Structural damage to your home is a homeowner’s nightmare. It can lead to costly repairs, compromised safety, and a decrease in property value. Identifying signs of damage early can save you from significant headaches and financial burdens down the road.
There are things you can look for that might tell you there’s a problem with how the house is sitting on the foundation. Standing strong is the backbone of your home; each piece of its skeleton remains to provide protection.
What follows below is a checklist of symptoms that may signal damage to your structural integrity. It’s better to spot the signs of a structural issue early on. The sooner you act, the less it would cost you to have it repaired.
We’ll go in-depth discussing those tell-tale signs of potential structural damage in the structure of your home.
1. Cracks in Walls and Ceilings
These cracks can range from small hairline fissures to larger gaps in the drywall or plaster. They can appear near windows and along other joints in the walls and in ceilings where two walls join together. Your foundation and walls could be settling, causing the cracks.
This can also occur during earthquakes. As well as vertical and horizontal cracks, stair-step cracks can also appear when there is a problem with the home’s foundation and support beams.
It is important to get an evaluation from a home inspector or structural engineer to determine the cause. In some cases, the structural damage may be due to changing temperatures and humidity, resulting in cracks in your paint and wallpaper.
Interior walls could be separated from one another. Heavily cracked mortar joints in the foundation can spell trouble, as can bowing walls and ceilings. Take action and get an expert opinion to assess the situation.
2. Uneven or Sloping Floors
Over time, foundations may settle, and this can cause an uneven or sloping floor due to shifting or sinking. This is especially noticeable in a two-story home, as the floors will become more and more askew the higher up you go.
Uneven floors can be caused by a variety of issues, such as a foundation problem, settlement, and wood rot. Sloping floors can indicate your home has not been properly supported. This is often caused by unleveled beams, joists, or support posts.
Floor sloping can occur due to water damage or from a termite infestation. It’s important to check your walls and ceilings for cracks and bulges, as these may indicate a possible wall and roof failure due to underlying structural damage.
To determine the cause of uneven or sloping floors, it’s important to hire a licensed building inspector to evaluate your home as soon as possible. Structural repairs can be costly to repair, and ignoring them for too long can put the safety of your family and your home at risk.
3. Doors and Windows That Stick
This type of sticking usually occurs when the frame of the door has shifted due to settling or significant changes in temperature or moisture. In some cases, it could also be an indication of rot or insect damage that could result in serious issues down the road. To fix this sticking issue, it may be as simple as shaving down the door or trimming the trim around the window.
It’s important to look for other signs like warped walls, floors, ceilings, cracks, or sloping walls to better understand the underlying damage. If these issues aren’t resolved promptly, they can end up leading to serious problems.
It may simply require foundation repair to level the home, or it may require more extensive structural repairs. It is important to get the root of the problem fixed, or you could be facing bigger issues down the road.
4. Bowing and Bulging Walls
These walls may be inwardly bowed or outwardly bulged and can be caused by a variety of issues. These issues might include water damage, inadequate support posts, or improper house settling. It’s important to inspect these areas carefully and to identify the source of the problem.
If the bowing is severe, it could be a sign of a load-bearing wall problem, causing instability and possible collapse. On the other hand, bulging walls can be caused by inadequate anchorage, inadequate framing, or foundation problems. Bulging walls can produce a horizontal depression that’s created from the wall pushing out.
Your walls may also be discolored or might feel spongy when you press them, which can indicate a serious issue. To ensure that your home is safe and secure, always have a professional take a look at any bulging or bowing walls to ensure proper repairs.
5. Water Damage and Mold Growth
Signs of water damage may include water stains on the ceiling or walls, peeling or cracked paint, and a musty smell. Mold growth is often visible as discoloration, usually green, black, or white, and has a distinct musty odor.
Make sure to take preventive steps, such as repairing the air conditioning, installing exhaust fans, cleaning gutters, and adding insulation to prevent further damage. If left untreated, the structural damage, water damage, and mold growth can continue to worsen in your home and cause health complications.
In both cases, a professional should be sought to deal with the damage. Regular maintenance can also help prevent future occurrences of water damage and mold growth caused by structural damage.
If you find yourself facing extensive damage and need a solution, remember that there are We Buy Houses in Kansas City companies that can offer assistance. They specialize in purchasing homes as-is, taking the burden off your shoulders and providing a way to move forward.
Identifying Signs of Structural Damage
A home is the most valuable asset, and it’s important to look out for telltale signs of structural damage. Homeowners should inspect their homes for missing or buckled siding, doors, and windows that won’t properly close and the warping or buckling of the floors or ceilings.
Trusting a qualified inspector to take a look at your home is the only way to catch small problems before they become big nightmares. So if you notice any telltale signs in your home, don’t delay; get your home inspected today!
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