Concrete Slab Floor Level Survey
Foundation damage is by far the most expensive risk encountered when purchasing an existing home. The worst-case scenario? The engineering assessment and permits alone for major foundation repair work can easily exceed $20,000 and that doesn’t include any repairs. Repairs, such as driving piles to raise a sunken portion of a house and stitching a cracked slab back together can easily cost $50,000. Possible causes for foundation damage include improperly compacted or expansive soils, poor grading and drainage, sinkholes, and installation errors.
We are working hard to prevent this worst-case scenario from happening to our clients by including a “concrete slab floor level survey” in each of our single family home inspections where houses are built with “slab on grade” foundations. We offer this incredibly valuable service as part of our general home inspection at no extra charge. Structural engineers, charging $550 and up for an initial site visit, perform a similar analysis to collect key data for their reports and repair recommendations. Please note: we are not claiming to be structural engineers but there is some overlap, and we may be able to tell you when hiring one is necessary.
We will perform this survey, using a high precision altimeter on all single family homes constructed with “slab on grade” foundations*. Modern “slab foundations” are the most common foundation and flooring system used, consisting of concrete footings and subfloor. A proper installation of a slab foundation would include levelness to within about 1.25″ from one end of the structure to the other (on an average sized home). Excellent foundation contractors actually shoot for a perfectly level installation but in reality it’s more likely to be with within a 1.25″ tolerance.
Potential homebuyers might be surprised to learn that nearly all of our major competitors rely solely on a visual inspection to assess the condition of the foundation. Our survey gives us data on the levelness of the slab foundation at approximately 30 different locations – we carefully measure the finished flooring and even make adjustments at areas where the floor thickness changes. If the levelness is too far out of level there is chance for an underlying foundation concern. Another way to think about it this is: large slabs of steel-reinforced concrete can flex a little but after more than 1 inch of flex they will likely crack (aka “cracked slab”). If we encounter severe out of levelness a geotechnical and/or structural engineer should be consulted to investigate possible foundation problems. Our engineering inspired evaluations are an easy way for our clients to know how level the foundation of the home is and whether or not further evaluation is needed. This helps our clients negotiate a fair price for the home they want to buy.
*Note; upon request we also perform this as a standalone service
Contact Us When You Need The Following:
- Slab Foundation Inspection
- Home Inspection
- Structural Inspection
- Roof Inspection
- Plumbing Inspection
- Infrared Inspection
- Raised Foundation Inspection
- Electrical Inspection
- Apartment & Condo Inspection
- Attic Inspection
- Polybutylene Pipe Inspection
- Mechanical Inspection