If you are concerned about the structural integrity of your house, you should consult a qualified consultant for engineering help. In general, homeowners assume that structural engineers are only needed during the design and construction of the house. As a result, a lot of faults are undiscovered without a specialist to conduct a thorough inspection of the building.
If you have noticed visual anomalies in your building or even an unfamiliar sensation such as sinking or shifting, you might benefit from a professional assessment. An engineering expert will check if your house is severely damaged and recommend the best approach for repair. Here are crucial tips to help you determine whether you should look for a structural engineer.
Check for Misalignment
Misalignment in the building indicates a lot of underlying issues. In most cases, this sort of anomaly is a sign that the base of the structure is subsiding. In other cases, the walls will lose their straight alignment due to uneven settling. These are problems which might escalate in the future. You can determine if your house is falling out of alignment by checking the corners of the building.
These corners should be right-angled. You should also look out for other issues like doors which are tilted and cannot close. Additionally, it is important to check built-in structures like cabinets. If they are not fitting well into the house, you should consult an engineer for further assessment. This problem might be particularly obvious in cabinets installed in corners.
Evaluate the Wall Gaps
A few cracks in the walls are expected in houses. In general, these small fissures will develop over time because of heating and contraction. Also, impact and moisture can contribute to hairline cracking. The minimal damage is usually only superficial, and it does not have a structural effect. However, you should be aware that large cracks could be a sign of serious problems. For instance, if the foundation is shifting significantly, fissures will form. You should also look for damage in the flooring in the form of gaps or cracks.
Look for Water Damage
Finally, it is important to check if your building has water damage. The absorption of moisture by your house can be highly detrimental to the structure. This type of deterioration is not obvious at the beginning and can be overlooked. However, once the moisture seeps into your building core, it will be difficult to conduct complete repairs. Therefore, consult an experienced engineer and plan for restoration if you notice peeling paint, mildew and leaks.
Reach out to an engineering firm such as Jeffrey Hills and Associates to learn more.