You’d assume that once the dust of construction settles, your home is solid and stable for the long haul. However, this isn’t always the case. Houses can suffer structural damage long after they are complete, whether it’s from poor workmanship, materials, negligence, or shoddy DIY home repairs (like removing a load-bearing wall without proper precaution).
Some house problems are obvious from the start: for example, you know you’re in trouble when there are large mold patches on your woodwork. But others are not so apparent. They silently wreak havoc on your living quarters while you remain blissfully unaware.
As a homeowner, you must identify the warning signs of structural damage so that you can address and resolve the problem before it snowballs out of control.
9 Signs Your Home Has a Structural Problem
We don’t need to tell you why signs of structural damage should be a huge concern. Things that look like small problems can quickly evolve into larger, more dangerous issues that cost you a fortune in remediation. We advise you to look out for these nine signs of structural damage that suggest you should investigate the problem further.
1. Sagging Roof and Roof Leaks
If your roof is brand-new and in its prime, there’s no reason you should see sagging or uneven roof lines. Roof lines usually hint at issues with the roof structure, primarily caused by:
- Timber frame movement
- Weather damage
- Lack of sufficient maintenance
- Termite damage
- Incorrect sizing of roof timbers
That’s not all. Incorrectly removing a load-bearing wall can also compromise your roof significantly. That’s why it’s best to consult a load-bearing wall removal specialist like Load Bearing Pros to take on the job. With our skilled load-bearing beam installation techniques, we’ll ensure your roof is well-supported through the years.
2. Sloping Floors
It’s hard to notice a sloping floor unless you drop a ball and it rolls to the side. When a formerly level floor develops a slant, it could signify that one or more of the joists in the support floor have decomposed or broken, causing the floor to settle in that specific area. Get a structural engineer or load-bearing wall removal specialist to assess the damage and find a way to repair it.
3. Cracks in the Foundation
We don’t have to tell you that your home’s foundation is one of its fundamental structural elements. Since the foundation supports the weight of your entire home, any cracks or movement can pose a serious problem.
Several factors can threaten the security of your foundation, including:
- Settlement: once the ground beneath your home settles, it can crack the concrete.
- Water Damage: water can leak into your foundation and lead to breakage.
- Tree Roots: If you have plenty of trees in your backyard, the roots can apply pressure on the foundation and cause cracks to form.
Don’t wait till the cracks in your home’s foundation spiral out of control. Contact a structural engineer to salvage the problem as soon as possible.
4. Holes in the Drywall
As innocent as the tiny spots in your drywall may look, they signal a long-standing problem. For starters, these dots could be termite exit holes, meaning you might have an active termite infestation. That’s bad news.
When termites attack your home, they target everything from your books, expensive paintings, and furniture to your woodwork and drywall. In fact, an unprotected home is an all-you-can-eat buffet colony for them. So, if you find termite exit holes around your home, call an exterminator pronto!
5. Uneven Gaps on Doors/Windows
Load-bearing walls with doors and windows are more susceptible to damage because of the holes cut into them. The areas around your windows and doors often show signs of structural damage before any other areas of your walls. Keep an eye out for:
- Uneven gaps around doors.
- Doors and windows that open or close the way they should.
- Doors and windows that start separating from the parent wall.
- Doors that don’t stay closed no matter how hard you try.
- Cabinet doors that open on their own.
6. Flickering Lights
If there’s anything we have learned from horror movies, it’s that flickering lights are never a good sign. Ghosts aside, they might also point toward wiring issues within your circuit. It’s entirely possible that the wires are loose, or your home’s wiring is not adequate for the electricity you are using. An electrician can diagnose the issue, fix any loose wires, and add extra circuits if necessary.
7. Cracking and Bowing Walls
Another warning sign of structural damage in a home is when a wall starts to crack, rotate, or bow. Wall cracks fall into two categories, internal and external. Internal cracks are usually not a cause for concern because they’re purely cosmetic and a common sign of your home settling. But popping nails, large horizontal breaks, or cracks that run from the top to the bottom of your wall should be checked by a professional.
8. Slow Drain
You might not pay much heed to a slow sink or shower drain at first until you start noticing the issue around the house. When all the pipes are slow to drain, you could have a clog in the main sewer line. This is a plumbing emergency and must be dealt with quickly.
9. Damp Subfloor
A damp subfloor is a clear indicator of insufficient ventilation around your home. Left unaddressed, it can lead to moisture-related problems, such as mold, mildew, and structural wood rot. Get your floors inspected by a professional to avoid long-standing problems.
The Bottom Line
There you have it, nine warning signs of structural damage to your home. Although they may seem scary at first, all these problems are solvable if you spot them early on. Be sure to run regular checks around your home and report any problems to a licensed contractor.
Removing a load-bearing wallunprompted can open the gates to structural damage in your home. Fortunately, you can prevent this by working with Load Bearing Pros! Our expert load-bearing wall removal specialists can bring you closer to your dream open floor plan without jeopardizing your home’s structural integrity. Get in touch with us today to know more!