Warning Signs of Structural Failure in Your Home

Structural failure is, of course, a very serious problem to deal with in a home. However, for many people the problem isn’t that they’re unaware of structural failure but instead that they don’t really know how to identify it. It’s common for some people to think that signs of structural failure are just normal parts of a home. If you want to combat structural failure concerns, you first need to make sure you know what structural failure looks like. Use this home health checklist to look for these structural failure warning signs.

Home Health Checklist
Home Health Checklist Created By: JES

Foundation

Your foundation is one of the most severe places to see structural failure. Although it’s not necessarily common for a foundation to start showing signs of structural failure, that doesn’t mean it’s completely out of the questions. These are a few of the symptoms you might notice if the structural failure is coming from your foundation:

  • Nail Pops
  • Wall Gaps
  • Floor Gaps
  • Uneven Floors
  • Drywall Cracks
  • Sticking Doors and Windows
  • Bowed Walls, Especially in the Basement
  • Flood Damage
  • Chimney Cracking
  • Sinking Foundation
  • Vertical, Horizontal, or Stair-Step Cracks
  • Cracked Bricks
  • Cracked Block Foundation
  • Cracks in Concrete

Some of these foundation problems can just seem like “normal home problems.” After all, problems like nail pops and even drywall cracks can sometimes become “normal” problems in your home. However, it’s important to know that they’re actually not normal problems and can indicate that something is seriously wrong. You should address these problems as soon as possible.

Basement

Many homes have basements, and many basements have generalized issues with structure. There are a variety of structural concerns that your basement could have, but unfortunately, it’s common for people to brush these structural concerns off at one point or another. These are a few of the signs that could indicate a serious structural concern in your basement:

  • Poor Drainage
  • Musty Smell
  • Leaking Water Heater
  • Leaking Windows
  • Leaking in Basement Cove
  • Sump Pump Issues
  • Swelling or Warped Doors
  • Water Stains
  • Efflorescence
  • Wet Walls
  • Wet Floors
  • Wet Carpet
  • Wet Drywall
  • Condensation on Windows or Doors

Most of these things would immediately let someone know that something’s wrong in the basement. However, you might not necessarily be able to tell that the “something wrong” is a structural problem, which means you might not immediately contact a basement repair expert. Additionally, to notice these problems, you first have to be in your basement on a regular basis, which isn’t something that’s true for everyone.

Crawl Space

Even if you don’t have a basement, you probably have a crawl space. A crawl space is a great way for an expert to get under your home and make any necessary changes or do any necessary inspections. However, a poorly-maintained basement can create serious issues for you and your family. Here are a few of the symptoms you might notice:

  • Standing Water
  • Floor Joist Problems
  • Wood Rot
  • Condensation
  • Wet Insulation
  • Foundation Cracks
  • Open Crawl Space Vents
  • High General Indoor Humidity
  • Sagging Floors
  • Mold
  • Unpleasant Odors
  • Poor Air Quality
  • Rodent or Bug Issues
  • High Electric Bills

The good news when it comes to these problems is the fact that you can notice many of them without ever going into your crawl space. However, it’s common for these problems to be difficult for you to trace back to the crawl space. Especially if you notice multiple problems at once, you should consider whether it’s time to call a crawl space repair expert.

Conclusion

Just because structural failure isn’t always obvious, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to see. You just need to make sure you know what the most common signs and symptoms are. When you have this list in the back of your mind, you’re more likely to notice something that someone else may just brush off as “normal home problems.” Think about this list next time you see something strange in your home. You may just be able to save yourself and your family some grief.

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