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Have you heard strange noises permeating throughout your household? Your house may have serious foundation issues without you or anyone else living there knowing it. By the time you realise something is wrong, it might already be too late, and the repair costs will have you letting out a deep sigh.
If it's gotten too bad, you might even have to reconstruct several parts of your house and move elsewhere while that's going on. No homeowner wants to go through this type of headache. So, you must familiarise yourself with the small yet significant signs that your house may be falling apart. In this article, that's precisely what we will be talking about.
Primary Signs Your Home Will Collapse Soon
Signs of your house falling may be scattered all around you, some small and some big. Many of these signs are taken lightly because they do not seem to pose any serious threat. But they might be the onset of something much more dangerous. Here are some of the most evident signs you can look out for:
Cracks on the walls
A cracked wall is the first and most apparent sign of preliminary structural failures. They might be very faint at first, so you will just feel like dismissing them, but they will only get worse with time and cause many other structural issues on the side. Combining all of those, the repair costs will be super high.
If it becomes too late, you might start seeing gaps so wide in the foundation that the sunlight can pass through it. Especially if you have a concrete slab, they can crack from shifting or settling too much on one side. These are the most tell-tale signs of foundation issues.
If you have a chimney at your house, make sure to check it for cracks every once in a while. Cracks easily give away the fact that there is a structural issue within your home.
Sinking earth around the house
When you took a walk around the perimeter of your house, did you find the soil to be somewhat mushy? You might want to dismiss that as poor landscaping, but it is a direct sign of serious water leakage in your house. Because the soil becomes softer, the house will begin to sink.
This usually happens if the drainage issue has been going on for a while now. This means the problem is already severe by the time you notice it. Depending on the spot of erosion, the structural damage has to be repaired as soon as possible.
A stinking and rocking toilet
You've started to smell something weird, musty, and unpleasant around your house lately, but you cannot figure out its source. Chances are it's because of your toilet. The first thing you will have to do is hold the sides of the toilet tightly and see if it's rocking under your grip.
If that's the case, then it's definitely an issue of water leaking from under the toilet. The smell is a result of the sewer gases escaping. Alternatively, there might also be leaks under the sinks and where the exterior walls meet exterior dirt.
A damp crawl space
If your house is located in an area where it is always raining a lot, your crawl space might always be damp. The moisture in this place is entirely regular, but the main issue is that the dampness can end up causing trouble. It can result in termites and give rise to mould, even causing the wooden frames to rot. Moreover, if the soil is always wet, your house may start to sink. The only way to prevent this is to have a functional drainage system to ensure less moisture.
Bubbling paint on the walls
Have you ever noticed those bubbles popping up all over the wall of any part of your house? When you pop one of them, the plaster breaks and falls. Your first thought might be that it's just a surface issue caused by the painter doing a lousy job. The chances of that do exist, but there's a bigger chance of an underlying pest issue.
It can be a sign of termite infestation, and you might see them around the air vents, under the windows, and the bathroom fan. They can be caused by water damage and mould formation too.
Stains under the windows
You might notice discolouration under the wall of your windows, either the interior or the exterior walls. If this is the case, it is not just an issue with the paint. Instead, it is a common sign of a serious water damage issue. This kind of water stain appears when the water has somehow infiltrated the place where a window meets the framing construction of a house.
As such, there is now a growth of mould behind the walls. These moulds pose a severe threat to your house and even to you.
Silent Signs Your House Will Collapse Soon
Not all the signs of your house collapsing will be visible in plain sight. Some of them you have to catch with your eagle eyes and detect with your observation skills. It is always important to be observant about every little thing in and around your house so that if there is any problem, you can detect it as fast as possible. Here are some of those less obvious signs of structural issues in your house:
Uneven or warped walls
If your house is relatively old, you might not take uneven walls very seriously. But in reality, uneven walls are a sign of foundation issues caused by the foundation shifting. Sometimes, the constructor simply fills in the wall without fixing the foundation. It could be challenging to detect.
Another common sign that is difficult to notice until you carefully touch the walls is them being warped. This is a sign that the drywall is absorbing water and starting to swell. If the wall is bulging outwards, some kind of structural issue is making it hard for your house to hold the weight. It's only a matter of time before that part of the wall starts to crumble.
Your walls might be even, but you cannot sit down in peace if the same can't be said about your floors. If while walking you feel like the floor feels a bit steep, so steep that you can slide down to the other side without much effort, then that's a matter of concern. This usually happens when the ground wasn't appropriately compacted before the foundation was poured. Though it's the fault of the constructors, you will be the one paying the brunt of it.
If the floor of your house is made of concrete, suddenly feeling yourself bouncing on them is bound to feel unsettling. Fear not; it's not your mind playing tricks on you. It is definitely another damage caused by the termites, who might have eaten away at the floors and weakened its structural integrity. The same reason does not cause slanted floors and bouncy floors, but they are both equally severe and require immediate action.
Peeling paint in bathrooms
If you notice paint coming off at different parts of your house, there's no reason to be immediately alarmed, especially if your home is old. But if you notice it on your bathroom walls, there is reason to believe that there has been moisture damage going on for a while now.
In other words, roof leaks. In fact, it might have already reached the severe level, which is the level where mould starts to form, and the wood frames start to rot. This can be very harmful to your home's foundation, as it causes structural integrity issues.
Stains under bathroom ceilings
If your house is multi-storied, then be sure to check the ceilings right under the bathrooms of the upper levels. If you notice spots all over the ceiling, specifically brown stains, then that is a tell-tale sign of severe water damage.
It means that there has been a roof leak at some point that was left unattended. The discolouration of the ceiling results from mould growth on the drywall. Not only bathrooms, but this can also apply to kitchens. It might eventually lead to the ceilings collapsing on you, which is definitely not something you would want to experience.
Windows and doors not opening properly
This is also not something that everyone considers a headache. As more time passes, all houses go through some changes because of constant movement and environmental factors. So, a few doors and windows shifting and not perfectly fitting in the frame is no big deal.
However, if every door and window of your house has shifted out of its frames, then that is not simply time. Instead, it is much more serious. It means that the support holding up the house's foundation is no longer strong enough to carry the weight of the house, and it's starting to swell. It's only a matter of time until the house begins to collapse under the weight.
The baseboards are falling off the walls
If you have baseboards in your house, they can be a tell-tale sign of your home collapsing. At first, the movement is very subtle, and you will barely realise it. Unless you bump into it, and it suddenly starts to get separated from the wall.
Not only the walls, but they might also be moving away from their adjoining pieces. This is a sign of a significant issue and will require immediate foundation repairs. Don't only put the baseboards back into their place, but also get a structural engineer to get everything checked adequately.
One of the main reasons why your house will be on the edge of collapsing is if those pesky little devils called termites infest your home. They can eat the wood frames, the floors, the concrete, and just about everything holding your house together. The infestation can begin because of the presence, especially overgrowth, of shrubbery and tree branches around your house. It can also be because of firewood.
But once it begins, it spreads very fast. And what's worse is that it might take you months, even years, to realise that the termites are eating away at the foundation of your house. Many of the reasons listed in this article are because of these silent killers. In the event, you begin to notice any of the associated signs of a termite infestation, call up pest control.
Cracking paint around the doorway
This will not be easy to notice if you don't pay attention. If you notice paint cracks on the corner of the doorways, the reason behind it could be that the walls were not thoroughly primed before painting. But if that's not the scenario, then it could be a sign of moisture damage. The earlier you catch this, the better it would be and the less the repair costs.
The cabinets are shifting
There might be a lot of cabinets and other built-ins in your house. You can also use them to detect any foundation issue within the home. A separation between the cabinets that did not exist before is the most common sign in this case. The separation can also be between the cabinet and the wall.
This indicates that the foundation has shifted, mainly because of mould growing above. Mould remediation can usually solve the issue, but if it doesn't, then you might need to replace the cabinetry.
Home Foundation Repairs
There are many ways to tell that the stability of your house is in danger. Having a structural engineer take a look as soon as you detect any of these signs instead of ignoring them will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Therefore, it is in your best interest to contact a reputable building inspections company to ensure your home or business safety and structural integrity.