Structural Assessment – Why Is It Important?
Whether you are a potential home buyer or you wish to understand how safe and sound your building is, undergoing a structural assessment should always be the first step. Indeed, the foundations of your home, office, or business premises are at the mercy of natural elements for years.
Moisture damage, insect attacks, overloading, and natural disasters such as earthquakes can take a toll on the safety and stability of a building. Through a professional structural assessment, you can fully understand how viable and livable your property is. And, if there is some damage to be addressed, you can do so before a simple concrete crack turns into a major safety threat.
Ultimately, in construction, taking preventive measures such as a structural assessment allow you to avoid costly renovations in the future. Here is what a structural integrity assessment involves and why it is so important.
What Is a Structural Assessment?
Structural assessments are analyses carried out by a structural integrity engineer and aim to ensure that all structural components of a building are fit and safe. Through these examinations, a professional evaluator will be able to ensure that the structure of the building is safe even if operational conditions go beyond the original design.
Ultimately, a structure is considered sound if it is able to safely carry its own weight and overload without deformation, breakages, or structural failures.
In order and pre-loved homes, a structural assessment aims to check whether damages occur as a consequence of exposure to natural elements, insect attacks (such as termites), or moisture. If your building is located in an area subject to earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, or landslides, you might consider assessing the reliability of your building after each event.
It Can Increase the Building’s Lifespan
A structural assessment is essential to protect and increase a building’s lifespan. Undoubtedly, buying a home or maintaining business premises can represent one of the most significant investments for anyone. Therefore, if structural damages make your building no longer viable, you might suffer significant financial and operational consequences. Through these assessments, you can identify the early signs of damage and address them before they develop into major structural problems!
A structural assessment needs to be completed upon purchase, but don’t forget that regular maintenance, repairs, and examinations are also essential!
It Allows You To Discover Potential Issues Early
One of the main benefits of undergoing a structural assessment is that you know exactly what the condition of your building’s structure, structural elements, and foundations is.
If you are just looking to understand more of your current home, this assessment can tell you whether there are some repairs that need to be made immediately.
However, if you are buying a home, it is always recommendable to decide on a certain property only after a structural inspection.
Thanks to a professional inspection, you can understand what potential issues are and decide on a repair budget. For a family, this means that their home can be safe for longer – without having to deal with significant investments. For a potential buyer, this is essential to negotiate the right price and understand how much work will need to be completed on the construction project later on.
It Determines How Safe the Building Is
Your family, friends, employees, or business assets might be under your building’s roof. So, it is essential that you can count on a safe base for your building to remain functional and viable for years to come. The foundations of a building are what determine its safety in the long run. Through a structural assessment, a professional inspector can check whether there are significant cracks or moisture and insect damage to address. In turn, this will allow you to create a safe environment for all.
It Allows You To Make a Safe Purchase
If you are a potential homebuyer, it is crucial to understand the conditions of the building. Indeed, advertisements can be misleading, and you might find yourself after the purchase of a house or office building that needs more repairs than you thought. In turn, this can cause you to spend more than you had budgeted for and represent a significant issue in the future.
Thanks to a comprehensive structural assessment, you can have a clear vision of what issues you will need to address in the future. This does not mean that you have to avoid a home that needs restructuring, but an assessment can help you understand its worth before you make a certain offer.
It Determines if Signs of Age Are Structural Problems
It is normal for older homes to start showing signs of age. For example, concrete cracks – either vertical or horizontal, are common in homes that are older than a decade. However, this does not mean that they are unsafe or unreliable. Indeed, some cracks are normal and just aesthetic issues rather than structural. Yet, to non-expert eyes, they might all seem similar. Therefore, it is always recommendable to speak to an expert to determine whether you should worry about them or not. And, of course, the earlier you notice any damage, the quicker you can address it and prolong the home’s lifespan.
It Allows You To Contain Rotting Lumber
Rotting lumber is one of the most common issues homeowners often have to deal with. Aside from creating major structural problems, rotting lumber can also be a significant safety issue. Among the most common types of rot, you will find dry and wet rot. They are both caused by humidity and moisture damage – which, in turn, turn the wood into the perfect cradle for fungi and bacteria.
Through a structural assessment, an expert inspector can identify the telltale signs of lumber damage before this turns into a significant safety issue.
It Assesses the Safety of Older Homes
Older homes and historical properties are full of character, beauty, and history. While living in these homes is a privilege that should be cherished, there are some extra assessments to make to ensure that they are safe for your whole family. Through a structural assessment, you can ensure that the foundations of your home are still safe after years of use while preserving the character of the property.