This article lists significant Foundation Cracks & Structural Defects defects, definitions, and home inspection education topics.
This article series, beginning at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS, provides lists of common building defects and basic defect knowledge that also outline recommended curriculum content for home inspector education. The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Readers should see FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE for our complete list of articles on this topic. Also see HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS. Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website.
2.0 STRUCTURAL INSPECTION: Recommendations, List of Typical Defects
2.1 Footings and Foundations, Inspection Recommendations, Typical Defects List
2.1.1 Knowledge Base for Structural Inspections
1. Describe the function of footings and foundations.
2. Describe seven soil types and their relative strength or weaknesses with respect to carrying the building.
3. Describe these common configurations for house foundations: basements, crawl spaces, slab-on-grade.
4. Describe these common types of slab-on-grade construction: floating ? is this a mat slab?, supported by what? and monolithic slab also two-pour slabs
5. Describe these common footing types: spread, pad, piles, piers.
6. List four common footing materials (concrete, brick, stone, wood).
7. List seven foundation materials ( concrete, concrete block, cinder block, brick, hollow clay tile, stone, wood).
8. Describe the features of adequate installation and repair technique for each of the footing and foundation types described above.
9. Define the following terms with respect to footings and foundations:
live load, dead load, frost heaving, pilaster, pile, pier, caisson, grade beam, raft foundation, mat foundation, differential settling, honeycombing of concrete, cold joint in concrete, control joint, cut-and-fill lot, mud jacking, underpinning, foundation irrigation, step footing, bench footing, adfreezing, lateral thrust, hydrostatic pressure, lateral support, buttress, sister wall, helical anchor.
9. Identify the codes or standards which apply to foundations and footings in your area.
2.1.2 Inspection Skills Recommended for Structural Inspections
1. Describe the inspection procedure for foundations.
2. Identify the following common defects listed on the next page.
3. Describe the implication of each of these defects.
4. Communicate findings to client, verbally and in writing, recommending corrective action where needed.
Structural Defects List for Home Inspections: Foundations
FOUNDATION TYPICAL DEFECTS List
• Basement lowered (suspect)
• Bowed, bulging or leaning
• Cold joints
• Foundations too short
• Foundations too thin
• Hollow masonry units installed on their sides
• Insect or fire damage
• Large trees close to building (suspect)
• Lateral support poor
• Lateral movement
• Mechanically damaged
• Mortar deteriorating or missing
• Not well secured
• Pilasters moving
• Prior repairs
• Rot or wood/soil contact
• Spalling, crumbling or broken material
• Steep slope or unstable soil
• No foundation, such as the patio slab that becomes a room
2.2.1 Knowledge Base for Foundation Defect Inspections
1. Describe the function of floor systems and structures.
2. Describe two common floor systems (wood, concrete).
3. List the materials and components of each floor type described above (for wood ? sills, columns, beams, joists, subfloor; for concrete ? concrete, reinforcing bar, forming, columns, beams).
4. Describe the features of adequate installation and repair technique for each type of flooring described above.
5. Define the following terms with respect to floor systems:
strength, stiffness, deflection, sill, column, beam, joist, subflooring, sill gasket, mud sill, anchor bolts, spalling, 1/3 rule for column stability, rising damp, glulam, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), engineered wood, end bearing, continuous span beam, simple span beam, concentrated load, ribbon board, ledgerboard, joist hanger, fire-cut joist, rim joist, OSB, wood I TJI?(Wood I-joists) JDG cantilevers, bridging, blocking and strapping, mortise and tenon joint, waferboard, tongue and groove, prestressed concrete, post-tensioned concrete, floor trusses.
6. Identify the codes or standards which apply to floor systems in your area.
2.2.2 Inspection Skills for Foundation Defect Inspections
1. Outline the inspection procedure for wood and concrete floor systems.
2. Identify the following common defects listed on the next page.
3. Describe the implication of each defect.
4. Communicate findings to client verbally and in writing, recommending corrective action where needed.
Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.
These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material. The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson.
Continue reading at ARTICLE INDEX to BUILDING DAMAGE, DISASTER, REPAIR or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Technical Reviewers & References