A sound foundation rests at the root of every sturdy structure. As the name suggests, a building’s foundation makes for a stable construction, quite literally from the ground up. That’s why it’s enormously important that you enlist the proper professional to handle your foundation repair issues. But, we probably should clear up a common misconception in the foundation repair industry. Some confuse a foundation repair professional with that of a structural engineer. These two disciplines are not interchangeable–and do serve somewhat different roles.
What does a structural engineer do?
First, let’s look at exactly what a structural engineer is. That can hopefully provide a little clarity as we dig into specifics. And don’t worry, we definitely will.
A branch of the broader discipline of civil engineering, structural engineering does–rather intuitively–deal with structures. But, as we will see, structural engineering can get quite specific.
Structural engineers can, and do in fact, analyze structures. The difference lies in how specific they get. And they get quite specific.
A structural engineer can specialize in a range of structures, which run the gamut of infrastructure: bridges, pipelines, buildings, aircraft, spacecraft, automobiles, tunnels, and even industrial construction. Structural engineers can specialize on an even deeper level, limiting their scope further. For instance, structural engineers who specialize in buildings can dedicate their craft to buildings like homes, hospitals, office buildings, schools, and skyscrapers.
Think we’ve gotten as specific as we’ll get? Think again. Following along with our example, a structural engineer who specializes in buildings can also be beholden to their respective experience level. Structural engineers who are just now entering the field may only design certain components of a building, say beams or pillars, while a seasoned engineer could be involved with the entire structure. Or an engineer could be instrumental in the upkeep and maintenance of a building’s infrastructure or structural integrity. Let’s keep that keyword, design, in mind. We’ll come back to that in a bit.
What are the roots of structural engineering?
If structural engineering sounds familiar, it might be because it kind of is. Ever since humans began building structures and societies, some sort of structural engineering has been in place. Albeit, sometimes in more rudimentary forms. For a while, architecture and structural engineering pretty much served the same function. The role of master architect held the mantle of both. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution roared onto the scene that structural engineering gained its footing as a unique and definitive discipline.
What do foundation repair professionals do?
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it might be worth saying that there is some overlap between the disciplines. Foundation repair professionals, if worth their salt, will be able to assess a foundation’s damage to a degree. A professional dedicated to foundation repair can spot issues that a layman probably can’t. This industry is hardly a DIY endeavor. So please don’t try this at home.
Now, onto what a professional in the field of foundation repair does. Specialists in the field diagnose foundation damage and work to successfully resolve those issues. Professionals can determine the root cause of the specific foundation problem, whether it’s the result of soil and water problems, poor construction, wear and tear from age, its weight or pressure-based, or for some other reason.
As the name hints at, foundation repair professionals do more than recognize an issue. Specialists also investigate and rectify the issue. Once the cause of the problem has been pinpointed, it’s off to work. That’s true whether the problem lies with some kind of foundation settlement or heaval.
So what are the differences?
In the field of foundation repair, we don’t follow all the possible routes a structural engineer can. We’re not working on ships, aircraft, spacecraft, bridges, and the like. Not that we’re knocking rocket science. Somebody’s gotta do it. Just not us, thankfully. In fact, the framework we have is quite a boon. It means we can dedicate ourselves to working on your home and solving your foundation problems, whether that be concrete repair or settlement.
Remember when we said we’d be back to that all-important keyword: design? Besides the obvious differences regarding specialization, that’s another vein where foundation repair services and structural engineering split. Professional foundation repair rarely has anything to do with designing or redesigning a structure.
That’s not to say that a foundation expert doesn’t have the tools to get the job done. On the contrary, a foundation problem can be solved with a whole host of tools that don’t even get near touching design. That’s a good thing. It benefits both you and your bank account. Hiring a structural engineer can get quite pricey. Another noticeable difference that we’re betting you’ll appreciate!
Why hire Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists?
So why hire us to fix your foundation issues? Because we’ve been doing professional foundation repair for nearly 40 years, spanning multiple generations. Not to mention our range of foundation repair services, from wall stabilization to street creep repair. That foundation of trust, coupled with our diverse expertise, is why we’re the foundation repair specialists for you. We’ve built a name for ourselves in the Birmingham community, and we’re dedicated to living up to our reputation no matter the job, day-in and day-out.
We Fix Foundation Issues
If foundation problems seem to plague your home, let our professional foundation repair experts get to work for you. Our expertise helps equip us to ensure a job well done. Contact us by requesting a quote conveniently online or by calling (205) 520-9777! We’re ready and willing to work to solve your foundation problems.