What Do Foundation Inspectors Look For? (Your Complete Guide)

The most expensive form of investment you’ll likely ever make is a home. Protecting it makes sense for this reason. It’s a good idea to understand how to recognize the typical symptoms of foundation issues in homes or commercial buildings in most American cities if you suspect anything is wrong with your foundation. Serious problems requiring house foundation repair might arise with concrete slabs and pier and beam foundations. Severe damage can also occur to basements.

Knowing what to expect from the unknown is difficult; for most people, the unknown involves foundation issues. A Foundation Inspection is the first order of business whenever there are concerns about its stability. As this is often a mystery to homeowners, we have compiled this overview of what to expect from a foundation Inspection. Click here for more information.

Can Your House Collapse From Foundation Issues?

First, it’s highly unlikely that your house will collapse due to foundation problems. However, your home might probably sustain significant structural damage, which could result in water pipes bursting and/or electrical problems. However, some symptoms will serve as warnings before any serious damage is done.

The Obvious Signs of Foundation Failure

Failure of a building’s foundation is a serious (and expensive) issue in its own right. However, ignoring even modest foundation deterioration can lead to larger (and more expensive) repairs.

The simplest way to prevent astronomical repair bills is to keep an eye out for warning indicators of foundation degradation and fix the problem as soon as possible. The majority of these symptoms, however, seem to appear elsewhere in the house, often many stories above the basement. Let’s examine some of the obvious signs of foundation failure.

  • Your property will have external walls that appear as cracked stucco or block.
  • The windows and doors will stick, making it difficult for them to open or close.
  • Around those door frames and window frames, there will be drywall cracks.
  • The crawl area, basement, and attic walls have large fractures or buckling.

What Should I Look for When Checking for Foundation?

To begin, know that a professional foundation inspection is always your best bet for a rock-solid base, but you can as well take a look at these:

  • Note the foundational elements.

Your foundation should be an integral element of any examination if you have the opportunity to review them. The piers, concrete, and supports should be in good shape. Verify that none are buckling and that they are all level. Rust on metal or steel piers is a common indicator of unwelcome moisture in the crawl space or basement and should be checked for. Pier tops should be flush with beam connections. A shifting foundation may be indicated by any cracked connections or moving of the supports.

These are some fundamentals to remember when conducting a foundation inspection. Early detection of a foundation issue can help you save money by avoiding damage to your house’s flooring, walls, and other parts.

  • Examine the Windows and Doors.

Verify all of the doors and windows in addition to the walls. All of them ought to open and close without any issues. Windows and doors frequently start to have trouble opening or shutting before the walls start to exhibit symptoms. The foundation may have shifted if it cannot be opened or jammed shut.

How Do You Inspect a Foundation?

  1. Check the exterior walls of the foundation from a higher vantage point. Check for sagging or leaning sections, as these may be signs of uneven pressure on the foundation. The house walls and the foundation must be parallel and level.
  1. Checking the internal walls is just as important as checking the exterior. As with any structure, foundation problems could be signaled by the appearance of cracks or separation. In addition, check for sagging or tilting walls. Walls can be out of alignment owing to foundation movement, even if there is no visible evidence of damage, such as cracks or holes.
  1. Check the floors while you’re there as well. Seek out any signs of buckling or bulging. Cracks in the walls or ceilings, or the appearance of gaps between them, can be signs of a shifting foundation. When the ground beneath a house shifts significantly, the floors may become uneven along its length. Using a ball or other round object, you can quickly check to determine if it rolls when set on the ground.
  1. Check the concrete for cracks and signs of water damage.


HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost to fix a foundation will be $4,912. Repairs requiring expensive hydraulic piers can set you back at least $10,000, while you can fix smaller cracks for as little as $500. Between $2,153 and $7,736 is what most homeowners spend.

The first step in fixing a foundation problem is pinpointing exactly what that problem is. House settlement can generate vertical fissures in masonry surfaces like stucco, brick, and block, or it can cause more serious damage to the slab foundation or foundation wall. Irrespective of the reason, a residential structural engineer and home inspection team should visit your property to help you figure out what has to be done.