Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Basement Interior Wall Structure (UPDATED 10/13/17)

While the inspector is in the basement they should check for the presence of floating walls. If the basement floor is considered to be floating wood or floating concrete the walls do not need to be floated. 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.
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: The inspector will check the interior wall structure (if visible) for the presence of floating walls in the basement.

 

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Basement Interior Wall Structure.

 

Procedure

  • While inspecting the basement we will want to check for the presence of floating walls in the basement. If they are present, we will want to take two pictures of the floating walls that are clear enough to know from looking at the pictures that the walls were floated.

Common Defects

  • The basement interior wall structure had walls that were not floated or were damaged.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking for the presence of floating walls. Sometimes there is only one location where this can be visible, like a small closet under the stairs. Check everywhere.
  • Not taking two clear pictures that interior walls to show if they are floated or not. We want to be able to know by looking at the pictures.

Report / Software

IN

  • Floating Walls Present: Visible basement walls were constructed using a method which will allow for soil movement. This method is usually termed “floating” the walls and involves leaving a gap at the bottom of the wall so that vertical movement (heaving) of the concrete slab basement floor will not be transmitted to the rest of the property structure. Colorado has areas with expansive soils. Expansive soils are soils which increase to many times their original volume in response to increases in soil moisture content, creating forces which can easily damage property structural components such as foundations, floor slabs, flat work and interior and exterior wall coverings.
  • Floating Walls Not Needed: Visible basement walls were constructed on a floating sub floor which will allow for soil movement.

NI

  • Most of the walls in the finished basement are covered and structural members are not visible. The inspector could not determine if the walls were constructed using a method which will allow for soil movement. No obvious problems discovered. I could not see behind these coverings.

NP

  • There were no interior walls present in the basement at the time of the inspection.

RR

  • Walls Not Floated: Basement walls were not constructed using a method which will allow for soil movement. This method is usually termed “floating” the walls and involves leaving a gap at the bottom of the wall so that vertical movement (heaving) of the concrete slab basement floor will not be transmitted to the rest of the property structure. Colorado has areas with expansive soils. Expansive soils are soils which increase to many times their original volume in response to increases in soil moisture content, creating forces which can easily damage property structural components such as foundations, floor slabs, flat work and interior and exterior wall coverings. Consider consulting with a qualified contractor before the expiration of your Inspection Objection Deadline to discuss options and costs for correction and/or stabilization.


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