Often at first glance, a property can appear to be in perfect condition; however, many possible issues can lurk just beneath the surface. Whether we already own the property or are looking to buy, it’s essential to have a good idea of what to look for when assessing the health of the house. Of course, we need to look after the basics in our homes, but these structural issues are of the utmost importance.
There is nothing more important than the foundations when it comes to a building. If there are structural issues here, then it can adversely affect everything else. There are many tell-tale signs to show there are issues with the foundations of any house. Cracks are the number one issue; at the first sign of this type of problem, get in touch with a professional. If door or window frames are uneven or bent, this also shows they are taking pressure in the wrong way and may be a sign of flawed or damaged foundations. Early intervention for any of these problems can prevent an already expensive issue from becoming more so.
Cracks in brickwork and even the mortar between the bricks can be a concern. Often people worry that cracks in the brickwork indicate an issue with the foundations, but this is only true in extreme examples. For most minor cracks and damage, we only need a small repair, mortar can be repaired or single bricks replaced.
Many homes still have chimneys, and it’s a feature I wish more new build properties had. If you are not used to having an open fire and chimney, you must know a few things before starting up that first fire. Chimneys need sweeping every year and inspection if they have been left unused for a while. Check with protechchimney.com to ensure you are safe and ready to go for all sweeping, inspection, and repair services.
Crawl Space, Loft & Basement
Areas such as our crawl space, loft, and basement are often the seldom-visited areas of the home, and structural issues there can be missed. It is important to periodically inspect these areas for rot, mold, or pest problems. After all, if an issue is identified early enough, it will be a much easier solution. Some pests, rats as a prime example, will not reside in areas where there is frequent human activity, but when an area is left, this is when they move in.
Timber is the most vulnerable hidden part of the structure of a home, much of it is hidden behind plasterboard walls and in the seldom-visited areas we just discussed in the previous section. Wood rot can appear anywhere in the home where timber is used. Check for common signs of moisture damage such as darkening on the timber or visible leaking or seeping water. But also look to see any peeling paintwork or bulges in plaster or other surfaces that indicate damage.
Featured Photo by Thom Bradley from Burst