How to Perform a Foundation Inspection According to the InterNACHI® SOP

according to the internet G home

inspection standards to practice the

home inspector shall inspect the

foundation the basement crawlspace and

structural components the inspector also

shall describe the type of foundation

and the location of the access to the

underfloor space the home inspector

shall report and is in need of

correction observed indications of wood

in contact with or near soil observed

indications of active water penetration

observed indications of possible

foundation movement observed cutting

notching and boring of framing members

that may in the inspectors opinion

present a structural or safety concern

you know home inspection hello we just

finished up the outside of the

inspection we're gonna come in the house

we like to make some noise just in case

there's anybody who's came in when we're

in the backyard or something like that

because you don't ever want to surprise

somebody in the restroom in their

bedroom changing things like that but so

as we're coming in the house now we're

gonna go to the basement on this house

because we're gonna look at the

structure the foundation the basement

floor all the things relating to what's

holding the house up so we're gonna head

downstairs now okay now just came in

from the outside we're gonna inspect the

basement as we're coming down the stairs

you know you want to make sure the

handrails tight I want to make sure that

we have a switch at the top in the

bottom I want to make sure we have an

even run and that our rise is also even

improper now part of our SOP is we're

required to inspect the basement any

underfloor areas any visible notching

framing things like that when it's a

finished basement your inspection is

pretty limited you know as you're

looking around we can't see foundation

walls ceiling we can't see any structure

you know we can't see any support posts

in here you know you need to report on

what you also can't see so the under

floor framing was not visible for

inspection that's part of our standards

we wanted to know what we can't see

you're not required to move things so

as we're walking through part of our

interior inspection this will be

checking our outlets things like that

part of our HVAC which we kind of mix

this up a little bit but we'll be

looking for returns HVAC registers

things like that so as we're coming in

again part of our basement inspection is

egress we have a bedroom

do we have an egress window so that is

part of what we're supposed to look at

is the opening low enough on a window

well if it is it high enough that we

need a ladder do we have a ladder as we

come in we're gonna look and see do we

have gravel at the base or the window

well we always like to recommend water

resistant load-bearing covers just

because of kids we don't ever want

anybody to get hurt but again as we look

through you know it's completely

finished so we can't see the structure

we can't see the walls on the outside of

the house we could tell her we had

poured concrete foundation so your

reports going to say poured concrete

it's gonna say basement and then your

report should say the basement

foundation walls we're not visible

accessible for inspection as we come

through we're gonna check our closet

doors and I'll look inside here see if

there's anything any openings things

like that do we actually can see a

foundation sometimes it'll be a

crawlspace in a closet so we want to

make sure we look at those items now

let's just bring this up because it's

here sometimes you will be looking at a

house and you will open a closet or go

in a bedroom and you will see guns we

always take pictures of them do not

touch them but remember you're

controlling the inspection if there's

kids at the inspection you definitely

want to let every adult know and you

might want to make sure that door gets

locked or that nobody can get into that

room because you would hate to have a

problem because people are coming in the

house and the sellers are not always

thinking about little kids so bathrooms

as we're doing the foundation of course

this is a part of our interior

inspection but again we can't see

anything in here for a structural but as

we're walking we can tell how does our

basement floor

is it flat is it level as we hit it this

is concrete slab on grade so we're not

gonna have an underfloor area sometimes

when we do that we hear an echo so we

know there's a crawlspace underneath the

basement floor so in Colorado we call it

a void space if there is then there

should be access we should be able to

get into it sometimes we will have a

crawlspace off the side we'd also look

for an access on the outside of the

house typically we would see vents so

we'd know there was a crawlspace a lot

of times you will have in a basement the

laundry so we come in here's our HVAC

systems so we will be doing a full HVAC

inspection here's your laundry when

we're in there we look if there's

nothing in the washing machine we will

run it if there's clothes etc we're not

going to run it because you don't want

to damage anybody's items we're gonna

look in here we have an accessible sewer

cleanup that gives me an indication that

the basement was finished with permits

if we don't have any accessible clean

outs a lot of times that means somebody

did things without permits as we look

right here our electrical we're gonna

come back and look at this but we have a

legend that is one of the first things a

building inspector looks at at and an

art fault

so that would tell me probably permits

again in here as we come through here

just in our visual here we can see some

framing so we do see a missing junction

box cover for electrical that's a safety

issue now if we look at our boring here

you are allowed to bore no closer than

two inches to the top or bottom of the

joist so typically boring in the center

like they did for the electric is the

best thing to do we can see it over here

also I don't see any kind of notching so

that's okay when we come back to HVAC we

will look at

clearances to combustible materials

things like that do we have our one inch

for a double wall flow okay over here

this is the only

part of the foundation that we can see

so we have concrete from here to here so

in our report major most portions of the

are the basement foundation walls were

not visible / accessible for inspection

now I might put a little parenthesis

that says a small portion was visible in

the laundry just so people know where it

was that I could see again we're gonna

look at the windows that's not an egress

window but we did have an egress window

in the bedroom so we do have one for the

house up above us and the laundry

we have ceiling tiles SOP we are not

required to remove ceiling tiles not

required to move clients or sellers

belongings things like that I would

never get in the habit of moving those

ceiling tiles to look at things people

will ask you the problem is if you

damage one you may not be able to match

it and they could be asbestos so then

now you can have a problem with damaging

asbestos and you need to have it removed

and mitigated so our SOPs protect us

from that we're not required to look at

it if they're missing great you can look

at more of the framing if not don't move

them we just briefly walk through this

basement looking at what we could see

and what we can't see typically when

you're doing a home inspection as you

come downstairs

you will start checking the outlets you

will start checking all the windows so

you're not gonna want through the house

and say yes the foundation looks good or

bad you're gonna check that whole area

in fact I recommend you do that as you

walk through the house that way you

don't forget things when you get to the

bathroom you want to inspect the

bathroom so yes we have basically ten

areas of an inspection but you are gonna

overlap and you are gonna perform two or

three sections at the same time such as

I'm inspecting the walls for cracks

things like that I'm also in checking

the outlets are they reverse polarity

are the correct polarity things like

that so your inspection just make sure

you do the same procedure every time

that way you don't forget don't miss

things we've just finished section three

point 3 which is the visible foundation

structure etc of the house we are now

going to start three point four which is

the heating systems