The Standards of Practice for both national home inspector associations and the State of Florida state that “the inspector shall make recommendations for correction and/or monitoring, or further evaluation of the deficiencies that the inspector observed.” The remedy for any significant structural problem has to be specified by a structual engineer. Although a home inspector is qualifed to recognize the problem, unless both the structural defect and its repair are obvious and straightforward, an engineer is necessary to determine how to fix it—or if further evaluation/testing with high-tech tools will be necessary.
Home inspectors do not take referring a customer to an engineer lightly because it can get expensive. Also, sometimes the engineer will tell you the same things we did, and recommend a “wait and see” period before taking any action. Or testing with high-tech tools may be necessary for more dollars. But it is the correct approach when we see a major structural defect.
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To learn more about exterior walls and structures, see these other blog posts:
• What is the average lifespan of a house foundation?
• What causes vertical cracks in fiber cement siding planks?
• What causes raised white lines of residue on a block wall that are crusty and crumbling?
• What is the difference between soil subsidence, heave, creep, and settlement?
• How much ventilation is required for the under-floor crawl space of a home?
• What causes stair-step cracks in a block or brick wall?
• What causes a horizontal crack in a block or brick wall?
• How can I tell if a diagonal crack in drywall at the corner of a window or door indicates a structural problem?
• What causes the surface of old bricks to erode away into sandy powder?
• What are the pros and cons of concrete block versus wood frame construction?
• Should I buy a house with a crawl space?
• Why is my stucco cracking?
• There's cracks running along the home's concrete tie beam. What's wrong?
• What would cause long horizontal lines of brick mortar to fall out?
• How do I recognize structural problems in a retaining wall?
• What is engineered wood siding?
• Should I buy a house that has had foundation repair?
• What is a "continuous load path”?
• Should I buy a house with asbestos siding?
• How can I tell if cracks in the garage floor are a problem or not?
• What do you look for when inspecting vinyl siding?
• Why is housewrap installed on exterior walls under the siding?
• How do I recognize serious structural problems in a house?
• Why did so many concrete block homes collapse in Mexico Beach during Hurricane Michael?
• How can I tell if the concrete block walls of my house have vertical steel and concrete reinforcement?
• Should I buy a house with structural problems?
• What are those powdery white areas on my brick walls?
• What causes cracks in the walls and floors of a house?
• How can I tell if the exterior walls of a house are concrete block (CBS) or wood or brick?
• What are the common problems of different types of house foundations?
• What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?
Visit our STRUCTURE AND ROOMS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.