Signs of a Damaged Home
One thing all homeowners dread is encountering issues with your home. Major repairs are often expensive enough to warrant remortgaging your home. Fixing your home can be time exhaustive and financially prohibitive. Also, discovering one problem can also lead to finding more of these issues. The best course of action any homeowner can take is to identify the early warning signs of home damage. To simplify the identification of these issues, we will separate the warning signs into indoor and outdoor warning signs.
Leaking Basements: You may find a moist or musty air quality and/or smell in your basement. Mildew and mold grow when wet places do not dry out properly, so make sure to clean the less frequented areas of your basement, even the drywall and wood framing. In finished basements, early signs include peeling paint/wallpaper, water stains, swollen base boards and spongy flooring or carpets.
Ill-fitting Windows & Doors: When you feel sticking of windows or doors into its frame, this could mean your home is potentially unstable. This is caused by movement of the home’s frame. Another sign of structural instability is cracking of the caulking surrounding windows or doors.
Wall Cracks: If there are wall cracks exceeding ¼ inches, then you should be concerned about a plugged gutter or moisture problem possibly exerting pressure on inside walls. If there are cracks in the foundation, a clear sign of water damage, they should be visible on both the outside and inside. A possible cause is the shifting of the soil’s resting position underneath the foundation.
Cracked Bricks: Cracks in the bricks surrounding your home are not only an eye sore, but they could indicate serious structural damage such as a shift in the foundation.
Leaning Chimney: If your home has a chimney, it most likely is the heaviest part of the house. A deviated chimney is one of the best indicators your house is shifting from its original position.
Horizontal Cracks: In the foundation are the most serious type of cracks. It usually demonstrates there is water-saturated soil underneath the foundation which freezes and thaws. This causes the foundation to contract when frozen, and then expand when damp which means you need a whole new foundation.
You can hire a structural engineer for $500-700 to provide an evaluation of your home’s structural integrity, or a home inspector as a more cost-efficient alternative. Therefore, be proactive in identifying damage to your home because a whole new foundation can cost up to $40,000.