WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF STRUCTURAL DAMAGE IN A HOUSE?
Building Inspection helps the buyers to learn about the signs of structural damage in the property. Building Inspection Council has observed many signs which can help in identifying structural defects. Building inspectors use these signs as the first hint of the problems but also use advanced tools and techniques. These signs can only hint out the probability chances of defects but severity and underneath cause of defect can be ascertained by only a professional building inspector.
Here are the top 10 signs of structural defects:
1. Sagging Roof and Roof Leaks
You can notice the structural damage from signs of the sagging roofs and roof leaks. Sagging roofs are an indication of the problems with the roof structure. Roof sagging happens due to the roof frame movement, weather-induced damages, or poor maintenance. Roof leaks happen due to water penetration due to broken tiles, punctured roof sheeting, blocked gutters, and dysfunctional flashings.
2. Walls and Ceiling cracks
Every house has walls cracks but not all cracks mean structural damage. The following types of cracks are of serious concern and mean structural issues.
- Cracks wider than 5mm
- Crack traveling diagonal or of staircase style
- Diagonal cracks in corner of doors
- Cracks on both sidewall
3. Uneven Floors
An expert building inspector can feel uneven floors by walking over them. Other signs of floor problems are the gap between skirting and floor, dampness on the carpet, and gaps in the corner. Uneven floors could happen to due subsidence, building movement, termite, or water damage. A fresh carpet or new tiles could be sign concealed floor defects.
4. Damp Sub-floor
The presence of condensation, mold, or smell of mold is an indication of excessive dampness in subfloors. The dampness is the result of lack of ventilation in the area which prevents evaporation and causes humidity and mold. The dampness can also lead to timber rot, footing damage, and termite infestation. The solutions to clear the vents, increase the ventilation and clear the drainage of the area.
5. Timber Rot
In Australia, houses are based on timber structures. Timber is a durable material but as long as protected from harmful elements. Timber must be prevented from the fungi that can damage it. Any sign of the fungi or rot should be given immediate treatment to stop further spread.
6. Crumbling Concrete
Concrete crumbling is another sign of structural damage in a property. Concrete crumbling or concrete cancer is a kind of corrosion of concrete when exposed to high moisture and chemicals. Salt and chloride are absorbed by the concrete causing the chemical reaction. This beaks the bonds in concrete material resulting into crumble. Monitor the moisture around the key structural element in the building.
7. Warped Ceiling
The presence of warping, sagging, cracked cornices, cracked ceilings are indications of significant structural damage to the roof. These defects could be due to other defects underneath such as timber frame movement, water damage, or rot. An investigation must be carried out before repairing the ceiling defects.
8. Exposed Gap between Walls
The exposed gap between the internal and external walls is a sign of sagging floor joists. The sagging of the floor joist happens when support pillars are placed too far or are damaged by the termite. Other problems indicated gaps in walls are subsidence, footing movement, and water damage.
9. Ill-fitted Door and Window
The door and window expose a lot of information about the structural defects in the building. When a door is not closing properly or the window is jammed, it obvious sign of structural defect. This could be due to ground shifts under the foundation or damage to footing and need immediate attention.
Termite is small in size but can pose a serious threat to your dream home. Termite can eat anything and leave you with structural damages that are expensive to repair or leave your home uninhabitable. Damp and warm conditions are favorable for termite infestation. Termite should be cured at first sight to save further deterioration.
These signs can help you to find building defects only to a certain extent. Building Inspection Council will advise hiring a competent building inspector to have complete information about the condition of the property before making the final decision.
Building Inspection Council is a not-for-profit community service that helps Australian property buyers with building inspection. We provide free quotes from the expert inspectors of your area who can identify signs of structural damage. The best thing about being a not-for-profit organization is that we do not have to compromise on anything for profit and you get honest and genuine quotes. FOR FREE QUOTES, CLICK HERE
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