Is The Building Doctor In?

Need a Doctor for your Property?

Your structural/civil/geotechnical engineer is a lot like a doctor, but for your property. Image courtesy

Sometimes we connect with property owners who ask, “Do we really need an engineer to inspect and provide a solution here?”

Let’s look at it from this perspective:  Would you feel comfortable taking very expensive medicine (typically tens of thousands of dollars) without a doctor’s advice and prescription?

Your structural/civil/geotechnical engineer is a lot like a doctor, but for your property. When looking for an engineer, look for one who’s a Licensed Professional Engineer and can stamp your report with a Professional Engineer (P.E.) stamp. You should be sure that your Engineer has affiliations with organizations like the NSPE (National Society Of Professional Engineers) or the NABIE (National Academy Of Building Inspection Engineers).  Each state has a license for engineers who are working in those states.

As engineers, we’re often asked by owners to come look at properties and structures that are suspected of having problems. It’s kind of like when you know there’s something not quite right with yourself, so you schedule a checkup with your physician.  You can’t necessarily see or tell what’s wrong, but you need someone to take a deeper look inside to find the real problems.

When we go out for a site visit, we look at places that the owner knows or thinks are “sick” (properties that are not performing the way they were intended to).  We observe the patient, perform tests, diagnose the problems and then recommend the medicine.

Also, just like your doctor, your engineer has many years of study and experience focused on how things are designed, built and work. We also know what happens when things aren’t working the way they should and we know how to fix them too.  When we’re done, you’ll have a professional report that states what was done to fix any problems with a professional certification stamp that says the job was done correctly and to industry standard building codes.

Here are a couple of routine examples of things that we can help diagnose and cure:

Broken foundations – ever broken a foot or a leg? You’ll need a doctor to diagnose whether it’s a fracture, severe sprain or something else. Then the doctor can help set the bone and secure the injury. An engineer does the same thing with a broken foundation. We’ll inspect how bad the damage is, help you fix the problem, and get you back in action in no time.

Roof collapse – a collapsed roof can be just like a bad knock to the head. If your roof isn’t whole, safe and secure then you may find yourself disoriented and scared. We can help you find out what kind of damage has been done and how to best fix it so that you can get back to doing what you do best, whether it’s at home taking care of loved ones or at work taking care of your customers.

Not only do we diagnose and fix building and properties, but we stay up-to-date on the latest developments and improvements in our field. At Helfrich-Associates we’re never done learning. Whether it’s research into the latest concrete technologies or keeping up on the economic outlook for the states we operate in, we make sure we know all about the cutting edge in engineering and construction best practices. Just like your doctor, we’re always learning new techniques for keeping our clients’ properties healthy.

At Helfrich-Associates, we have many different specialists on staff – just like your doctor has an expert team of nurses and lab workers.  Our team consists of civil, mechanical, geotechnical and electrical engineers. We’ve also got draftsmen, geologists, inspectors, surveyors, laborers, drilling and sampling experts, and lab experts.

Helfrich-Associates is like a specialty hospital for your property. Whether it’s your seawalls, risk from landslide, or legal risk and resolution surrounding issues with your property, our mission is to work with our patients to quickly solve problems so that they don’t get worse. That means a happy and healthy property with low risk to its owners.

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