Signs of Structural Damage
No matter how sturdy the foundation is under a home, it may still get a few cracks and fractures over time as it settles. What is not normal is large cracks, warping, or bulging in the foundation, walls, and flooring.
Look for significant cracks and things like bulging exterior walls. There may also be signs of improper drainage that could indicate a burst pipe or other plumbing issue. Pooling water could also be a sign of a clogged gutter.
Don’t Overlook the Basement or Crawlspace
Schedule an inspection of the crawlspace or basement. There shouldn’t be any moisture or pools of water. Small foundation cracks are normal but large, gaping ones are a bad sign.
Inspect Doors and Windows
You can tell a lot about the structural integrity of a home from the inside. Signs of structural damage may include windows and doors that do not open and close easily, do not properly latch or lock, or have gaps around the frame.
Signs of Structural Damage in Floors
Floors will show signs as well, so look for any sagging, sloping, or bowing of your floors. Tiles may get cracks in them and pull away from the grout if the foundation is compromised.
Ceilings and Walls
Signs of structural damage may show up as cracks on ceilings and walls. Cracks will often form in corners and along the seams of the drywall.
Prevent Structural Damage
Routine home maintenance can help prevent or slow major structural damage. Be sure to keep your gutters clean and address any plumbing issues. Water damage and poor home maintenance cause the majority of structural problems.