The structural inspection of a home takes inventory of the most important elements holding a structure together. If you imagine the construction of a home to be somewhat similar to a skeletal structure, then you will likely conclude the importance of this part of the home inspection process. Structural integrity is especially critical in our Wisconsin environment with so many extremes of temperature and weather that require your house to work hard to stay warm - dry - cool - healthy!
The structure of a home is largely hidden from view once the interior and exterior walls, roof and ceiling, or skin of the house, are all put in place. Inside these outer coverings essential pieces of the structure and its integrity include joists, rafters, beams, and other components that are the metaphorical equivalent of a human skeleton. These pieces literally hold the structure upright. If any of these parts should fail, then the potential is for major structural problems to exist.
Milwaukee Homes Structural Requirements
A home inspector is required to closely examine the walls, both interior and exterior, roof- both inside and out, the foundation and basement, floor and ceiling, and any supporting columns or beams. One of the marks of an experienced home inspector is his or her ability to notice details and observe clues that may indicate serious structural problems. But, remember, many structural components are permanently hidden from an inspector’s view.
For example, a foundation can have many different types of cracks. Some cracks are the result of normal wear and tear and environmental conditions, including heat and cold that create expansion and contraction. In some instances, though, more serious foundation cracks may indicate excessive forces being exerted on the foundation. This requires the kind of trained eye that comes from experience and knowledge. In such instances, a professional home inspector may request the expertise of a structural engineer who is more expertly trained in structural problems.
What a Home Inspector Cannot See
While a professional, licensed home inspector is trained to investigate the details, there are cases in which they cannot see where structural damage may exist or might occur. They are not expected to have x-ray vision.
The structural aspect of your home inspection will give detailed reporting on everything the inspector has logged regarding each of the necessary structural components. You will also get a complete inventory of materials used in the construction of each component, a summary of their current condition as well as any recommendations for repair or replacement.
House Detective Property Inspection Services is certified by the American Home Inspectors Training Institute (AHIT), licensed by the State of Wisconsin, fully insured including Errors & Omissions insurance (E&O), and a member of the Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors (WAHI).