The elevation readings of a foundation’s surface are used by certain inspectors, engineers, and foundation levelling firms to “determine” whether a foundation has experienced differential movements or whether it needs to be “levelled.” A reading of the elevations of a foundation’s surface does not indicate whether or not the foundation has shifted differentially. “Movement” is a time-based concept. Get more info about Virginia Beach structural elevation.
A change in place over time is referred to as movement. The configuration of the base at the time the readings were taken can only be determined by taking elevations of the foundation’s surface. The only way anyone can persuade you that your foundation has changed differentially based on a single collection of elevation readings is if they can persuade you that the structure’s foundation was totally “flat” when it was built.
When a base is built, it is never absolutely “flat.” If you don’t believe me, drive through some new subdivision after it rains and see how water collects in various areas of the base. That means the base can’t be “level” or “flat.” True, flooring companies are expected to “level” the foundation’s surface cosmetically before installing the floor covering products, but this seldom happens.
You can never take the elevations of the foundation surfaces on more than one occasion over a period of time if you want to decide if the foundation is shifting differentially. You should hold off until the weather improves. If the weather has been dry, for example, you can wait until the ground has been soaked from many rains. If the foundation is shifting differentially, this will give you the best opportunity for improvements in the elevations of the foundation to occur.
You should also be aware that most inspectors, engineers, and foundation levelling contractors use instruments that aren’t very precise, that they need to be calibrated on a regular basis, and/or that they require some expertise to operate. Elevation readings should be taken in locations other than usual walking areas, and the position of each reading should be easily identifiable such that the elevation readings are taken in the same spot each time. Land surveyors are the experts when it comes to determining elevations. You should hire a land surveyor to take elevation readings on the surfaces of your base if you really want accurate readings.
In most cases, you don’t need a specialist to advise you why a structure’s base needs to be levelled. You’ll notice it if you’re going up and down hills, your coffee cup won’t stay on the breakfast table, you keep rolling out of bed, or the kids from the neighbourhood skateboard in your living room. What difference would “levelling” the foundation make if someone has to go to the trouble of using measurements to assess the variations in the surface elevations of the foundation occur and you can’t sense the differences when you walk around the house?