Inspecting Your Foundation

Written by April Reinhardt (last updated February 15, 2021)

If you are a homeowner, part of a responsible home maintenance program must include an annual inspection of your foundation. Foundation cracks are signs of damage and, if left untreated, can potentially cost thousands of dollars in repairs later on. Depending upon the size of your home, the quantity of trees and shrubs around your house, and the type of ground cover near the foundation, inspection can take as little as thirty minutes or as much as a few hours. No matter the time it takes to inspect your foundation, a few hours investment now may save you a huge amount of time and money later.

Inspecting your foundation does not require any specialized tools. After all, it is simply an inspection. All you need is a pad of paper, a writing instrument, and a keen eye. Follow these steps for inspecting your foundation:

  1. Start by choosing a corner of your house, and always take the same path each year for each inspection.
  2. As you walk—and sometimes crawl—around your house, painstakingly examine the foundation.
  3. Make note on your paper of any obvious cracks, water stains, and bulges.
  4. Pull weeds and shrubbery away from the house so that you may view every inch of the foundation.
  5. Note anthills or any type of pest or rodent nesting areas.
  6. Check the walls and note any chipped or peeling paint, vinyl siding problem areas, cement or mortar crumbling, or basement windows that may be loose or need resealing.
  7. If you've trees close to your home, check to see if you have tree roots that may grow and damage your foundation.

After you've checked your foundation, since you have your paper and are already taking notes, look up and check the house windows for signs of molding or windowsill rot, check the soffits for rot, look at the eaves and check for damage, and check the downspouts and ensure that they are all connected and draining away from your foundation.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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