Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Sub Area

So, today's topic "The Sub Area" is often forgotten or at least ignored by many homeowners. If you're home is constructed on a concrete slab foundation, this article won't apply directly to you. If however your home is constructed on a raised foundation with accessible crawl space, read on.

On a recent inspection in San Diego, CA our subject property was an original 1930's vintage craftsman cottage. It's on a perimeter masonry stem wall foundation with interior post and pier foundations. Myself, the termite inspector and a plumbing contractor who is performing a video camera inspection of the 80+ year old waste line system will all access the sub area during the course of our respective duties.

I'm looking for general condition of the foundation and components, moisture, drainage and bracing of the existing structure. First, the sub area is damp with muddy soil conditions at multiple locations, (Poor perimeter yard drainage is responsible for same). The isolated post/pier foundations show visible degradation, newer post/pier foundations have been added but lack pressure treated material and are prefabricated resting directly on grade rather than poured in place. The perimeter sill plate framing is not braced and or anchored at the stem wall foundation to resist movement during an earthquake. As we continue to crawl the perimeter we discover multiple foundation cracks ranging is size from hairline to 1.25" in width with visible deflection.

After crawling the interior perimeter we begin the interior field area of the sub area. Next up, fire damage was discovered directly under the interior hallway off the bedrooms. Further review of the interior structure revealed deflection of interior floors, plaster cracking at wall/ceiling surfaces and doors being out of square.

Our recommendation.... Time to enlist the services of an independent licensed foundation contractor for further evaluation and service as needed to ensure structural systems integrity prior to close of escrow.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!


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