You’ve heard people talk about hearing creaks or noises in their building and how it’s probably “just the building settling.” Well, that’s most likely true, but it’s not something to ignore! The act of settling puts pressure on the building and little by little, signs of trouble will appear. Often these signs appear slowly and as a result are ignored. Not a good idea! It’s always easier and less expensive to fix problems early in the game. Waiting can result in a costly repair nightmare.
You’re already familiar with the common warning signs. Cracks in the walls and ceilings, uneven floors, doors and windows that don’t open and shut easily, and slow water drainage around the foundation. Needless to say, if you suspect water damage, you’ll want to get that inspected and fixed now rather than later. Today, let’s talk about some signs you might not be aware of and that can creep up suddenly.
Cracks in Window Glass
Unless your window has been struck by an object during a storm, or a stray baseball comes your way, the crack could mean trouble. Shifting of your structure puts pressure on the glass resulting in a crack running from one edge to the other.
Yes, termites! Termites can cause severe structural damage to a building. Look for dry mud tubes around the foundation. Termites build these mud tubes (aka termite tunnels) on both the outside and inside of the foundation so be sure to have both checked. Also, be aware of flying termites who will chew holes in drywall and wood. If left unchecked, flying termites can eat support beams and weaken the entire structure.
Questions & Answers
We are often asked if structural damage will cause a house to collapse. That’s a hard one to answer as it all depends on the severity of the damage. For example, water can be a foundation’s worst enemy. It can cause bulges in the walls that can ultimately collapse.
Another question we hear often is “How old does my house have to be before I start worrying about structural damage?” There are a lot of reasons why structural damage can occur at any age – from brand new to over 50 years and every age in between. Damage can occur from poor construction, natural disasters, or just age.
More of concern to us is that most people aren’t aware of what can be the cause of structural damage. That’s where we step in. Have one of our professional inspectors come out and assess your situation. We’re here to help and remember, it’s easier and less costly to repair minor damage. Don’t wait until it’s a problem!