Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Basement Foundation Wall Structure (UPDATED 10/17/17)

While the inspector is in the basement they should check the foundation walls for any cracking. If there is cracking present make sure to use your tape measure in the picture. Please review the entire procedure below.

 

NACHI SOP

International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

 

3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure

 

I. The inspector shall inspect:

 

A. The foundation.

B. The basement.

 

II. The inspector shall describe:
A. The type of foundation.

 

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. Observed indications of wood in contact with or near soil.
C. Observed indications of possible foundation movement, such as sheetrock cracks, brick cracks, out-of-square door frames, and un-level floors.
D. Any observed cutting, notching and boring of framing members that may, in the inspector’s opinion, present a structural or safety concern.

 

IV. The inspector is not required to:

B. Move stored items or debris.

D. Identify the size, spacing, span or location or determine the adequacy of foundation bolting, bracing, joists, joist spans or support systems

E. Provide any engineering or architectural service.

F. Report on the adequacy of any structural system or component.

 

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

 

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Basement Foundation Wall Structure.

 

Procedure

  • While we are inspecting the basement we will want to observe the basement foundation walls for any damage or cracking. There is one picture required for this section and it should show the basement foundation wall. Try to get the best representative picture of the wall as possible. If there are any cracks present make sure to take pictures of every crack and use your tape measure in the picture.

Common Defects

  • There are vertical, horizontal, or diagonal cracks on the basement foundation wall.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the entire basement foundation walls for any cracking.

 

Report / Software

IN

  • The poured concrete walls in the basement appeared to be in serviceable condition at time of inspection.

NI

  • Not Visible (Insulated): Most of the walls in the basement were covered with insulation and structural members were not visible. (If any sections of the basement wall structure were visible, no problems were observed at the time of the inspection).
  • Not Visible (Finished): Most of the walls in the basement were covered and structural members were not visible. (If any sections of the basement wall structure were visible, no problems were observed at the time of the inspection).

NP

  • N/A

RR

  • Cracks: Vertical and/or diagonal cracks were observed in the basement foundation walls. Recommend sealing these cracks to prevent moisture intrusion, and monitoring for further movement. For further analysis, consulting with a licensed structural engineer is recommended.
  • Horizontal Cracks: Horizontal cracking was observed in the basement foundation wall(s). Horizontal cracks are often serious, and are usually caused by hydrostatic pressure (too much water behind the foundation). Poor drainage and grading of soil around a structure can cause water to drain slowly. This water will saturate the ground around the foundation walls, causing an increase in hydrostatic (water) pressure. As the combined forces of of hydrostatic pressure and the natural weight of the soils surrounding the foundation bear down, it can exceed the weight-bearing capacity of the walls, causing them to crack, bow, or shear. Further analysis and repair recommendations by a licensed structural engineer is needed.


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