When we preform a foundation evaluation on a home, one of the documents the client recieves from us is a drawing of the first floor and the elevation measurements that were taken at the time of the inspection. There are many software programs that can be used for this purpose, the one that we use is called AutoCAD.
From this drawing, you can see where the high and low areas of your house are. We use these readings to do an analysis to determine if the tilt of the structure is within industry tolerances for residential construction.
If the house is within tolerances, our report will focus on some of the contributing causes of the foundation movement. Once we talk about the causes, then we discuss what the homeowner can do to address these causes. Last year, only about 27% of our customers needed expensive foundation piers.
If the house is outside tolerances we will still talk about the causes and actions the homeowner can take to address these causes but we will also locate where underpinning (foundation piers) should be located. We will put these recommended location of piers on our drawing. That way, you are able to take this drawing around to several foundation repair companies to get bids on the pier installation.
If you need piers or not, please keep our AutoCAD drawing in a safe place with your other important papers. This drawing will become your home’s baseline elevation readings. If a few years down the road you suspect the foundation has moved again, we (or another company) can take new elevation readings and compare the new reading with the baseline readings we took for you. You will then be able see very clearly where the foundation has moved and by how much. Great information when you are trying to locate the cause(s) of the movement.
Why, if the homeowner addressed the causes of the foundation movement the first time, would the foundation start moving again? Great question. Maybe we were in a drought situation the first time we took readings and later the drought ended and it seemed like it was raining everyday. Or maybe a plumbing drain broke and created a large void under the slab which the house started to settle into. There are many reasons the foundation will move over time. Keeping a record of that movement is good idea.