3 Causes Of Structural Damage To Your Home And The Evident Signs
The structure of your home can become damaged due to water, insects and soil issues underneath your house. Below you'll learn the evident signs of structural damage and what repairs need to be done to make your home safe again.
Water damage inside your home due to a flood can jeopardize the structure of your house. Due to water saturation, the wood will warp and rot. The structure can separate from the foundation and cause your home to lean or cave in.
To determine if you have foundation problems due to a flood, inspect the area where the structure meets the foundation. If the structure doesn't rest squarely on the foundation, it has shifted. Waterlogged floors will cause the walls to push out at the bottom.
While making the repairs on your home, consider elevating your house to prevent flooding in the future. You can accomplish this by installing columns or piers underneath your foundation or by raising the foundation walls.
Since the number of termites in a colony can reach in the millions, it's no wonder they can eat through the wood supports in your home. This includes the wall studs, floor joists, roof supports and the subfloor. Depending on the location of the termite infestation in your home, their destruction can lead to the collapse of your roof, ceiling and floors.
To discover if you have a termite infestation, look for cylindrical tubes of mud on the outside of your house. These mud tubes provide a tunnel for the termites to move from the outside to the inside of your home.
Look for piles of termite droppings that look similar to sawdust. Tap on wood beams with a hammer and if you hear a hollow sound, this is an indication that the termites have eaten the inside of the posts. After the discovery of a termite infestation, eradicate the insects before repairing the damage to your home.
There are two ways that you can repair the damage done to your home by termites. The first option is to place temporary braces underneath the house. After the house is stable, you'll remove all the damaged boards and nail new boards in their place.
The second option, which is less time consuming, is to nail new pieces of wood adjacent to the damaged wood. This option works well unless there isn't enough room to nail a second board next to the damaged piece.
The soil that's underneath and around your foundation can lead to the reason behind structural damage to your home. During an extremely rainy season, water will collect underneath your house. As the water level rises, it builds up pressure and seeps through cracks in the foundation.
Clay soil shrinks and expands, depending on the wetness of the soil. When dirt expands, it adds an enormous weight against your foundation and causes the walls to lean inward. An improper drainage system underneath your house will cause the soil to erode and your house will shift.
Signs of structural damage include horizontal breaks in the masonry and large cracks in your basement walls. Inside your house, you'll notice that your doors stick when you try to open them. You'll also see cracks extending from the corners of your windows or doors up to the ceiling.
There are various options for repairing structural damage due to soil issues. These include the installation of helical screws, concrete piers, steel pilings or mudjacking. After an inspection of the damage, a contractor will recommend the best repair option for your home.
Check your home and foundation for the signs listed above to determine if your house has structural damage. If it does, contact a qualified company that performs foundation repairs to inspect and restore the structural soundness of your home.