A home is a big investment. Make sure you’re doing your best to maintain it by being aware of problems with the property. Structural problems can be costly, especially if they’re ignored and worsen over time. Here are some of the signs of structural problems you may notice.
Cracks in Walls and Ceilings are Signs of Structural Problems
If you notice a crack in your wall or ceiling, it’s important to investigate further. Uneven settling can cause shifts in your home’s foundation, leading to step-pattern cracks. If you notice this type of damage, call a professional to assess the situation. Pay attention to other more inconspicuous cracks to be aware of problems that are developing. A structural engineer can examine your home to determine the origin of the problem and recommend repairs.
A sagging roof is another indication that your home may have sustained structural damage. Improper frame construction can lead to movement over time. A sagging roof may also be caused by termite or weather damage, insufficient maintenance, and removal or damage to load-bearing walls in the home. If you notice your roofline is no longer straight, this can indicate your home’s foundation has shifted. Hire a professional to assess the damage.
Floors that are not level can occur because of uneven settling of the foundation. Look for cracks in flooring, particularly in tile and grout. This can help you gauge the severity of the issue. Floors with wider gaps or cracks require immediate attention. Other common reasons why your floors may slope or crack include wood damage caused by termites and cracked or deteriorated floor joists.
Gaps in Doors and Windows
Gaps between doors or windows and their frames are obvious signs of structural damage. Slab heave is one of the most common reasons for this issue and is especially prevalent in areas where concrete slabs and clay soil come into contact. This combination of concrete and hard earth causes the slab to lift due to high levels of moisture. The shifting can create gaps that make opening and closing doors and windows more difficult.
Spotting Structural Problems in the Home
It’s easy to notice problems in your home if you know what to look for. Doors and windows that stick or cannot be closed completely could be a sign that structural damage has occurred. Likewise, a roof that sags can indicate a problem with the foundation or frame of your home. This might lead to leaks and water damage. You may also notice ceiling or wall cracks that could indicate structural imperfections. By making a point to notice changes in your house, inside and out, you can find problems before they become major structural issues.