Homeowners, home buyers, and home sellers are often concerned with their home's foundation. With residential foundation evaluations fromSyntec Engineering Group
in Dallas, TX,
there is no need to worry about your groundwork crumbling beneath you.
GUIDELINES FOR QUALITY SERVICE
Due to the complexities with foundation work, only licensed professional engineers can perform residential foundation evaluations in the state of Texas. To ensure you receive only high-quality service, the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers established guidelines for evaluation completion.
These guidelines include three levels of evaluations (levels A, B, and C). Both levels A and B are generally adequate for real estate transactions of residential foundations, while level C is commonly used for failure investigations.
AN EFFECTIVE TOOL
An engineering report is a legal document approved by lending institutions in cases (for real estate transactions), appraisal districts (for property value disputes), and warranty companies. The report of the residential foundation evaluation is an effective tool, especially in cases with multiple conflicting repair recommendations from different contractors.
Step-By-Step Inspection Process
Visual Inspection of Home's Interior & Exterior Finishes for Cosmetic or Structural Defects
Visual Observation of Subfloor in Cases of a Pier & Beam Foundation System
A Relative Elevation of the Floor in Pier & Beam Homes or the Floor Slab (level B)
Engineering Analysis of the Home's Foundation Performance including Distress Signs & the Foundation Elevations to Establish Trends & Causes of Movement
Recommendations for Repairs, If Needed
Recommendations for Improvements of Drainage & Adverse Environmental Conditions
Written Report Summarizing All Noted Distress Signs, Relative Foundation Evaluation, Cause(s) of Distress Signs, & Repairs
What to Expect from Us
When you turn to our engineering firm for a residential foundation evaluation, you can expect prompt scheduling, usually within one or two days. Our professionals are familiar with soil conditions and offer affordable services to ensure an accurate assessment.
Report Delivery Schedules That Meet Your Closing Needs
Responsive Communication throughout Inspection Process
Unbiased Detailed Report That Meets ASCE Standards
Plumbing leaks or slab leaks are perils covered by the standard homeowner insurance http://www.hannaplaut.com/pubs/slabonly.html. However, the influence of a plumbing/slab leak on foundation performance is often downplayed or confused with other environmental factors such as drought, tree roots affect, negative or flat subgrade along the house perimeter and the presence of fill materials beneath the floor slab. At least three of these factors are known to exist in virtually every house in the Metroplex.
It has been our experience that most insurance companies deny plumbing leak claims based on engineering opinions that rely heavily on environmental factors,with no consideration for the plumbing leak affect. In doing so, engineers typically use the following arguments/presumptions:
The leak did not discharge water or discharged limited quantities of water during normal everyday usage (based on flow test results)
There is no hump or heaving soil at the leak location;
The subgrade movements and the related distress signs were caused by the recent drought, the nearby trees, failure of the home owner to water around the foundation and flat or inadequate drainage;
The subgrade soils at the leak locations are dry; and
There are no distress signs at the leak location.
Granted, some of these assumptions have merits; however, by far, the most frequent reason cited for claim denial is the absence of a hump at the leak location.
Our experience indicates that the presence of a hump at the leak location is not the rule but rather the exception. When the water escapes the plumbing lines, it flows by gravity in the plumbing trenches. As it flows, it interacts with the fill materials placed in the plumbing trenches around the pipes. It is well documented that all compacted soils (fill) are susceptible to wetting-induced collapse or hydro-densification (decrease in volume when wetted). Associated with the fill densification, erosion and weakening of the soil will typically occur. The combined effect of the aforementioned factors is slab dishing. The addition of water is necessary for collapse in compacted soil and could occur in a variety of ways including precipitation, regional ground water build up, broken water pipes and flooding. Therefore, it is prudent to consider the wetting-induced collapse potential for all compacted soil. In some instances, the water may pond in an area along the plumbing trench, and depending on the moisture content of the subgrade soils, heave or swelling may occur. Consequently, it is unrealistic and unscientific to always expect heave associated with distress signs at the leak location. Simply put, one of the major symptoms of plumbing leaks (i.e. slab dishing) is most often ignored or dismissed by the insurance companies.
SEG engineers have helped hundreds of homeowners in their plumbing leak investigations. If you need further assistance, please call us for details.
Contact us today to request a quote for an accurate residential foundation evaluation.