A home is only as safe as its foundation. Every homeowner needs to understand the subtle signs when there may be structural issues. Most structural problems worsen with time and become more expensive to fix. Here are a few of the signs of structural problems in a home.
Signs of Structural Problems: Gaps Around Windows and Doors
Any wall with a door or window opening will be more vulnerable to shifting than a solid wall. This makes doors and windows a place to look for signs of structural problems. It can be challenging to determine if there is space around a door visually. Look for these indications that something is wrong.
- doors and windows that don’t stay closed
- windows that won’t lock
- doors or windows that don’t close or open smoothly
- window or door frames that are separating from the wall
Mud Tubes on the Foundation
Signs of termite damage are also signs of structural problems in your home, as termites will rapidly eat through the wood that makes up the house’s framing. Termite mud tubes are an indication that there are termite colonies inside a house. Contact a pest control company immediately if you spot mud tubes on the foundation or interior basement walls.
Foundation Cracks are Signs of Structural Problems in Your Home
If you have a brand new home, vertical hairline cracks along the foundation walls are not a significant cause for concern. Concrete is a hard and rigid material, so as the house settles, small cracks may appear. However, large cracks, horizontal cracks, and cracks that form decades after the home was built are signs of structural problems.
Sloping or Sagging Floors
A slight slope is difficult to notice unless you spill water and see it pool in one spot or drop a marble and it rolls across the floor. Over time, as joists break or rot, flooring will slope. If your floors are tilting to one side, this is a sign of structural problems in your home. In some cases, replacing damaged floor supports might solve the problem entirely.
Cracks and Problems with the Ceiling and Walls
Aside from gaps around doors and windows, other signs of structural problems in your home show in the ceiling and walls. A home inspector or structural engineer will be trained to detect subtle signs that something is wrong, including:
- horizontal or vertical cracks along the drywall
- cracks that radiate from corners around doors or windows
- loose drywall where nails are loose or missing
Cracks and drywall issues on the second floor are significant warning signs you need structural repairs.