As a homeowner, it is unlikely that you will have to hire a structural engineer on a regular basis. However, the services offered by a structural engineer can be vital if you are planning to carry out any remodelling or renovation work on your property or if you wish to assess any accidental damage which has been caused to your home. Below is a guide to 3 occasions when you should call in a structural engineer.
When you are building an extension
If you are planning to add another story to your home or are planning to extended your home by building on the surrounding land, it is important that you have the foundations of the property inspected by a structural engineer. Depending on the scale of the extension you wish to build, the foundations may require additional underpinning in order to support the additional weight.
When you plan to remove walls or supporting columns
Many homeowners wish to increase the size of the rooms in their home by knocking down internal walls or supporting columns. However, before you do so, it is important that you have the space inspected by a qualified structural engineer. If you do proceed without first having the structure inspected, you may put your home at risk of collapse. A structural engineer will help you to identify those walls and columns which can be safely removed, those which will require additional support measures once removed and those that cannot be removed under and circumstances.
When you are dealing with water damage
If you notice signs of water damage in your home, it is worth calling out a structural engineer as well as a repair contractor. Water can weaken concrete structures by creating cracks. The engineer will be able to assess the impact of the water on the structure of your home and recommend any further actions you need to take.
When you spot signs of subsidence
If you notice cracks appearing in the walls of your home or you notice that an area of flooring is becoming uneven, this could be a sign of subsidence. Subsidence occurs when the earth beneath your home shifts, causing the foundations to move which places pressure on the floors and walls of the property. A structural engineer will be able to measure the degree of subsidence before recommending the steps you should take to address the problem.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of hire a structural engineer, you should contact an engineering company.