It seems like no matter how much money we put into our foundations in Houston, Texas, there is always some movement. Determining how much foundation movement (using a ZIPLEVEL is the only way) on your new home or older home, at your real estate home inspection process is very important and documenting elevations is one of our Home inspectors goals at INSPECT A HOME, we are working for you, the home buyer.
INSPECT A HOME is doing foundation elevation measuring for NO charge with a ZIPLEVEL to benchmark your foundation. ZIPLEVEL is a fundamentally new way of measuring your home’s foundation elevations that many foundation companies and engineers use to measure a home’s foundation elevations for failures or offsets (i.e., high or low areas).
- Gives you a reference point for the future to determine how much movement has happened.
- Helps to determine if there are plumbing issues.
- Helps to determine settled areas of the home.
- Give you a better idea of the condition of the foundation.
- Gives you exact measurements of differences.
- Is much better than guessing with the eyes.
- Good for new homes if there is ever an issue with the builder.
- Will pinpoint grading and drainage issues.
If your house has no issues, this will give you a reference point to have for the future if there is ever an issue with settling—you can know how much your foundation has moved from a given point in time. If you’re buying a new home, a ZIPLEVEL can tell you if there is an area that has settled that needs to be addressed by the seller. This will also help to determine crowning caused by plumbing leaks in your home (crowning is caused by water under the foundation swelling the dirt and raising the slab up). This equipment will help your home inspector determine if there are issues that will need to be addressed by a professional engineer or a foundation company.
There are some things that need to be remembered when doing this kind of home inspection. Concrete foundations are not perfect when installed—there are usually high spots and low spots in the foundation, and the ZIPLEVEL will give you exact measurements. We have personally seen foundations that had as much as 1–1.5” differences on the day they were poured.
Without using a ZIPLEVEL in your home inspection, there is no way your home inspector can determine if there are settled areas on your foundation. Even then, it is still hard to determine if the foundation was poured that way or if it settled, especially when there have been wall repairs done or doors reset, or if there are no visible signs of settling. However, it is a good tool to determine if there is a bigger issue to be addressed by the seller when you are still in the inspection process.