Being a property owner can be very costly. Making sure that your property has no structural flaws is one of your biggest duties, and if there are flaws, making sure that it gets resolved quickly, correctly, and cost efficiently is crucial.
When Should you Get A Structural Engineer Inspection and Report?
Whether you’re selling or buying a new property, notice signs of possible structural issues in the structure you own, or plan to do any structural changes to the building, having a structural engineer inspection is the best way to avoid any unforeseen issues. A written report provided by a Professional Engineer after an inspection will be a certified document that lets sellers, buyers, and contracting companies know what the issues are, and how to repair these issues at the lowest cost possible. A report is the recipe that all parties must follow when looking to fix any damage found; this safeguards that no unnecessary work is done or proposed by any party.
When you are in the process of selling a property, structural issues can be costly in the sale transaction. If there are any structural issues that need repairing, a report is used to get accurate quotes from contracting companies; that can help you determine if you’d like to do the repairs before putting the property on the market, or if you’ll just accommodate the asking price.
While buying a building, the structural health should be a priority in your check list. While a structure could look completely healthy to the untrained eye, an engineer might see signs of structural damage and report on those. If structural issues are uncovered by a professional engineer, you could find out how much repairs or maintenance might cost and decide if that property is the best option for you; you can also use a structural report to ask for the asking price to be lowered.
You may also want to check the structural health of a structure you currently own. Much like anything in life, regular checkups and maintenance of a property will guarantee a lengthy lifespan of that property. If you notice any bowing or cracking of walls, sagging floors, doors and windows that aren’t opening or closing properly, getting a structural report quickly will help you avoid serious structural issues that will be more expensive to repair later. Similarly, if you’re looking to remodel, or make an addition to the property, getting a structural report is essential to confirm that the current structure is healthy and will be able to tolerate any changes or additions; this will help you avoid any unforeseen costly issues during construction.
A structural engineer is hired to do a visual inspection of the property. This inspection typically lasts about an hour for residential homes, but may be more time for buildings or commercial spaces. The engineer inspects the exterior and the interior of the structure carefully looking for any signs of flaws in the structure’s key components such as foundation walls, framing, beams, trusses, columns, and/or posts. These signs include things like sagging floors, cracks in foundation walls and bowing walls. The engineer also looks for moisture within foundation walls, proper placement of gutters and downspout extensions among other things. The analysis of all these elements is what the engineer will discuss in detail in a written report.
What is Found in a Structural Report?
A structural report is broken up into two parts. The first part is the observation. In this part, the engineer provides a summary of what they saw visually during the inspection. During the exterior inspection, the engineer will look at any potential issues that can affect the long-term performance of the building such as the uneven terrain, cracked foundation walls, improper placement of gutters and downspouts, and vegetation and trees at close proximity to the foundation. If unchecked, these can lead to moisture issues in foundation walls which is detrimental to the structure. During the internal inspection, the engineer will check the foundation for any cracks, shifting, movement, age related deterioration, evidence of moisture and improper repairs among other things.
The second part of the report is the engineer’s analysis and conclusion. In this part, the engineer will discuss why their observations are important to the structure, what may have caused them, and what maintenance work or repairs they consider should be done for the structural integrity of the building. Clients can use this report to get accurate quotes from contracting companies for the scope of work necessary.
Once the report is ready, the engineer will sign and seal the report. A Professional engineers stamp holds a lot of weight; this report can be presented to townships, lawyers, real-estate, and contracting companies to get exact repair quotes.
Do you need a visit from a structural engineer? Call Sabio Engineering Services at (929) 381-0300