How To Recognize Structural Damage In Your Home 

 December 25, 2021

Maintaining a home takes time, money, and dedication. However, it also takes a little knowledge. Anyone can see when a window is smashed, a guttering pipe is broken, or the drains aren’t working effectively.  But, do you know how to spot structural damage and what to do about it? 

It’s this type of damage that is usually far more concerning to a homeowner and more expensive to deal with.

Structural Damage Defined

The structure of your home is the walls, roof, foundations, and any internal walls that are classed as load-bearing. Damage to any of these parts will cause weakness in your property which could, in some cases, cause part or all of your property to collapse. 

Testing 

Most people have a series of surveys done when they purchase a property. This highlights pest issues, electrical concerns, and structural problems. Techniques such as magnetic particle testing can be used to identify how serious the issue is and help you to decide the best remedy.

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But, once people have moved in they don’t get the surveys done again, although they should. Having your home regularly inspected will help to ensure you are aware of issues before they become a problem.

Interior Signs

Walk around the inside of your home and look for any of the following issues. They are all signs that you have structural damage and you’re going to need to investigate further.

  • Doors & windows that no longer close smoothly or properly
  • Cracks in your walls, especially around doors and windows
  • Gaps appearing between walls and floors
  • The floor appears to be slanting, uneven, or even buckled
  • Cracks in the walls of your basement
  • Walls bowing in or out
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It should be noted that if the signs are small then the damage may be minor at this stage. It is best to monitor it for a few weeks and contact the specialist as soon as you confirm it is getting worse. 

If you’ve never looked before then look today to give yourself a base point. You’ll then be able to see when changes happen.

Exterior Signs

There are also several exterior signs that tell you the house has structural damage:

  • Gaps between your porch or any adjoining building and your home
  • Chimney leaning or having cracks going up it
  • Gaps around doors and windows
  • Mortar joints cracking, especially if it moves diagonally across a wall, in line with the joints
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Many of the exterior signs point to an issue with subsidence. This is when the ground below your home has shifted and the weight of your home is no longer pushing down evenly. In effect, the house is twisting, trying to tear itself apart.

You’ll need expert help to underpin the house or complete any other structural repairs as necessary.

If you suspect your home has structural damage the faster you get it investigated the easier and more cost-effective the solution is likely to be. In short, get a professional to look at it today and help you choose the right path forward.

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