I bet the guy who owned the building in the image wished he had spotted the first signs of structural problems with his home. There are indications that you cannot afford to ignore. If you don’t deal with them in a reasonable time, the issues will only get worse and lead to higher repair bills. You must know how to spot the warning signs during a quick annual inspection of your home. It’s easy and should take less than an hour. Here are some vital checks to identify structural problems with your home early.
Stand away from the building to get a clear and unobstructed view of the roof. Using some binoculars, look for loose or missing tiles or shingles. You might identify areas of concern where water can find its way into the loft. When the timbers in there get damp, they can succumb to infestations such as dry or wet rot.
- Wet rot is, usually, confined to the area of the leak. The spores will not spread into the surrounding dry timbers, so repairs are local.
- Dry rot is a serious problem that can cause widespread damage to the structure of the roof. It will attack all of the timber if you do not deal with it quickly. There are treatments available, but the best way to rid the roof of it is to replace the affected beams. I advise you to call the experts because it is not a DIY project.
Hold a straight edge at arms length and compare the ridge of the roof to it. Is there an sign that the structure is sagging? You can expect an old roof to sag a little, so it isn’t necessarily a problem. Check it again next year and look for changes.
Check that the walls are not starting to lean by comparing them to a plumb line. As with the roof, older properties might not have vertical walls. Check them annually and try to spot any movement.
The experts from Foundation Repair in San Antonio think that cracks in brick walls are the first clue that the building is starting to move. It is not unusual for a house to have cracks that follow the line of the mortar courses, but any that run through the middle of the bricks are significant. If the crack runs through many of them, it should set alarm bells ringing in your head. What can cause your home to subside? Here’s a couple of explanations.
- A prolonged dry spell can cause clay soil to dry out and crumble.
- A leaking underground pipe can wash away the soil from below the foundation.
Whatever the cause, you must take the problem seriously and call for an expert opinion. They might not be able to raise the building to its original position, but they should be able to arrest its movement by underpinning it or making other foundation repairs.
I don’t want to alarm you with the worst case scenario. The chances are that there will never be a problem with the structure of your home, so don’t lose any sleep over it just yet.