6 Ways To Identify Structural Defects In A House
Structural defects in a building are commonly a result of improper construction and poor design. Cracks on walls and floors, water seepage and chipping plaster walls are some of the frequently seen structural problems that can adversely affect the value of your property. It is, therefore, essential to undertake home inspection on a regular basis, to address the issue at an early stage.
PropGuide brings you a handy checklist to detect structural defects in your house -- because a strong home is a safe home.
Weak foundation: Foundation is the root of any house. What make a house structurally sound are a compact structure of the foundation framing and the roof. The signs of poor foundation in a building can be spotted if you are unable to close windows and doors, there is inadequate draining from the foundation, the concrete is crumbling or flaking, there are ruptures or gaps, and if there is sloping, sagging or buckling of the foundation floors or walls. The presence of trees near a building can also destabilise its foundation and drains.
Cracks on the walls: Variations in moisture and temperature cause frequent expansion and shrinkage of the concrete, causing cracks. Some minor cracks are static, undetectable and harmless. However, it can be a cause for concern if the hairline crack continues to widen over a period of time and damages the foundation. Multiple cracks in several rooms is an indication of a major structural problem, for which an expert intervention should be sought.
Faulty plumbing: Defects in the plumbing system happen due to old or incompatible piping material used, as well as faulty fixtures and waste lines. Incorrect installation of fixtures may lead to clogged drains, shower pan leaks or toilet leaks. These also lead to mould contamination. You should ask the engineer to look for deterioration in the condition of the pipe, as well as evaluate water leaks using a moisture meter.
Improper electrical wiring: Improper electrical wiring in a house often lead to insufficient power, lack of overload protection and quite often dangerous wiring connections. Hire an inspection engineer who can carry an audit to scan for burnt cables, over-fused circuits, etc.
Non-functional heating and air-conditioning systems: A defect in the air conditioning and heating systems in a building means inadequate cooling or heating.
Defects in flooring: Grout not holding the tile to the floor, water seeping from under the foundation or exterior, buckling of hardwood floor, widening of the crack of the tile – all of these hint at improper floor framework.