PRE- & POST-CONDITION SURVEYS
WHAT IS A PRE-CONDITION SURVEY?
Pre-condition surveys are a systematic, visual documentation of the existing condition of a structure. The purpose of the inspection is to create a baseline report that identifies any pre-existing anomalies or defects PRIOR to the commencement of construction related activities adjacent to that structure. This may include structural or cosmetic damages, such as cracks, or settlement and water damage.
Typically, a “zone of influence” is established around the construction site, which outlines any structures that could possibly be affected by construction activities like pile driving, blasting, heavy equipment or hauling. Some municipalities have by-laws that indicate what the zone of influence should be, for example, any structures within a 250 meters radius of the construction site require pre-condition surveys. These structures can include residences, office buildings, commercial property, or municipal structures, like water reservoirs, subway tunnels and roadways.
WHY DO A PRE-CONDITION SURVEY?
While pre-condition surveys are becoming regulated by municipalities, states and other government bodies, it is also a good practice for developers, blasting and construction companies. Often, property owners aren’t aware of cosmetic anomalies or defects in their home. When heavy equipment rolls in, or pile driving or blasting starts, it is easy for the homeowner to perceive the damage as having been caused by these activities. A pre-condition survey acts to mitigate unnecessary damage claims from nearby property owners. With less claims paid out; it can also help to reduce insurance costs.
From a homeowner’s perspective, a pre-condition survey helps to attribute the damage to the construction activity. In these cases, the developer, blasting or construction company can rectify the situation in a fair and timely manner.
In the unlikely event a damage claim is brought to civil court, a pre-condition documentation will act as a critical piece of evidence.
WHAT DOES A SURVEY ENTAIL?
Prior to commencing the survey work, our team will review project guidelines and drawings to understand the scope of work being conducted.
Our surveys are documented with a DSLR camera. This allows our surveyors to capture high resolution images of the existing condition which can be used for comparison with post-condition images. If requested, the surveyor can conduct the inspection through video.
Surveys can vary depending on the regulation, by-law or project requirements. In a typical inspection, each area of the property will be photographed. Any areas of concern will include a reference photo and then a zoomed in image of the anomaly or defect. For each anomaly or defect noted, the survey report will include the location and a description of the anomaly. In the case of cracks, the surveyor will note the type of crack and the direction of the crack. All overall photos and anomalies documented for each property will be catalogued by photo number in the surveyor’s report, with a contact sheet of the images that include the image number and address of the property.
A pdf copy of the report with the images will be provided to the company requesting the survey. An original copy and the raw images will be stored on our secure servers for as long as necessary.
WHAT IS A POST-CONDITION SURVEY?
The purpose of the post-condition survey is to compare the condition of the structure after the construction or blasting activities to the condition prior. A post-condition survey is conducted in the same manner as a pre-condition survey, however it will document any new anomalies and compare any anomalies that were documented in the pre-condition survey.
Post-condition surveys may be conducted during or after construction.