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Specific Structural Survey

A typical structural inspection is called for when a prospective home buyer discovers, usually through a home inspection, that there are foundation cracks or other movement that appear to have structural significance.  Quintessence can review this situation and give you an independent opinion as to the extent of the problem.

A Specific Structural Inspection is a visual inspection of a particular structural problem or concern, and would include any related matters. It should be noted that parts of the property not related to the specific problem may not be inspected. However, if the Engineer/Surveyor were to identify any other structural problems or concerns during the course of the inspection, these might also be noted in the report.

The report includes details of what was inspected and found. It will state whether or not there is a problem and if so, what needs to be done to rectify the problem or what further investigations may be necessary. Where repairs/remedial works, or further investigations are recommended, the report will give budget costs for these, if requested.

Reports are given in three parts:

  1. Observations.  This is a description of what is actually observed on-site, such as the size of cracks, the extent of bowing or shifting, the condition of drainage systems that could effect the foundation, and other things that could be relevant to the problem.
  1. Interpretation.  This is an explanation from an engineering standpoint as to what is causing the problem that is observed.  The typical problem source is water in some way, such as collecting near the foundation (water expands as it freezes, resulting in very significant forces), or allowing movement in the underlying soil.
  1. Opinion.  An opinion is given as to what needs to be done to assure the structural integrity of the building, including both eliminating the cause of the problem and repairing any damage done.  This can range from “this building system is structurally intact and nothing further needs to be done” to extensive repairs, such as, “the foundation needs excavation to relieve the pressure, the wall straightened, and interior reinforcing added…”