If you have been noticing a lot of cracks forming on your interior or exterior walls, or that the floors suddenly seem uneven, you might have some structural damage. Unfortunately, this often requires underpinning, which is the process of reinforcing the structure. Here are some signs to look out for if you think you might have structural problems.
The first signs to look for occur inside your home. For example, you may start seeing more cracks appearing on the walls, either in the middle of walls, close to the ground, or where the wall and the ceiling meet. Typically the cracks start worsening over time and begin lengthening. Also look for cracks around windows and doorways. You may also notice that things slide more easily on the ground, which might mean the floor has become to tilt on one side of the house. Cracks can also occur on tile flooring as a result of structural problems.
Crumbling and Sloping of Exterior Walls
After you have inspected the inside of your house, you can head outside and inspect those walls as well. You might also find cracks on the exterior walls, such as brick with cracks in the mortar, or hairline fractures in horizontal or vertical directions. Some cracks on exterior walls might also make a zig-zag pattern. With the exterior walls, there are a variety of other signs as well, such as sloping or sagging of the foundation walls, gaps in between building materials, and crumbling of the concrete.
If you have water damage around the structure of your home, structural problems might also be a concern. One of the leading causes of structural problems is having poor water drainage, which can then lead to water damage. Some signs of water damage include soil and dirt that seems to be damp continuously around the perimeter of your home, water spots on walls inside and outside your home, and signs of mould or mildew on concrete, brick, tile, carpeting, drywall, and wallpaper.
When the structural issues expand further, it usually leads to rotation of your home's walls. This can also lead to cracking of the walls, as well as the crown moulding separating with paint that starts to crack and split. Wall rotation can also be seen with any painted paneling separating and cracks in the mortar between bricks.
If you suspect that you have structural issues, talk to a contractor about house underpinning.