Current TREC Requirements Regarding Slab Foundations

Foundation inspection and reporting requirements in the TREC SOP are easy to state. Consider this to be an overview.

Foundation type

A TREC licensed inspector is required to report the type of foundation. Bear in mind that slab-on-grade, slab-on-ground, stiffened slab-on-grade and slab-on-ground are phrases that describe the same thing. These are also sometimes called waffle slabs or mat foundations.

Inspect visible portions of the foundation

The inspector is required to inspect (meaning look at and observe) the visually accessible components and surfaces. In almost all cases, very little of a slab foundation is visible.

Foundation performance opinion

The TREC SOP requires that a TREC inspector render a written opinion as to the performance of the foundation. The opinion should be based on what the SOP calls indications as addressed below. The opinion should address, how well or poorly the foundation is performing. The performance opinion should NOT address the need for repair or the lack of a need for repair. It should absolutely not have a repair plan attached.

Foundation performance indicators

Indications of foundation movement are to be reported if the inspector renders an adverse opinion regarding foundation performance. These include drywall cracks, brick veneer cracks, out-of-square door frames, and floor slopes.

Exposed reinforcing steel

Any exposed post-tensioned cable ends or reinforcing steel must be reported as in need of repair. These conditions dictate that the slab-on-ground foundation be reported as deficient.

Concrete repairs versus foundation repairs

In the engineering world, repairing an exposed cable end or exposed rebar is not considered a foundation repair. It is considered a concrete repair. I recommend you stick to that terminology. The phrase concrete repair sounds benign while the phrase foundation repair scares a lot of people unnecessarily. 

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