17.Keeping Structural Integrity Intact
How to Keep Your Home’s Structure Safe
One of the best ways to preserve your home’s structural integrity is by establishing a baseline by having a professional foundation expert assess the overall stability of your foundation. A good structural contractor will be able to offer suggestions and solutions to problems your home may be experiencing such as:
- Bowing walls: Meaning there’s pressure from the ground pushing inward on the foundation itself
- Cracks in the walls: Could be foundation-related or a safety issue
- Settling: It’s normal to experience small cracks when a house settles on the foundation but numerous or large cracks means you’ll need to seek out professional advice
- Crawl space issues: If your house sits upon a slab, it could expand, sink or contract in time – all of which require professional assessment
Regularly monitoring the condition of your roof, basement and the soil stabilization around your home’s exterior will help to keep on top of any areas of concern.
Important Things to Do
If you notice a small crack in a basement wall or your foundation, this could be from settling, which is a normal process from the weight of the house. If you’re concerned these cracks could grow into something bigger and/or in number, tape a dated piece of masking tape at the bottom and the top of each crack. You can check back in a month to see if the crack has grown larger or stayed the same. If it’s significantly larger, it’s time to get a professional evaluation.
It’s possible to improve your home’s structural integrity by conducting repairs to your concrete floor and foundation walls, as well as by waterproofing the exterior of your home and considering repointing the existing mortar in your chimney, which could be susceptible to leakage over time.
Structural Maintenance Checklist
- Conduct any structural repairs as they come up.
- Regularly monitor your home including the basement, surrounding soil and roof.
- If in doubt, call in a professional to assess the situation.