When evaluating the condition of a building having a crawlspace providing inspection of a crawlspace through direct access can potentially uncover significant problems. Because of the time and difficulties in inspecting the crawlspace when performed correctly Professional Engineering Inspections charges a fee based upon the time and difficulty in access. Prospective clients frequently ask if they really need to inspect the crawlspace. As the crawlspace structure provides a foundation for the upper structure we believe inspection of this area is a good idea and that you should be cautious about the purchase of a building lacking sufficient clearance for inspection.
On our Facebook page I have provided a album which shows common defects we find in a crawlspace.
According to Fire Engineering's web site:
"...Prolonged contact with water can deteriorate brick, mortar and tile and corrode steel and cast iron. Expansion from the freeze/thaw effect can cause even more damage. The result can be cracks or gaps in your chimney where creosote can collect and noxious gases can escape into your home -- which can cost you big bucks in repair bills..."
Check out the rest of the article:
We often find chimney crowns deteriorated. This results in deterioration of the firebox and damper we can see; however, damage can exists we cannot see and it is a good idea to have an inspection by a chimney sweep who can use special tools to view inaccessible areas. If you need a Chimney Sweep check with CSIA Here.
Lord's Chimney sent over this informative bit of information in the form of a link, to share with our clients. They provide us with updates on fireplace care and maintenance from time to time. You may want to check their Facebook page for more articles like these. We definitely appreciate the information they send us.
The numbers are in indicating that the majority of buyers are using a real estate agent to assist them. This is generally a good idea if you buying new construction or an existing building. In either case a good real estate agent work for you can help you to understand your market and the process given your area and existing market conditions. As stated this is very true even for new construction with production builders.
I occasionally run into clients who have cracks in their tile floors due to differential settlement in the foundation. Where such tile cracks occur over a bending or shrinkage crack in the foundation the foundation cracks often telegraph through the tile finish with seasonal differential settlement in the foundation common in our area. This type of product uncouples the tile from the supporting structure to reduce this occurrence. I do not wish to specifically recommend this or any other product; however, this provider offers a good presentation. Do a little research and you will find other providers who may have suitable products for your specific needs.
I was listening to the radio this morning and one of the foundation repair ads caught my attention. The ad started off to say that, “..the recent rains and cooler weather is masking your foundation problems, but they just won’t go away by themselves.”. This made me laugh because, actually, sometimes with rain and cool weather they simply do, at least for a while. For me this ad emphasizes the point that when you think you have a foundation problem you should have it evaluated by an engineer who can lay out a reasonable course of corrective action. It may very well be possible to improve or repair the foundation performance without the need for very costly repair piers or piles.
Seasonal differential settlement of foundations in the Houston area is a common problem. The key term here is, “seasonal”. If you are experiencing differential settlement that seems more severe in the summer months than in the winter months, or if most of what you now see seems to have occurred in the last 12-18 months, then there is a good chance you are experiencing seasonal differential settlement which has been made worse by our current drought conditions. This most often occurs due to drying of the soils supporting your foundation, causing the clays in the soil to shrink in a non uniform manner around the foundation. This bends the foundation and damages the structure it supports. This can be made significantly worse by a lack of consistent watering around your foundation, by the existence of heavy vegetation at the foundation, and large tree near the building.
If you are having problems with cracks in your sheetrock, separations in your siding, or doors that don’t fit, don’t call a foundation repair contractor, call us. Professional Engineering Inspections can provide recommendations to either repair your foundation through improved maintenance and the use of root barriers or watering systems, or where necessary, implementation of pier or pile support.
According to a recent article I read in Business Week magazine Online foreclosures are anticipated to be up as much as 25% over the next year. This is expected to occur as legal scrutiny of foreclosure practices ease and the backlog of foreclosures is addressed.
If you are considering the purchase of a foreclosed property keep in mind that some of these properties are significantly distressed. This may include foundation performance problems, deterioration of exterior surfaces such as the roof and siding, or other damage related to a general lack of proper maintenance of a long period of time. As home owners struggle to pay their mortgage they often find themselves unable to maintain components of the home properly. Failure to keep up with regular maintenance can take a toll on the structure in a short time especially related to foundation performance given our current drought conditions.
Let us help you determine the condition of the property you are purchasing. Our consulting services allow us to provide a better understanding of the condition of property through inspection than a simple TREC licensed inspection contractor can provide.
I was working around my house this weekend and managed a pretty good puncture injury working on my vehicle. It made me think that my immunizations were not up to date and I ran down to my local clinic to get updated. As an outdoorsman growing up in the country I normally manage to injure myself in a minor way at least once every 10 years, enough to remind me about updating my immunizations and you should consider it too. This is especially true if you work in the garden.
If you work in the inspection field, are a builder, contractor, or just work around the house you should consult your doctor about the need and recommended frequency of immunizations to protect yourself against unnecessary illness due to minor injuries.
With all the rain we have gotten recently have you noticed the performance of your gutters?
Gutters are installed at the lower edges of the roof system to manage water runoff. They collect the water as it runs off the building to make porches and sidewalks usable during rains. A good gutter system can protect your home from premature deterioration of siding and trim, reduce the potential for water entry through the exterior walls and penetrations of your home, and help to maintain the foundation performance by properly directing water flow away from the foundation, preventing damaging erosion. As we get into the rainy winter months and out of fall in our area, homeowners should schedule maintenance of their gutters. It is at this time that that trees and shrubs are losing their leaves, which clog gutter systems.
It is recommended that your hire a general contractor or gutter installation and repair contractor to provide repair services above ground level due to the inherent dangers of working from the roof or from a ladder. Working from a ladder requires proper training and improper use of a ladder or improperly completing high work can result in serious injury or death.
The things you should look for:
Take care of your gutters and they will help to make your house a comfortable and well maintained home.
Friends Disaster Service rebuilds home in Joplin after the tornados destroy them. If you are looking to contribute to this cause contact FDS and donate time, resources, or funds. I know this group personally and they are doing great work. Check their web site here.
Somtimes you cannot make it up. This is a catch basin under a furnace penetration through the roof with a little cable TV wiring in the mix for fun.