A home is often the most significant investment people will make in their lifetime. So it’s essential to maintain your property and address issues as they arise. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait until severe and often expensive structural damage has occurred before taking action. Here are five warning signs of structural problems in your house that you should never ignore.
1. Cracks in Walls, Ceilings, or Floors are Signs of Structural Problems
Hairline cracks in walls or ceilings are normal and usually not cause for concern. However, wider cracks or cracks that run in stair-step patterns could indicate a bigger problem, such as a settling foundation or a load-bearing wall that has shifted. Hire a professional to inspect these types of cracks to determine the cause and make the necessary repairs.
2. Gaps Around Doors or Windows
Gaps around doors or windows allow drafts in and cause energy bills to skyrocket. But more importantly, they could mean the foundation is shifting. If you notice any gaps larger than the thickness of a dime, have them checked out by a professional immediately. It’s essential to know the cause of the gaps and make repairs to preserve your property’s structure and boost energy efficiency.
3. Signs of Structural Problems: Sagging Floors
Sagging floors are often caused by weakened floor joists—the beams that support your flooring. The damage could be due to water intrusion, termites, or rot. If you have uneven, sloping, or sagging floors, hire a pro to determine the source of the issue. Sagging floors can worsen over time, and making repairs now will help you avoid further damage down the road.
4. Sticking Doors or Windows
Sticking doors or windows is sometimes due to excess moisture or humidity. However, they could also indicate a bigger problem, such as foundation issues. If you notice doors or windows that are difficult to open or close or doors that swing open on their own, inspect the latch and frame for issues. If there are no problems with the door, hire a structural expert to check your home and determine the cause.
5. Water Stains on Ceilings or Walls
Leaks in the roof or plumbing can cause water stains on ceilings and walls. These stains may also be caused by condensation from poorly ventilated bathrooms and kitchens. If there are water stains in your home, try to pinpoint the source of the moisture. Look for other indications of a plumbing leak and check the roof for damage. Water intrusion causes staining but can also lead to rot and structural damage.
If you notice any of these warning signs of structural problems in your home, don’t ignore them. Hire a professional as soon as possible to protect your investment.