Foundation Inspections: Reasons Why You Need to Hire for Structural Engineering Services

17 April 2018

The ground is level and compacted. The foundations go in, the structure goes up, and the project finishes. Two months later, there’s a crack in the foundations. What went wrong? A structural engineering service examines the land records. An old quarry was on that land ages ago. Safely buried, the ground shifted because of the buried scrap. Sometimes buried problems hurt structures.

Looking Beyond the Straightforward

Levelled land parcels support structural loads, or at least they should when the land has been examined by an engineer. Foundation engineering is a challenging field, though. For indeterminable factors are at work below the ground. Structural engineering services call in contractors to compact the land and generally prepare the site, but that’s just the beginning. Granted, at least for the short-term, the curing foundations will remain stable. However, foundations inspections don’t necessarily deal with short-term issues, not when the structural base has to remain stable for decades. No, still using that buried quarry as a key example, the inspection looks deeper. It looks for major issues or even for small problems that worsen over time.

Ground-Based Structural Detectives

Sleuthing around and within the structure, the beginnings of a crack are discovered. A sump pump is now installed in the basement as a water discharging measure. It seems the structure is located low on the local water table, so basement floods are possible. Supporting the foundations, a series of helical piles are driven into the ground until a permanent solution can be actioned. Already, half a dozen different work disciplines and fields of industry are being called upon, and only a structural engineering service is equipped to coordinate every single thread of activity. Sure, the work will be subdivided among a handful of contractors, but it’s the professionally trained engineering service that interprets the situation. That individual, or team, assesses the structural load, inspects the building’s foundations, and has the soil tested. What’s more, the topography of the land, its drainage characteristics, are appraised during the inspection.

Compiling an actionable report, the structural engineering service accounts for all conceivable scenarios. If a new building extension is going up, the report advises a construction strategy. If the foundations are cracked or damaged, repairs and support mechanisms are conceived. And by “support,” we’re talking about basement pumps, as well as repairs to the foundations. Incidentally, should the extension receive an unfavourable report, the inspection can still work its magic, perhaps by advising the foundation reinforcements. Water or winter, cracks or extensions, the service will do what’s best for each structure.

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