Your home is only as sound as its foundation. With the heavy rains we received in the last week, it is especially important to check the structural integrity as part of your home maintenance. Not only can shifting ground, heat, water, expansion and contraction create cracks and shifts in beams and bricks, but nesting termites and other pests can also wreak havoc on your home’s structural integrity. Grab your flashlight and dungarees and find your home’s crawl space.
Checking your basement for structural integrity should be on your home maintenance list once a year. Of course, you may want to hire out someone to do this work if you are claustrophobic, or have bad knees or back. We recommend hiring a professional termite inspection company for this aspect of the job. Otherwise, here’s how to get started on your basement home maintenance inspection.
- Tools you’ll need. You’ll be crawling under the house, so a good pair of overalls or jeans and hat is advised. Grab a camera or camera-phone to document problem areas. Take notes on a clipboard, and have a measuring stick, flashlight, and level handy.
- Check lower vents. Before going subterranean, do an above ground peripheral inspection. Check vent frames and gratings from the outside that circulate air under the house. If screens are missing or broken, rodents and pests can infiltrate under the house, bringing potential disease and odors.
- Check doors leading to basement/crawl space. Check that the doors or hatch covers to your crawl space are in good repair and tight fitting. They should allow human access, not anything else!
- Basement crawl. With your flashlight, inspect beams, bricks and other support structures. If you are in doubt about the level or integrity of any part of the foundation’s structural integrity, call in an expert. This is also a good time to check for signs of water, mold and mildew on the ground or on beams. Check for earthquake fitting, if that applies to your area.
Call All Reasons Moving at (408) 351-9515 for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate for all your moving needs.