Phase 1 Pre-Pour Foundation
Most new homes are being built on slabs in our area. Whether it is a slab or crawlspace, the first inspection is for the foundation upon which your home is built.
Phase Inspection Process
There are three opportunities available during the building cycle that are recommended to have your third-party inspector evaluate and report on the workmanship and construction of your new home. The standard 3 phase inspection process is utilized to ensure that major construction defects within your home are not covered up.
There is a market for these types of inspections for a reason. Additionally, most high-quality home builders fully welcome a third-party inspection. The new construction phase inspection is conducted at three separate times.
Concrete foundation (Pre-pour) Inspections
There is significant value in having your foundation inspected prior to pour day. If you are considering having your foundation inspected there are a few things you should plan for. First, understand that pinpointing the specific date of the pour day is crucial.
Failure to install your home’s foundation in accordance with the engineered plans can have a devastating impact on the integrity of your home’s foundation. Furthermore, there are numerous workmanship defects that are present on nearly every foundation that can impact the visible appearance as well as the bearing capacity of the foundation.
When to Schedule the Pre-Pour Inspection
Once the concrete is poured, the opportunity to have your foundation inspected is gone. It takes time to coordinate with concrete companies for the required concrete for your foundation. That means, your builder knows a few days in advance when they plan on pouring. The best time for the pre-pour inspection is typically two days prior to the actual pour day. This will help ensure that the foundation is ready to inspect, as well as give the builder sufficient time to make any and all needed corrections, or postpone the pour day.
Upon completion of the on-site inspection, Pro-Tech Inspections will return to the office and begin working on your report. The report will be comprised of photographs and locations of each defect, as well as the relevant references for issues discovered during the inspection. This helps ensure that once your builder has the report, the required corrections can be implemented.
3 Common Foundation Installation Problems
Improper Post Tension Cable
This photo shows the installation of a Post-tensioned cable that is over-spanned and under supported. The plans for this foundation called for #3 rebar at 48 inches on center. This tendon was characteristic of every tendon installed within the foundation. When tendons are not properly supported, the weight of the concrete, as well as the concrete workers, will drive the tendon into the ground, severely limiting the amount of concrete coverage and potential bearing integrity of the exterior footers. If your inspector is familiar with reading the foundation plans while on site, documenting and addressing these issues become much more efficient.
Undersized Reinforcing Bar
Another common problem is an undersized reinforcing bar. It is important for the integrity of the foundation, and compliance with the designed plans, that all corners, entrant walls, and other designed areas have the appropriate amount and size of rebar. Another important component is the support and fastening of the rebar within your homes’ foundation. The picture to the right shows rebar that was not properly sized. When located at the corners of a post-tensioned foundation, this can increase the probability of corner-pops.
Poor Grading/Rain Water Management
Another common issue with the installation of your home’s foundation is standing water and poor grading and drainage. Grading is typically done by builders after the foundation has been poured, and sometimes later. This directs any recent rainfall into the foundation beams. This will significantly reduce the strength of the concrete when it mixes with the water, and should be avoided.