The very grounds that surround the home can also have implications on the structure of the home.
Service Walk and Drive Ways:
Sidewalks and Driveways are carefully inspected to assure that they are pitched away from the home. This is carefully observed to help prevent moisture from building up near and around the foundation of the home. It is also not uncommon to see portions of the driveway damaged from tree roots or other factors. It is difficult to repair spalling concrete driveways as the new concrete does not adhere well to the old. We often recommend those sections of the driveway be replaced.
Patios and Screened in Lanai:
We will inspect damaged patios or compromised pavers. We will look for improper settlement which can also cause moisture to settle around the foundation of the home. We will also inspect the screened in enclosure. We will identify where we observe loose or torn screens. We will report on the lanai frames condition as screws will often rust out allow the caged frame to become loose. We will identify where loose cable supports need to be further adjusted and secured. We will identify any major settling cracks in the lanai.
We will inspect the structural integrity of all decking, staircases and risers. We will verify the proper spacing and stability and balusters. We will verify the proper connection to the home when it is readily accessible. We will inspect the wooden columns to ensure the deck is properly secured to the foundation or footings.
Grading and drainage:
We are inspecting for proper drainage that moves water away from the home. When negative grading exists, there may be a need for additional backfill to create the proper pitch away from the home. It’s is very important that the grading and the landscaping allow for proper drainage away from the home to prevents moisture from intruding at the base of the foundation.
Water shedding and water ponding:
The water discharging from the roof must be controlled to prevent water from ponding near the foundation of the home. We will inspect and identify areas that may need to be improved to prevent the potential of any moisture intrusion to the home. Sometimes this can simply be addressed by adding gutters, cleaning gutters or adding proper gutter extensions away from the home. Sometimes it may be necessary to build up the grade around the home to help divert the water away from the home. There may also be cases in which adding drain tile will help move the water away from the home.
We will inspect the retaining walls which often fail for a number of reasons which may include the heavy pressure building up behind a wall. Heavy moisture in the soil content is a major contribution to the failure of these walls. Improving the water drainage is the key to keeping these walls in proper position. These walls may need to be rebuilt if proper water drainage is not possible.