Any property can suffer from structural problems during it’s lifetime so whether you plan to sell your property after a few years or plan to remain in it forever it’s important to remember this fact. The key is to be able to spot them early so you can avoid any lasting damage and potentially save a fair bit of money. Below we have put together a list of warning signs you should watch out for so if any issues do arise you can get them fixed as soon as possible.
Windows and doors not opening and closing properly – If the windows and doors in your home suddenly stop opening and closing properly it may be wise to get your home checked out for foundation movement. In addition windows and doors not shutting properly can also be a potential security risk so be sure to get this fixed asap!
It’s also worth mentioning that if you get new windows and doors installed, make sure they are fit in nicely – not too tight and not too loose.
Cracks in the walls – Sometimes a crack means nothing but other times it could mean your houses foundations are shifting. In general small hairline cracks are not a big issue as most homes foundations have a few.
You should watch out for big cracks that run between the ceiling and doors as well as those that appear around windows. Also, any large horizontal cracks that appear across walls are generally big indicators that your property has structural problems.
Spaces in the floor or uneven flooring – If you find that spaces are forming between your walls/ceiling and floors then it would be safe to get it checked out right away as it may be due to foundation movement. The same applies for larger cracks on any floors.
Cracks in the exterior walls
When you’re doing a check around the exterior of your house be sure to check for any noticeable cracks. You should look out for any horizontal, vertical or zig zag like cracks as these normally appear if your property is suffering from structural damage.
Also, step back and look at your property from a little distance to make sure it is not sloping if you fear it may have foundation problems.
Walls separating from the house
This is fairly easy to spot and is a big sign that your property has foundation problems.
These cracks are generally very large and can appear all around the exterior of the house. Under the windows, where the roof meets the wall and even where 2 walls join are all places where these large cracks can appear indicating that your house is splitting apart.
Cracks in bricks
Look out for cracks in the exterior and interior parts of the bricks as either could be due to foundation problems. Again, it’s the larger and horizontal cracks that you should look out for as well as cracks in masonry joints as these are also a sign that your properties foundations are shifting.
Although, wall rotation is not very common it can still happen. It essentially means that the wall has rotated out of it’s place which results in walls splitting causing huge damage to your property.
If you feel your property may have any of these problems listed above you should contact a structural engineer as soon as possible. If you can spot foundation problems early you can potentially save yourself a lot of money as they only get worse over time.