You may not need a home with the most updated counters or the trendiest wall colors, but you do need a home that is structurally sound. Whether you're shopping for a fixer-upper or are simply concerned about an older home that you're already living in, it pays to know the signs that a home may not be as structurally sound as it should be. Here are a few of those key signs.
When you look across a roof, you should not notice any sagging in the hip. The surfaces should all look smooth, too. If the roof is sagging at any point, this is a serious safety concern as the roof could possibly cave in and cause serious injury to anyone inside. Sometimes, a sagging roof is an isolated problem and can be fixed by replacing the roof underlayment. Other times, it is actually an indicator that the whole home is shifting and unstable. Definitely have a structural engineer look over the whole home for soundness before you have the roof replaced. If there are bigger issues at play, the new roof will soon sag and bow, too.
Cracking Ceilings and Walls
If the walls and ceilings in a home are beginning to crack, this could be a sign that the foundation is beginning to shift. Cracks that appear in the first year or two of the home's life are usually just the result of normal settling. Those that appear later on are a bigger concern. Cracks are often a precursor to sagging ceilings and floors, which are a serious structural concern.
If you put a marble down on your floor, does it quickly roll to one side of the room? Uneven floors sometimes just indicate that the foundation has settled a bit, but when the unevenness is pretty dramatic, it can indicate a more serious structural issue.
Crumbling Concrete Supports
If the concrete walls in your basement or crawlspace, or any concrete pillars that support the home, are beginning to crumble, this is an issue you need to address ASAP. You never know when the concrete is going to crumble a lot more in a short period of time, leading to a complete collapse.
All of the signs above are an indicator that a home many not be as structurally safe and secure as it should be. Contact a structural engineer to take a look before anything too serious goes on.