If you’re in the market for a new home, it’s essential to consider all aspects of a potential property—from curb appeal and interior design to structural issues. While some problems may be easy for the untrained eye to identify, such as cracked walls or warped floors, others aren’t so obvious. Check out these seven signs of structural problems in a home.
1. Uneven Floors Are Signs of Structural Problems
Uneven floors can indicate foundation problems, one of the most serious structural issues you can encounter in a home. Look for dips or raised areas on the floor that could signal water damage or foundation instability. You can easily check for slopes in a floor by laying a golf ball in the center of a room to see if it rolls in a particular direction. If you notice sloping in the floors, make sure the property is professionally inspected.
2. Cracks in the Ceiling or Wall
Cracks in walls and ceilings can indicate potential problems, such as foundation movement, shifting soil, moisture issues, etc. Ensure any cracks you find are inspected and assessed to determine their cause before committing to a purchase.
3. Doors and Windows That Stick
Doors and windows that stick or are difficult to open can result from settling foundations, moisture issues, or poor installation. Try to learn whether sticking doors and windows you find during an inspection are due to minor issues or a more significant structural problem.
4. Signs of Structural Problems: Damaged Floors or Blocks in Basements
Damaged floors or blocks in a basement could indicate water damage and shifting soil, which can have serious implications for the structural integrity of a home. Make sure any cracking, crumbling, or wet areas in the basement are professionally inspected and repaired by a contractor.
5. Wall Separation
If you notice that walls seem to be separating from the ceiling, floor, or each other, it could be a sign of foundation movement or poor construction. Some settling is expected, but you want to be sure the issues you find are minor. Make sure any wall separations are checked out by an inspector and repaired.
6. Poor DIY Work Can Result in Signs of Structural Problems
Do-it-yourself projects that have been done poorly can cause major structural issues in a home. Make sure a licensed contractor has checked out any amateur projects added by the previous owners to make sure no fundamental corners were cut that could cause issues for you down the road.
7. Inadequate Drainage
Inadequate drainage around the home could indicate foundational issues such as settling or shifting soil that can cause major issues over time. Make sure any drainage concerns are addressed before closing the deal on a new home.
Buying a home can be daunting, but with knowledge and research, you can make sure you purchase a structurally sound property. Keep an eye out for these seven signs of structural problems, and ensure any issues you find are addressed before purchasing.