Tampa and Orlando areas searching structural engineer near me for a structural inspection have come to the right place. Belt Engineering is a specialized structural engineering firm best equipped to meet the design and elemental challenges Florida is known for. For years Belt Engineering has provided reliable structural inspection services to Floridians in the greater Tampa and Orlando areas.

What is structural engineering?

Structural engineering is a specialty branch of civil engineering that requires a Professional Engineer’s license to practice. Structures are subject to gravity, weather, erosion, and other natural elements. Structural engineering works to make sure the design is structurally sound against the loads upon it and elements that surround it.

What does a structural engineer do?

The structural engineer job description is multi-faceted. They perform calculations, create drawings and specifications, review the work of other engineers, complete evaluations, write reports, and observe construction sites.
A structural engineer’s analysis influences a building or structure’s design. As such, structural engineers are used to working closely with architects and construction companies. At Belt Engineering, we have the benefits of an in-house construction company for commercial and large residential projects, Belt Construction. Regardless of the engineering firm you choose for your project, it is important to pick a place with extensive experience.

What is a structural inspection?

A structural inspection is most commonly used to confirm the structural soundness of an existing home, building, or other structure. They are performed by a structural engineer who visually examines the foundation, columns/posts, joists, beams, and trusses. After completing the inspection, they can provide you with a report and photos of their findings. They may also provide insight into the scope of work that a contractor can use to complete a repair if damage is found, either through an engineering report or with structural repair plans.

How often should I have a structural inspection?

Whenever you question the structural integrity of a home, building, or other structure, it is a good idea to have a structural inspection. Sometimes we get calls from concerned property owners who notice cracks appearing in the foundation or along the walls.

We commonly receive calls when someone is purchasing a property, a home inspection has taken place, and it has been recommended that they have a structural inspection from those findings.

Another popular time for structural inspections is after a severe storm or hurricane. Florida is no stranger to strong storms! Our Professional Engineers are called out quickly to investigate the structural integrity of the homes, buildings, and other structures in areas of Florida hit hard by a storm and have been potentially damaged from falling trees or branches, severe winds, fires, or water intrusion.

Are home inspections and structural inspections the same?

No. Home inspectors can only point out areas of concern where visible damage, erosion, sloping of floors, etc. are taking place whereas a structural engineer can determine the structural integrity through material testing, industry knowledge, calculations, and relevant experience. Most home inspectors are licensed to work and are certified under a home inspector association. Certified home inspectors have a rigid ethical code to ensure that each property is assessed as objectively as possible. They assess the general state of the property. They look for evidence of water damage, problems with electrical systems, damage to the roof, problems with plumbing systems, issues with the exterior, issues with insulation and ventilation, heating failures, possible insect and pest infestations, and a very basic structural integrity assessment.

The home inspector will investigate the foundation, basement, crawl space, and other elements of the property’s structural components. They will report evidence of active water penetration, possible foundation movements, and such. They are not equipped to report on the adequacy or life expectancy of any structural system though. They cannot offer opinions on this matter either. Only observations of the structural components lead them to refer the potential homeowner to reach out to a licensed professional engineer.

If you wish to determine the structural soundness of the property you are purchasing, you need to speak with a structural engineer and have them conduct a structural inspection.

How soon should I get repairs to fix structural issues?

As soon as possible. In June 2021 a Miami condominium complex collapsed before construction could begin almost two-and-half years after the managers of the building were warned by a structural engineering firm. This tragedy depicted how structural engineers, building departments, and government officials work to ensure public safety. After this event, the city officials ordered the audit of all buildings 40-years and older in an effort to prevent such a devastating event from occurring in the future.
While a structural failure of that magnitude is a rare occurrence, it highlights the important role structural inspections play in public safety and the urgency of correcting structural repairs swiftly.

Servicing Tampa and Orlando, Florida

We hope those searching structural engineer near me for a structural inspection found the information they were looking for herein. If you are located in the Tampa or Orlando, Florida areas, local company Belt Engineering qualifies as a “structural engineer near me”. We would enjoy the opportunity to earn your business for all of your structural engineering needs. From single and multi-family homes to amusement parks, Belt Engineering has your structural inspections covered! Contact us now for more information.