House with Structural Issues and Cracked Walls

Does your home have structural issues?

A home is arguably the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime. It’s the place where you and your loved one will make memories for a long time.

Making sure that your home is able to withstand everything life throws your way is incredibly important. Taking the steps to ensure that your home is safe and secure may make the difference between a small repair or dealing with costly renovations and irreversible damage. 

Structural issues in homes are incredibly dangerous and expensive if they are not addressed early enough. Unfortunately, recognizing the signs of foundation problems is not as easy as one may think.

Subtle signs can go unnoticed relatively easily, and before you know it, you are past a breaking point. Familiarizing yourself with some of the warning signs of structural damage can save you a fortune and keep your home from literally falling apart. 

Here are the 10 warning signs of foundation problems:

Uneven Doors

If the foundation of your home is beginning to shift a bit, it may be displaying the frames of your doors and windows. You may notice that doors or windows become a bit stubborn. This can happen for a number of reasons. However, if your windows or doors are incredibly difficult or impossible to effectively shut and lock, you should consider contacting a professional. 

Wood Decay

Rotting wood can be a problem in any home. It is incredibly hazardous if you notice that this decay is observable on any of the structural beams in your home. These are the systems that hold your house in place – even if the rest of your home is in tip-top shape. Your home will begin to collapse in areas where the beans give out and there is nothing to hold up your home. 

Uneven Floors

Rotting beams aren’t the only wood you need to look out for. If you notice that your floors are becoming uneven or sinking in some places, this is a problem. One easy way to test to see how “bouncy” your floor is. This may be a sign that the wood is getting old and needs to be replaced. In addition, uneven floors may also be a sign that the foundation is shifting. This forces weight into different areas of your home. Under the pressure, the floor can lose its original shape. 

Sagging Ceilings

Sagging ceilings can also be the result of this weight shift. When the weight is distributed unevenly, it causes certain areas of the floor and ceiling to sit under more pressure . This gives a “sagging” impression. If you can’t tell, you can always try using a level on uneven floor or ceilings to see if you need to call a professional. A sagging ceiling may also be the result of water damage which should be addressed before it progresses. 

Musty Basement

With unintended water leakage comes infestations of mold and mildew. While some infestations are easy to see right away, others may be hiding. If water trickles into hidden parts of your home, mold may be growing and damaging wooden structures before you even notice it. There are some signs you can observe without ripping apart your wall. If you notice a musty or mildew smell, especially in areas like the basement, consider investigating it. 

Window Gaps

If you start to notice any gaps between your windows and doors, this may be a sign of a shifting foundation. Sometimes, as a foundation begins to shift, it may start to pull the walls away from your door and windows. Even if this turns out not to be a structural problem, it should be addressed as it welcomes in water and outdoor pests. 

Shifting Chimney

Another observable sign of shifting can be seen when looking at the chimney. If the position or angle of your chimney has changed at all, it is the telltale sign of your home sliding and interfering with the brick structure. 

Nail Pops

Nail pops are a fancy phrase for little holes that appear when nails pop out of place. Pay attention to the frequency of nail pops around your drywall. Nails come undone from drywall for several normal reasons. When this happens too much, consider having a professional check in.  This could be a sign the walls hidden beneath the drywall are moving. 

Cracking Tiles

Just as nail pops can top you off to shifting taking place in hidden walls, tiles can help you monitor the state of a hidden floor or wall. While again, tiles can crack for a number of normal reasons. However, if you notice a lot of tiles cracking in the same place, this could be a sign of a distorted floor (or wall). 

Pulling Wall

Finally, the most drastic sign is a pulling wall. When you notice that the walls of your home are pulling away, call in a contractor immediately. Especially call a contractor when there is an obvious slant or shift. This is a dangerous sign that needs to be corrected before the walls give out and collapse. 

In conclusion, taking the measures to monitor your house is a great way to stay a step ahead of your home. Remember, if you have any questions or concerns over the state of your home, there are many experts waiting to help you.