Professional Engineering Inspections has been providing residential and commercial inspection and consulting services for existing and new construction in the Greater Houston area for over 28 years. Our services include prepurchase condition of property inspections, inspection of new construction, legal inspections, as well as inspections and consulting services where our clients may have specific needs. Our experience in construction consulting, where we are often asked to help find and solve construction related problems, is reflected in our inspection work and the quality of our resulting inspection reports. Our quality inspection services and reporting provide our clients with information that is useful in making an informed decision through narrative format reports which are easy to read and easy to understand. Our professional staff is also available to assist you in your inspection needs and to answer any questions you may have related to the inspection or consulting work we perform.
All of our reports and any associated photographs are made available online in an easy to access and secure Adobe Acrobat format for download and distribution.
Professional Engineering Inspections service area includes Houston and its outlying areas. We most frequently provide our services in the areas around Houston including Katy, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Baytown, League City, Friendswood, Pearland, Galveston, and Richmond. Upon request we will travel anywhere within the State of Texas and have provided our services to our clients in Austin, El Campo, Columbus, Brenham, Bryan, College Station, Corsicana, Dallas, Denton, and Livingston. If we must travel outside our normal service area we must normally charge a reasonable travel fee. Our travel fees are depended upon the time expected to be spent on site and distance to be traveled. If you live outside of the Houston area do not hesitate to contact our offices for a travel fee.
I had a call this morning from a prospective client who was concerned about cracks in the concrete foundation of the home they were building. Most often the cracks extend across the entire foundation and occur prior to tensioning of the tendon cables. This is a typical concern for those purchasing new construction who are not familiar with post tension cable reinfored foundation construction methods and soils conditions in our area.
The foundation in question was a post-tension cable reinforced foundation as opposed to a foundation which is reinforced with steel rebar (See the typical photograph in this article). This means the foundation is reinforced by cables laid in a grid arrangement and tensioned after the concrete cures sufficiently with the intent to create compression in the foundation concrete to resist cracking during bending. If movement occurs in the foundation prior to tensioning, cracks may occur due to the lack of any reinforcement at that time. The curing time before cables can be tensioned may vary, but most builders don’t tension for 10 days or more. During this time cracks often form, and once the crack has occurred, there little you can do to eliminate it. Small cracks do not normally create a significant concern other than for cosmetic reasons or those associated with pest control.
In looking for resources to explain this type of foundation to my client I found a good article on the internet I though was worth sharing. The author clearly explains the foundation and probably answers many questions my potential client has.
Concrete Construction Magazine: http://www.concreteconstruction.net/concrete-construction/post-tensioned-slab-on-ground-foundations_2.aspx