When discussing the structural stability, we refer to the durability of the building’s “skeleton”. Routine inspection and proper care prevent serious issues from emerging, like ending up with a foundation so deteriorated that it’s beyond repair.
What you should check during a structural inspection
Even though a thorough structural inspection can only be performed by a professional engineer who is trained in this particular task, there are elements that you can analyze on your own so that you may do proper changes wherever needed to fortify the structure and ensure its stability in the event of an earthquake, for example.
You must inspect all the portions of the foundation which are visible and accessible to see if there are any signs of distress or deterioration. Depending on the significance of the damage or distress, and on your personal knowledge, either fix the existing problem yourself or ask for professional help.
Check drainage conditions around the house, and see if there is any evidence of water entry. You must check for excess moisture in these spaces as well as high humidity in the crawl space, for example, increases humidity indoors, and could lead to mold infestation throughout the entire house.
- Fix: If water has entered, you evidently have to evacuate it immediately. In case of excess moisture, however, you must install a dehumidifier for crawl spaces as it boasts a high humidity removal capability that ensures moisture level stability, and it’s compact enough to fit this tight space of your home.
Take your time and properly inspect all the accessible and visible portions of the house, checking for wood deterioration and rot. If you find any structural deficiencies, estimate how much it will cost to get your issues fixed, and call in a professional for the task.
Check the surface of the roof to see if there are any missing or loose shingles, visually inspect sheathing, the condition of the gutters, and check if there is evidence of leakage. In case anything is out of place, you can either repair it yourself if it is possible or call in an expert to handle the issue at hand.
Obviously, you must visually inspect the exterior, as well as the interior of the building to figure out if there are signs of weather-tightness or deterioration which needs to be tended to as improper conditions could affect the overall integrity of your home.
Tips for structural stability improvement
- Waterproof the foundation: The central point of a house’s stability is its foundation and seeing how water does the greatest amount of damage, you must waterproof it. For this, we recommend rubberized polymer spray membrane as it’s effective in the long run, boasting a lengthy lifespan, all while maintaining a reasonable pricing.
- Check for rot and moisture: Check for anything that could cause moisture to build in the walls and floors as, in the case of wooden floors, for example, they could rot as a result of this unwanted intrusion. There’s the issue of mold growth as a result of enhanced moisture as well, one that you should do your best to prevent as mold not only leaves a nasty smell that makes the house hard to live in, but it presents a direct threat to your health, repercussions being greater for those who suffer from asthma or allergies.
- Dig drains: If your issue with water is out of control, you should dig a trench to drain water away from your home as sealants are unlikely to service your needs properly. In case you already have drains, check for blockages and debris periodically, and clear them if needed. Small tip, you should do the same with gutters if you want to care of your home properly.
- Replace any loose roof shingles: You should routinely check the roof to make sure that shingles are not loose or missing completely. Even if you just checked the roof, after a storm or blizzard passes take out the ladder from the garage or deposit space and get on the roof to see if anything has changed. If shingles are loose or missing, replace them immediately as not only will the structure of the roof be compromised, but there is the issue of leakage which exposes wood trusses and rafter frames to rot.
- Reinforce the connectors: Reinforcing the pieces which connect different parts of the house together is an important step towards stability increase. For the best results, you should build a single structure to bear the house’s load. Go for floor connectors and tie rafters as they ensure the passage of time won’t affect your house.
Beware of climate change
Climate change has already taken a toll on all life forms, and with the continuing decay of our planet and the constant change in how seasons “behave”, buildings will be affected as well. After all, buildings are vulnerable to climate change, and in the future, there is a high risk in collapse for houses and structures that don’t present the needed stability to withstand the changing conditions.
For the time being, there is no need to take any measures for renovation or extensions, but you must beware of the fact that, soon enough, you will have to take some substantial actions as heavy downpours could affect areas where the weather was initially arid, winters will become wetter, and groundwater levels will rise.
- Storms constitute the biggest safety risk in vulnerable parts of buildings, and if the house doesn’t meet safety requirements, you could end up with flooding and without a roof. Even if climate change hasn’t affected the area you live in greatly yet, storms can still affect it, so for this reason at least take proper precautions and do your best to ensure proper stability and safety in the event of a violent rainfall.