibits any symptoms of stress that could jeopardize the home’s safety and resale value in the present or the future.

2.    Check the Interior and Exterior

Both the inside and outside of a house might experience foundation problems. A foundation maintenance crew will inspect the exterior of a building for any indications of issues like soil expansion, hydrostatic pressure, and unavoidable interference from things like trees and the like. The foundational stress inside the building should be visible by inspecting every room, including the basement and crawl area.

3.    Evaluation of Prior Repairs

Inspections of the foundation frequently uncover poor repairs or good work that has deteriorated over time. The investigation team will identify any problems and choose a solution. The ideal situation is that the repairs are still in good shape and don’t require any more work.

When the foundation inspector near me starts searching for the typical indicators that structural stress is already present, the detailed examination gets underway. They will take measurements, check your house for tilting, and inform you if the foundation issues have begun to spread to the larger building.

There are numerous different kinds of foundations, including poured concrete, brick, and stone mortared together.

The Primary Foundation Inspection Types

The type of foundation affects the scope of a home foundation inspection. Let’s examine the three primary types of house foundations and how each is inspected for its foundation.

1.    Inspection of the Basement Foundation

Walls supporting a basement foundation extend underground. The home foundation inspector near me will need to enter the house to assess the walls and ceilings for damage because the basement walls keep the rest of the building. The inspector will search for prominent weak areas or foundation flaws outside the basement rise above grade.

Depending on the type of foundation, you will examine the rest of the foundation if your basement only goes part of the length of your home.

2.    Inspection of Concrete Slab Foundation

A concrete slab put into the earth is known as a slab foundation and is a standard option in many places. Typically, they aid with termite protection. Even though they are the simplest and one of the least expensive building materials to employ, slabs significantly contribute to a foundation.

Since pipes and other infrastructure components are enclosed within the concrete, contractors must break the concrete apart to perform any repairs. Another drawback is that this foundation type is more prone to cracking as the ground shifts. Concrete isn’t very flexible, so if one side of the home sinks lower than the other, it will likely crack.

Since you cannot observe the foundation from the inside, it is more challenging for the forensic structural engineer to ascertain how it is built when performing a foundation inspection. They frequently gaze to the outside and search for any indications of settling. The inspector may also check the walls to see whether the slab shifting has caused any bending or splitting outward in the walls.

3.    Inspection of Pier Foundation

A pier foundation is one where the home is erected on substantial concrete or wooden piers. Usually, they have a complete crawl space underneath them. This design allows the beams to be easily accessed and inspected through the crawl space. Termites or moisture intrusion are the leading causes of damage to pier foundations.

A forensic foundation inspection is done by who?

Hairline cracks, growing cracks, and bowing walls are visible to everyone who walks around their home. It’s one thing to see them, though, and quite another to understand what’s wrong and how to fix it. A forensic structural engineer can help with that. These experts have received training on the physics and mechanics of foundation failure and the best ways to repair it. A repair might only be possible in extreme circumstances. But don’t worry; a home foundation inspector’s job is to make homeowners aware of their special status, potential risks, and workable solutions. You can rely on the inspectors’ report based on their professional evaluation of your foundation because they don’t perform the repairs themselves.

How to Locate a Specialist for a Foundation Inspection

Asking neighbors or coworkers who have recently had an inspection performed is your best choice for finding a qualified foundation inspector. They could advocate for the expert they worked with if they had a positive experience. One of the finest methods to find someone who will provide a good experience is through recommendations. Alternatively, you can look up “foundation inspector near me” online. This will bring up nearby businesses and people for additional investigation. Here are some pointers for locating and selecting a house foundation inspector.

  • When applicable, verify internet testimonials from several sources, such as the Better Business Bureau.
  • Only use foundation inspectors qualified to work in your state and licensed.

Find out what foundation inspection permits or licenses are necessary for your area by contacting your local building permit office.

After speaking with a few possible inspectors, get several quotes to evaluate whether they are educated and sympathetic to your circumstance.

  • Seek out businesses that hold several qualifications and are a part of reputable groups.
  • Request a sample report to check the level of detail in their work.
  • Verify that they are certified to examine the foundation of the sort of structure or home that it is.

Pick a well-known firm that has been around for a while like RSH Engineering.

Blog

When To Get A Foundation Inspection

It might feel like the end of the world but keep your cool if you notice foundation cracks. Plan a foundation inspection to obtain a professional assessment of the stability of your home’s foundation.

For most homeowners, “foundation difficulties” can conjure up images of expensive repairs. Even so, you might be surprised that some foundation repairs and inspections are less costly than anticipated. While some issues are structural, others are merely superficial. If you require a foundation inspection, you probably have questions about what it entails and whom you should employ. Fortunately, some experienced structural experts can examine your foundation, ascertain the degree of the damage, and offer potential fixes.

What exactly is a foundation inspection?

The most crucial step in the pre-repair process is the foundation examination, which is essential for identifying and resolving the homeowner’s concerns and ensuring that any problems discovered have a clear and comprehensive plan to remedy them. The first step in a home foundation inspection is a walk-around search for issues. The inspector searches for indications of what might be causing problems, such as tree roots penetrating a wall or issues with water runoff. He might occasionally dig adjacent to the foundation to investigate the covered wall portion.

The inspector will search for wall or slab cracks during the basement examination along with examining for lumps or divots as he sights down the foundation wall. The inspector will also search for indications of the wall crumbling or chipping and water damage indicators.

Who does a foundation inspection?

Hairline cracks, growing cracks, and bowing walls are visible to everyone who walks around their home. It is one thing to see them, though, and quite another to understand what is wrong and how to fix it. A structural or foundation engineer can help with that. These experts have received training on the physics and mechanics of foundation failure and the best ways to repair it. The repair might only be possible in extreme circumstances. However, do not worry; a home foundation engineers job is to make homeowners aware of their special status, potential risks, and workable solutions. You can rely on the inspectors’ report based on their professional evaluation of your foundation because they do not perform the repairs themselves.

Signs that your house needs a foundation examination

These common indications that your foundation may be in difficulty are listed below. Call a foundation inspection service as soon as you see these symptoms.

1.     Bouncing floors

The ground should feel firm beneath your feet as you move on it. On the other hand, your foundation structure may have issues if you are walking across a trampoline. It could be a ruined foundation or rotten beams. A house foundation check is unquestionably necessary.

2.     Large cracks in the exterior of your home

Start by going outside. Head to a room’s corner—site down on the outer walls of your house. Look closely for any bulging spots on your walls. Bulging may be a sign that the foundation is being loaded unevenly.

Large concrete cracks are another item to look out for when evaluating the outside of your home. Around your home, soil shifts as a result of standing water. The likelihood of uneven slab movement is also increased.

However, how can you tell what a significant foundational break is? The foundation of your home is unaffected by cracks less than 1/4 inch. Keep a watch out for any gaps larger than 1/4 inch. This could be a sign of a foundation issue. On the other hand, if you notice big cracks appearing and they form in a zigzag pattern, your home’s foundation has to be fixed right away. Start by scheduling an emergency residential foundation check.

3.     Uneven floors

Homes can shift, which in some instances results in uneven flooring. Therefore, having an uneven floor is only sometimes an indicator of a problem with the foundation. Get a foundation inspection near me, however, if the floor has suddenly sunk in one spot or if the floor slopes more than 1 to 2 inches every 15 feet.

4.     Sticking doors and windows

Your windows and doors will frequently be early indicators of a problem before your walls or floors do. Little is more frustrating than windows or doors that will not shut properly. More than that, these seemingly harmless annoyances are frequent indications of a significant foundation issue.

Your doors ought to open and shut quietly. You might need foundation repairs if they stick. Another indication that you might have underlying slope problems and need an inspection is if your windows stick and warp.

5.     Expanding Nails

Sometimes drywall nails will pop out, which is not unusual. The typical cause of such is the house settling. However, if the condition is prevalent, it might be a precursor to a foundation concern. Make a quick call to a foundation inspection company.

6.     Additional Factors

When a concern regarding the stability of the foundation is brought up during a house inspection, homeowners also ask for home foundation inspections. You might need a foundation inspection near me when purchasing or selling a house. The party interested in getting the information should pay for it, but neither side must request or pay for one. Here are various justifications for having a foundation inspected.

  • A positive inspection can increase a home’s total worth.
  • A prospective buyer should be aware of the foundation’s state
  • It makes it more accessible for homeowners to understand where they need to manage their water runoff
  • Early mold detection prevents long-term health issues
  • Keeps family members safe
  • Early detection of problems helps prevent substantial damage in the future.

We sincerely hope that our post about warning flags for foundations was helpful. Make decisions using these suggestions as a reference, but keep an open mind to other situation-specific factors. Remember that the specialist you need to hire and the fee will depend on your location and any mitigating conditions. Call RSH Engineering as soon as you become aware of any signs that you need home inspections.

Blog

Walk & Talk Evaluation – RSH Engineering

Want to be ready for or protect yourself from expensive repairs of “big ticket items” but don’t need a complete home inspection? If so, walk-and-talk services are the best option for you. One hour of a property inspection is dedicated to a walk-and-talk with inspection specialists. The professional can cover any areas of concern you have during this check. The inspector can examine any sections or components you like during the allotted hour. However, it is advised that more pricey items like the HVAC system, roof, electrical system, or foundation be checked out using this service.

Some buyers are forgoing the house inspection in the current competitive market to compete with numerous bids on a property. With a Walk & Talk, you can make an informed decision about your purchase without having to conduct a thorough inspection and be ready for any high costs you could encounter. Before advertising their home or the buyer’s home inspection, sellers may want to find out if they have any significant unforeseen problems with the roof, HVAC, or other house parts. This is where a Walk and Talk with engineering experts can be helpful.

Advantages of a walk-and-talk evaluation

Are you lacking the time for a thorough home inspection? To discuss any significant issues, schedule a one-hour meeting with one of our qualified inspectors. Or, if you’re in a bid competition, think about running this fast check for any potential deal-breakers. Always remember that Walk & Talk with inspection experts are a time- and money-saving alternative to complete home inspections. A buyer or a homeowner getting ready to advertise their house can quickly grasp a home with the help of this overview! There is no written report provided with these evaluations.

What are the benefits of scheduling a walk-and-talk consultation?

Although we always advocate a house inspection, buyers increasingly make offers that do not include stipulations due to the extreme seller’s market. This does not imply that purchasers should make one of their most significant purchases without first researching the property’s state. Buyers should think about scheduling a Walk & Talk with inspection experts instead. By highlighting the repairs and pointing out areas that need further inspection, this consultation can assist the buyer in gaining a proper understanding of the house’s condition.

The difference between a house inspection and a walk and talk consultation

We’ll go over a few key differences between a home inspection and a walk-and-talk consultation in this section. So let’s just get started!

Tools:

On Walk & Talk Consultation, your inspector will undoubtedly travel more lightly. In actuality, all they’ll have on them is a flashlight! That means NO screwdrivers (the inspector won’t be opening covers on HVAC systems and electric panels), NO ladders (the inspector won’t be climbing into attics or on roofs), and NO cameras (there won’t be any photos taken and no report). Soon, more on that. Again, a flashlight is the only item utilized during one of these consultations, so these are just a few instances of what won’t be used.

Time:

For us, a typical house inspection takes about 3 hours (this obviously can vary quite a bit depending on the property). However, there is no set amount of time. However, having a Walk & Talk with inspection experts will be an hour at maximum. This indicates that these consultations will be much less in-depth than a home inspection due to necessity and design. The home inspector will visit and examine each area of the house in the sequence that best suits them.

While the Walk & Talk Consultation is only a cursory inspection, it is only possible for the inspector to discuss readily visible things when walking about the property. This is the fundamental justification for why we strongly advise a later comprehensive home inspection if the seller accepts the client’s offer. After the article, we’ll revisit this. For most properties, an hour is adequate for a consultation. If more time is required, however, additional costs will be charged.

Documentation:

During the consultation, your inspector will not be carrying or utilizing a camera, and you, the client, will not receive any form of a report (this would cause the consultation to resemble too closely a home inspection, as discussed above). Your responsibility will be to pay attention and make thorough notes. Hence, the “Walk & Talk” in the service’s name.

Standard of Practice:

Another significant distinction is that a consultation does not adhere to any SOPs or Standards of Practice because it is not an inspection. Our home inspections and reports at RSH Engineering adhere to ASHI’s (American Society of Home Inspectors) Standards of Practice. SOPs are in place to ensure professional reviews adhere to the fundamental standards required to be deemed professional reviews!

Consultations cannot and must not be conducted in such a way as merely a formalized version of a home inspection. This is why consultation is an excellent alternative for individuals unable to inspect because it differs from an inspection in nature and character.

Size and Price

The specific home and the buyer’s preferences will determine the extent and expense of a Walk and Talk with engineering experts. The time limit will determine the review’s extent and coverage, and the house size also matters. The consultation will be less expensive than a house inspection because of the time restrictions. Before seeing the house, the buyer and the consultant can agree expressly on the buyer’s priorities. This aids in establishing the precise scope. The consultant will give a quote once the scope has been selected. Both clauses should be included clearly in a written agreement to ensure everyone is on the same page.

How to Prepare

No written report is produced by the Walk & Talk with inspection experts, and no photos are collected throughout the evaluation. During the consultation, information is exchanged, and there is a quick summary at the end. If you can’t make the Walk and Talk with engineering experts, work with your realtor to plan a backup plan that includes, but isn’t limited to, FaceTime calls or other video chat activities to fill the duration of the review. Contact our industry experts right away!

Blog

Insulation detection with thermal imaging – RSH Engineering

There are several places where moisture might gather that are frequently missed in standard inspection procedures or need significant property damage to identify them. Insulation issues are likely to cause your home’s extreme summer or winter heat, as well as any mold or condensation issues. But how will you be able to be specific without breaking down your walls? Because of this, many people are using thermal image detection for insulation as part of their routine building inspection.

To create photographs of objects even in low-light situations, thermal imaging uses infrared radiation and thermal energy to gather data about the items. It’s a technology that, through time, has amassed various applications. Being able to function in complete darkness (because it doesn’t rely on visible light) and in smoke, fog, smog, and haze makes it a potent form of night-vision technology.

Why is appropriate insulation crucial?

Insulation keeps areas comfortable all year round by preventing hot and cold air from penetrating your walls. You will spend more on heating and cooling if there is no insulation detection in your walls since you will lose or gain heat through them. Poor insulation can result in hazardous and unsanitary conditions in your home and increase energy costs. Homes without adequate airflow management frequently experience mold growth, which can be ugly and harmful. Mold can aggravate allergies and asthma and lead to fatigue, headaches, and breathing issues.

There are a few warnings that indicate you should examine your insulation more closely. This can be one of the first signs in colder weather if you awaken to noticeable condensation on your windows. Similarly, if you experience dampness in your home during the winter or find that your laundry and other wet goods take a long time to dry, you probably have an insulation issue.

How does thermography operate?

Infrared energy, also known as heat and emitted from all objects, is the foundation of thermal imaging. The quality of the radiation emitted usually correlates with the total amount of heat an object emits, and it is also known as the heat signature. Thermal imagers, often known as thermal cameras, are sophisticated tools with sensitive heat sensors that can detect even the slightest temperature variations. They can build an image based on the variations and inflections of the temperature values as they collect infrared radiation from objects in a particular environment.

Thermal image detection for insulation typically come in grayscale, with white denoting heat, black denoting cooler regions, and shades of grey indicating temperature gradients between the two. To help viewers more readily identify distinct objects, newer thermal imaging cameras add color to their images. These colors include orange, blue, yellow, red, and purple.

Areas of common insulation leakage

There are a few places in the house where there’s more likely that there won’t be enough or any insulation. The thermal camera would be wise to inspect any area where a wall and roof converge. Because attached garages are sometimes forgotten when installing insulation, they could be another location where heat is wasted. The insulation in your home may suddenly have gaps even if appropriately installed because insulation can settle and change over time. Additionally, you may have compromised the effectiveness of the insulation if you made changes to the house after you put it. Downlights are a typical illustration of this, which purposefully let temperature transfer between the room and the roof hollow. Although the light fixture aesthetically covers the hole, it is thermally less temperature resistant than the ceiling’s plaster surface.

Windows are one of your home’s most robust barriers against heat loss. If you weren’t there when your house was built and are unsure of how many glazing coatings are on your windows, it might be challenging to determine how much heat is lost through them. Thermal cameras can measure the heat loss through your windows, including the insulation surrounding the windows and the glass itself. You can stop up to 30% of your home’s heat loss using proper window insulation.

Using thermal imaging to assess buildings

The process of finding structural flaws is known as forensic inquiry. You may do it for a homeowner complaining about a roof leak, a business that just had flooding, or to gather evidence for a lawsuit. One can typically encounter defects in the following places:

  • Low, sloping roofs
  • Electrical issues
  • A variety of outside components that are deteriorating, allowing water incursion;
  • HVAC or plumbing issues;
  • Insulation detection issues;

You may use conventional inspection methods and infrared cameras in various building inspection and forensic investigation components linked to structural collapse or moisture issues. While infrared cameras might not have all the answers, they can help building owners save time and money by allowing them to identify problems more quickly and precisely.

Can cameras using thermal imaging see through walls?

No, but to be fair, they don’t actually “see through” anything. If you point a thermal imaging camera at a wall or solid surface, it will measure the heat radiating outward from that surface. A thermal image detection for insulation measures the surface temperature of the first item in its line of sight.

Exterior thermographic photography rarely provides valuable information about what is happening inside and vice versa. The reason behind this is that the design and insulation of most structures is to trap heat. Here are a few warnings: Because the wall would also immediately begin to heat up, you can use an IR camera to detect intense heat from behind a barrier (such as in the case of a home fire).

Similar to this, some thermal cameras may detect heat emitted by a person, for example, standing against the cold, opposite side of a sufficiently thin wall, but only if they remain there long enough for their body heat to pass through the wall’s materials at that location partially.

Conclusion:

Using thermal insulation imaging to check your home’s insulation is a valuable tool for keeping it comfortable all year. To make sure you comprehend what the thermal camera is telling you and what you need to do with that knowledge, you can operate a thermal camera on your own or with the assistance of a professional.

Contact RSH Engineering right once to set up an appointment if you don’t have access to a thermal image detection for insulation but still want a professional to evaluate your home.

Blog

What is a Structural Engineer Inspection?

You probably don’t call structural engineer experts every day. Structure-related issues are more likely to occur in older properties. Similar problems might also arise in freshly built homes due to subpar construction. Sagging roofs, uneven floors, and cracks that let water in or let pests inside are all symptoms of structural problems. Before buying or selling your home, you will want to confirm that it is structurally solid.

An evaluation of the building’s structural stability may be necessary if you are planning to purchase an outdated or dilapidated home. We go over the components of a structural engineer inspection in this article and if you might require one.

What is a structural engineering inspection?

A structural engineering inspection is a visual assessment carried out by a structural engineer to verify the soundness of the weight-bearing components of a house or building, such as the framing, foundation, beams, columns, posts, or trusses. It is carried out when a building or structure’s structural integrity is questioned by a home or property owner. They could include an evaluation of the entire building or focus on a single component.

A home’s foundation, infrastructure, external walls, insulation, and building envelope will all be inspected by the engineer during the inspection. They might check the structural soundness of foundations, load-bearing walls, joists, and beams. They can determine whether the skeleton or foundation of your property requires work. Your structural engineer compiles a report after the examination detailing any necessary modifications based on what was observed during the inspection. The study makes recommendations on the work that needs to be done,

Why is a structural inspection necessary?

When purchasing a property, many homeowners know they should perform a structural engineer inspection, especially when a home inspector suggests it. Hiring a structural engineering assessment while selling your house is also advantageous. It is beneficial to request a review before listing your house on the market since it enables you to solve structural issues quickly and reduces the likelihood of surprises during the sale. To ensure you continue adhering to local construction permit regulations, your property might also need a structural assessment.

A structural assessment is frequently necessary before or after home additions or modifications. You can also require a structural evaluation due to recent work on the property or nearby. Finally, when specific structures get older, they hit certain milestones requiring more frequent structural examinations. A certain amount of settling or degradation from the elements is expected as the building age and may cause minor structural issues with the property at any time. However, specific indicators that a property owner should watch out for that call for a structural engineer’s knowledge.

Indicators inside house:

·        Windows and doors:

Windows and doors inside the house are more vulnerable to pressure in those regions where holes have been cut. Before other parts of the walls exhibit evidence of foundation structure problems, the areas around windows and doors frequently do. Uneven gaps around the doors, open doors, doors and windows that don’t close smoothly, windows and doors that won’t lock, and doors and windows that are sliding away from the walls are all indications of issues.

·        Walls and ceilings:

A foundation movement is indicated by cracked drywall. A certain amount of shifting is average, but cracks indicate there may be significant foundation problems, mainly if you see them on the second floor. Corner cracks that extend from the corners of doors or windows, horizontal and vertical cracks that follow the seams of drywall, damage or cracks where the drywall has been taped together, and areas where nails have come loose from the drywall, are all things you should be on the lookout for.

·        Floors:

As the foundation shifts, you may also impact floors. Your floors are more prone to exhibit structural faults with more movement. The flooring could slump, bow, slant, or have tile cracks.

Indicators outside the house:

·        Exterior walls:

The home’s exterior walls frequently exhibit structural problems. Look for bulging walls, cracked bricks, and cracked mortar. While some cracks are tiny, others are warning indications of an issue with the foundation. The likelihood that the foundation is shifting increases as you notice more cracks. If there are both exterior and inside cracks in the same place, there is a significant problem.

·        Crawl space:

When the soil expands and contracts, it puts a lot of strain on concrete walls, blocks, and foundations. There will be indications in the crawl area if the pressure is straining on the house. Keep an eye out for moisture, leakage signs, and wall cracks. These placards likewise cover basements.

·        Exterior foundation:

There are several indications of foundation problems in the region where the house walls meet the ground. Keep a watch out for dirt sliding away from the house walls, cracks in the walls close to the ground, and poor drainage. Some soils, like clay, absorb a lot of water, grow larger under rainy conditions, and then contract when they dry out in hot weather. Cracks and soil moving significantly away from the house indicate that the foundation was not appropriately placed for the home. Examine the deck, porch, and patio spaces as well. In some outdoor locations, the ground can pull away from the posts, or you might see cracks or uneven floors. This can indicate that the foundation is swaying.

·        Chimney:

Pay great attention to the chimney, primarily if it is constructed up against the exterior wall of the house. The most obvious indicators of structural degradation are fissures in the bricks or mortar. Cracks in the chimney, like other exterior walls, warn that the house is shifting and exerting too much pressure on the bricks.

Find A Structural Engineer Now!

An inspection by structural engineer experts could seem like an unnecessary expenditure, especially if they give your property a clean report, but in reality it’s an intelligent choice. Your property is more marketable as a result, you are aware of its stability structurally, and if it does find problems, you’ll know exactly how to fix them.

We guess that’s all and hope by now you have all the information you need about structural engineer inspections! Visit us if you still feel you need more details or have any unanswered questions. We connect projects and engineers at RSH Engineering. Just submit your project’s specifics without charge. We will send a quote from qualified engineers to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any help.

Blog

What is Forensic Structural Engineering?

Your home is a crucial financial asset. Therefore, you need professionals who can assist you in comprehending what occurred and figuring out how to secure your property in the case of future earthquakes, fires, and other mishaps that can cause damage to your home or commercial facility. Investigative structural engineers perform safety checks and produce reports on potential problems that might have cause a structural failure.

Determining the integrity of a building or other structure is the primary goal of forensic structural engineering. The weight of the building itself, extreme weather, and natural forces like wind and seismic pressures all impact construction at any time.

To identify the likely cause of structural failures, forensic structural engineers examine various factors, including violations of building codes, water damage, design defects, foundation and framing problems, and soil movements like settlement and heave, and geotechnical problems. In addition, forensic investigative services offer litigation assistance, virtual building modeling for 3D tours, non-destructive testing, and structural inspections.

 

Forensic structural engineering: What is it?

Identification of the causes and risk factors of structural failure is the science and practice of forensic structural engineering.

It involves examining your foundation and structure to identify any weak points. Doing so can address problems before they become major concerns and result in considerable harm. After a collapse, fire, or earthquake, engineers produce 3D animations of your home to analyze the damage and identify potential dangers.

For instance, progressive collapse analysis is one of the services your forensic structural engineer will provide you with. This service tests how your structure would respond to high-loading conditions. The outcomes will help you prioritize maintenance tasks and increase the security of your residential or commercial property.

By proactively planning repairs and having confidence in the locations that require reinforcement, forensic structural engineering helps you save money. Based on their analysis of the structure, structural engineers can also inform you about the many environmental conditions that can harm your property. Then provide you advice on how to correct the flaws.

Who needs forensic engineering in structures?

Due to the wide range of services provided, forensic structural engineers are available at all times. We help by offering structural drawings and assisting with the proper application for various building licenses. For the project’s duration, we provide a general evaluation of the construction service to guarantee that all safety requirements are satisfied.

In addition to calling us throughout the construction process, clients also contact us after a damaging event to identify the root cause of structural failure and loss of structural integrity. To precisely assess the origin and scope of the damage, we employ current, cutting-edge technologies, including drones, modeling and computer analysis, and infrared cameras.

Please get in touch with us if you notice drooping ceilings, leaning or bulging walls, or damaged foundations. It is preferable to look into the origin of these problems before more harm is done. It is suggested to take care of these minor difficulties immediately before they develop into bigger problems.

Why do you need forensic engineering services for structures?

Forensic structural engineers provide various services, from determining the reason for your structural failure to conducting preliminary building site evaluations.

Understanding structural failures, their types, causes, and the significance of adhering to building codes is helpful for property owners.

Because forensic structural engineers are experts in analyzing structural damage, they can assist you in determining how vulnerable your property is.

You may also require forensic engineering services for a court testimony or a dispute resolution following property damage. These engineers are qualified to serve as expert witnesses or legal consultants.

Additional justifications to consider forensic structural engineering are listed below.

1.    Property Damage from Fire

The most frequent cause of damage to residential and commercial properties is fire. It spreads quickly and causes damage to both property and lives.

After a fire, you’ll need forensic engineering and investigative services to evaluate the structure and estimate the amount of reconstruction required. They will point out potential problems with your build and provide solutions.

2.    Analysis of Earthquake and Vibration

Forensic engineers determine the risk and the structure’s susceptibility to powerful winds or earthquakes. Knowing that is useful while constructing a new system. If not, you can use this information to modify your house after it has been built.

Your engineer will examine the floor displacement in the event of an earthquake and its impact on the furniture and hanging things around the home.

3.    To Submit Insurance Claims

You’ll need a certified report from a structural engineer to file an insurance claim after an accident or property damage.

Additionally, having an engineer assess your home and create a safety report to confirm structural integrity is required in some places to pass the building code.

To support their conclusions, contemporary forensic investigators produce a 3D virtual accident reconstruction. To prevent reoccurring problems, it’s necessary to prepare for renovations.

4.    Before Making a Remodel

By using forensic structural engineering services to examine your home before a redesign, you can protect yourself from potential issues and code violations. If you’re restoring an older building, it’s an essential service.

You need to be aware of whether you are constructing on a weak foundation. A forensic structural engineer will pinpoint places that need reinforcing to ensure your redesign is physically solid.

5.    Explosion Forensic Engineering Investigation

Let’s say that your property is at risk for blasts or explosives. A forensic structural engineer must undertake a threat analysis to determine the damage a hypothetical explosion would do and how to reduce the risk.

After an accident, you’ll need forensic engineering investigators to inspect your property to determine the cause of the explosion, describe how it happened, and make recommendations for how to address the causes while making repairs.

It is standard practice for restaurants and workshops, where gas explosions are frequent and can cause significant damage, to have forensic engineers examine the premises.

What does a structural engineer for forensics do?

To identify the cause of the structural breakdown, a forensic structural engineer must be ready to evaluate all the available evidence. They assess businesses, develop solutions, and determine which they should implement safety regulations. If assessment criteria are not the latest, these could cause concerns.

A forensic structural engineer will give you an overview of the critical problems and recommend the best next steps if damage has occurred and repairs are required.

How does structural investigation contribute to peace and safety in the world?

There may be some uncertainty and doubt when there are several potential causes. To find out what is probably causing the damage, you should give us a call. Our knowledgeable forensic team conducts an in-depth investigation at the scene of the harm, collects all pertinent data, and then offers a thorough report outlining the root causes. If necessary, on-site material sampling or in-site testing is also carried out. We make every effort to present accurate findings.

Blog

What is Flood Damage Restoration?

Do you have damage from flooding? Are you looking for services to repair flood damage? If you answered yes, then you are going to want to get information about flood damage restoration.

The process of restoring a property to its pre-flooding state is known as flood damage restoration. What this includes will be determined by the specifics of the flooding situation. This may include the flood’s location, type, and duration. Flooding will likely cause numerous objects to become damaged beyond repair, requiring replacement. Now let’s talk about a few different sorts of flooding that can occur in homes.

Various flooding types

  • Rainwater damage: In regions with hefty rainfall, rain water damage often contributes to floods in homes. Heavy downpours can cause water to seep into walls and foundations, which can cause a variety of issues like mold, mildew, decay, and structural damage to your property. The leading causes of this type of water damage are typically clogged downspouts or overflowing gutters. Make sure you clean out your gutters frequently and have a professional inspect them for any potential damage.
  • Water intrusion: A leaky sump pump or a drain line clogged with debris can result in a water intrusion. A tiny opening between the ground and the foundation wall’s base can also allow water to enter your house. This kind of flooding is typically brought on by inadequate drainage or a crowded basement. Water intrusion is also caused by heavy rain.
  • Flooding caused by sewer backup: This can be disastrous. Your basement may experience flooding due to poor drainage or clogged sewer pipes. If so, you must be cautious of potential harm to your appliances and pipelines, such as water damage from broken pipes, decaying wood, and mildew. Older properties with defective or no septic system are more likely to experience sewer flooding. You can frequently avoid this flooding by planning routine septic system repairs.
  • Basement flooding: When a space is not adequately waterproofed or drained, such as a crack in a foundation wall or roof, a leaky basement window, or a sump pump that is not correctly installed, water frequently seeps through. Your toilet tank and pipes are another potential entry point for water into your basement. Flooding in a basement can cause significant damage and can harm other portions of your house, destroying your basement and its contents. Basement flooding leads to costly repairs that may be difficult to afford.

Flooding can seriously damage your house whether it happens because of a shaky foundation or wall fissures, but hiring a reputable business makes this problem a lot more simple to resolve. Let’s talk about handling flood damage.

Process for handling flood damage:

  • Flood damage inspection: An evaluation is needed to assess water damage. Our professionals will then determine whether there are any safety risks before carefully removing any salvageable furniture and goods and separating any irreparably damaged ones.
  • Water extraction: After the preparation of the area and removal of all your belongings and valuables, we will work to mitigate water damage by removing any standing water as soon as possible. The drying process will be aided by technicians inspecting wet spots on walls, floors, and ceilings once all water has been removed.
  • Water damage control and drying: Dehumidifiers, air movers, wood floor drying equipment, and heaters will be used to dry the property. Technicians will subsequently monitor the area until all moisture has been eliminated and mold development is not a possibility.
  • Flood damage reassessment: After your property has dried out, a technician will return to inspect the water damage to ensure there is no mold growth and no hidden moisture.
  • Flood damage reconstruction: A reconstruction crew will carry out the work of repairing structural damage if needed.

So, now you know about the dangers of floodings and what to do if life deals you a bad hand. We have been offering our services for a long time, and we can assist you in making an insurance claim to ensure the house restoration costs are covered. So what are you waiting for? Call us today!

Blog

How often should I inspect my foundation?

To keep your house’s structural integrity, you must have a sturdy foundation. Your home’s foundation safeguards it against the degradation and decay that would occur if constructed directly on top of the ground. You can take some easy steps as a homeowner to avoid foundation issues and vital signs to watch out for if you think your home’s foundation may have been compromised and needs foundation repair. Like your roof or HVAC system, your foundation needs to be inspected.

How frequently you should do a foundation examination?

Here are some recommendations.

When buying or selling

There is a need for foundation inspection every time you purchase a new house. However, if you intend to sell your property, you must consider one. A study demonstrating that your home has no foundation problems might be a significant selling point. And if issues are found, you’ll already know how to remedy them.

Periodic Inspections

You should still have your home’s foundation inspected, even if you don’t see any obvious signs of trouble. Similar to your HVAC system or roof, your foundation is an essential part of your house and needs professional assistance to avoid any issues. We advise performing an inspection each year.

Doors are stuck

When you try to open the doors in your house, do they become stuck? Due to foundation movement, doors and even cabinets may become difficult to close or open.

Watch out for indications of a foundational issue

Check the grade or slope surrounding your home to ensure good drainage at first. Heavy rain is the ideal moment to carry out this task. The next time it rains heavily, gets a raincoat and stroll outside your house. Check the direction of the water to see if it is draining away from or toward the home’s foundation. Is the earth around your foundation being swept away? Exists a water puddle at or close to the foundation? These are indications of incorrect grading and urge you to direct water runoff away from your foundation before soil loss forces you to make repairs to your foundation.

Cracks over window and door frames:

If you see cracks inside your house, you should probably be concerned. You should be mindful of cracks on top of window and door frames, even if not all cracks cause concern. Corner cracks can also be concerning; these cracks typically have a deeper, observable line and are more significant than a hairline.

Cracks in the Chimney

Because it begins from the foundation and rises straight up through the roof, the chimney is typically an excellent sign of foundation problems. Therefore, any issues will naturally manifest themselves in the chimney as well. When there are cracks and crumbling mortar around the chimney, or if it seems crooked, symptoms of trouble can frequently be seen.

Contact RSH Engineering if you see any of these symptoms or want to get your foundation assessed in Ottawa. We’ll send one of our licensed foundation inspection engineers to your property to conduct an inspection and identify any issues that need to be resolved.

Why Us?

We provide homeowners in Dallas with thorough inspections to identify any foundation concerns before they worsen. Your peace of mind about receiving the most significant foundation repair is enhanced by our simple payment and financing choices and warranties. Our foundation inspection engineer at RSH Engineering will expertly fix any foundation issues. Call us right now for the highest level of foundation repair quality and exceptional customer service.

Posts navigation

Functional and Sublime Designs Report
Commercial Inspections
Commercial Inspections
End-of-Builders Warranty Inspection
End-of-Home Owners Warranty Inspection
Final Walk-Through Inspection Report
Foundation Inspection & Analysis
New Home Consulting and Inspection
New Home Consulting and Inspection
New Home Consulting and Inspection
New Home Consulting and Inspection
Pre-Existing Home Inspection
Skip to content