Inspecting Foundation Walls and Piers Course

Welcome to InterNACHI's free, online Inspecting Foundation Walls and Piers course.  Developed originally by InterNACHI's Russell Meyers
Take the free, online course now.
The goal of this course is to teach the inspector how to evaluate foundation walls and piers, including new innovations in the foundation and concrete industries. 
Upon successful completion, the student will be able to:
  • identify the components that make up foundation walls and piers;
  • describe and evaluate masonry cracks and indications of settlement;
  • inspect for indications of structural failure; and
  • identify innovations in cement and concrete systems. 
The course includes:
  • 16,200 words;
  • many photos and original diagrams;
  • online writing essay assignment;
  • inspection report writing assignment;
  • required additional reading;
  • 32 quiz questions in 3 quizzes;
  • a 30-question final exam (drawn from a larger pool);
  • instant grading;
  • a downloadable, printable Certificate of Completion; and 
  • accreditations and state approvals.


Inspecting Foundation Walls and Piers Course

Course # 3404



Estimated hours for the average student

Academic Engagement

Reading and studying online course instructional material at 140 words per minute


Taking quizzes


Taking exam


Performing a self-guided assigned research exercise


Submitting an academic written essay assignment and applicable digital image and contributing to an academic online discussion





Studying & reviewing instructional material in preparation for taking quizzes and exam


Homework of reading, studying, and note-taking from the downloaded student study guidebook at 140 words per minute

Homework of preparing to perform an the assigned inspection activity, taking inspection images, developing observations and opinions, and writing assigned essays




Sub Total


Overall Total


And, in keeping with InterNACHI's commitment to Continuing Education, this course is open and free to all members and can be taken again and again, without limit.
Reminder to members:  InterNACHI's Code of Ethics 1.10 requires that you comply with all government rules and licensing requirements of the jurisdiction where you conduct business.  InterNACHI's courses and Standards generally exceed the Standards of Practice that you are required to abide by locally. 
This course has been approved by:

The course covers the following categories:

  1. Introduction
  2. Definition of Terms
  3. Masonry
  4. Masonry Cracks
  5. Bricks and Mortar
  6. Settlement
  7. Cracking
  8. Above-Ground Masonry Walls
  9. Structural Failure
  10. Brick Veneer Walls
  11. Fire Damage
  12. Vapor Barriers
  13. Innovations: Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC)
  14. Innovations: Cement Substitutes
  15. Innovations: Cement Admixtures
  16. Innovations: Concrete Aggregate Substitutes
  17. Innovations: Concrete Footing and Pier Forms
  18. Innovations: Concrete Waterproofing Systems
  19. Innovations: Fibrous Concrete Reinforcement
  20. Flashing Products – Manufactured Roof and Pan
  21. Formwork for Ventilated Concrete Slabs
  22. Foundation Drainage Panels
  23. Foundation Flood Vents
  24. Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations (FPSF)
  25. ICF Walls – Wood Fiber Composite Forms
  26. Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF)
  27. Manufactured Housing Disaster-Resistant Pier
  28. Manufactured Housing Ground Anchor Systems
  29. Masonry and Concrete Adhesives
  30. Modular Block Retaining Wall Systems
  31. Plastic Ductwork Systems
  32. Precast Concrete Foundation and Wall Panels
  33. Pumice-Crete
  34. Steel Foundation Systems
  35. Wood Foundations
  36. Prefabricated Storm Shelter
  37. Water-Resistant Polyethylene Subfloor Systems

Upon completion of this course and passing of the 25-question final exam (drawn from a larger pool), the student can download and print their own Certificate of Completion which is auto-generated in their own name. 

The student's (InterNACHI member's) information is recorded on InterNACHI's servers for membership compliance verification, and automatically logs completion into InterNACHI's online Continuing Education log. 
Members will need their username and password.  If you have forgotten your password, CLICK HERE (instant response) or email and request it (don't forget your name). 
InterNACHI... #1 in inspection education.
Some features which make InterNACHI's courses superior to existing continuing education options:
  • The course is free for all InterNACHI members.
  • The course is written in pure XHTML code for quick loading.  The course loads fine on old computers and loads fast, even with dial-up.
  • The course is designed using a hierarchal menu coupled with a sequential page navigation.  This provides the student with the option to easily repeat areas of weakness.
  • The course permits the student to start, stop and restart any part of the course as often as desired.
  • There are a variety of images within the course, including diagrams, illustrations and photos.
  • The illustrations can be enlarged for clearer viewing by clicking on them.
  • The text is integrated into InterNACHI's Inspector Glossary.  Rolling over blue-colored terms provides their definition.
  • The final exam uses multiple-choice questions that reference the images. 
  • The course's quizzes and final exam have numerous advantages over traditional exam systems:
    1. The course, quizzes and final exam incorporate built-in intelligence which identifies and strengthens each student's unique subject weaknesses.
    2. Not only is each question weighted with regard to score, but each answer is weighted, as well as the correctness of each answer being weighted.
      1. Answers to easy questions are weighted such that the student is penalized, in terms of score, for answering incorrectly, but rewarded modestly for answering correctly.
      2. Answers to difficult questions are weighted such that the student is rewarded, in terms of score, for answering correctly, but not penalized for answering incorrectly.
      3. Answers to questions regarding basic safety, or questions every inspector should know the answer to, are weighted such that the student is severely penalized, in terms of score, for answering incorrectly.
  • Upon passing the final exam, the student can print out a Certificate of Completion which is auto-generated in their own name.
The student's (InterNACHI member's) information is recorded on InterNACHI's servers for membership compliance verification, and automatically logs completion into InterNACHI's online Continuing Education log.