Most Common Signs Of Structural Damage In Your Home

Being able to spot the signs of structural damage in your home is not always easy. After all, you’re not a trained professional and some signs are either very small or invisible to the naked eye. That’s why you should invest in a periodic scan including magnetic particle testing. You should also get this done if you think you’ve seen signs of structural damage. It will help you to confirm what you are dealing with. 

Most Common Signs Of Structural Damage In Your Home
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Naturally, if you spot signs of structural damage you’ll want to take action quickly, the longer you leave it the worst the damage will get until ultimately the house may fall down. It is also worth contacting your insurer although structural damage isn’t always covered. 

Wall Cracks

This is probably the best known and certainly one of the most obvious signs your home has an issue. However, don’t panic just yet if you see a crack. Every home has a few, many of which appear as the property settles. 

Horizontal cracks are actually the most concerning as this suggests the house is dropping at one end. The best thing to do with a crack is to identify how long it is and how wide it is. Then, monitor t to see if it changes. If it changes quickly you need to be concerned about it. 

Soil Shrinkage

Soil does move throughout the year as it suffers from expansion and shrinkage with the weather, in the same way, that many materials do.

However, if you notice there is a significant gap between the house and the soil then you have an issue with your foundation. It is likely that it wasn’t laid properly and a gap has appeared, effectively sucking the soil into it. 

Chimney Cracks

When you notice a crack going up your chimney you could simply be looking at a settlement crack. But if it grows or widens then the house is still moving and your chimney is at risk of falling. 

You’ll want to get professional help to shore it up and assess the level of damage.

Sagging Roof

A sagging roof can simply tell you the roof is old and needs replacing. It’s a big job but a relatively straightforward one for anyone that knows what they are doing. However, if the roof isn’t that old it means that the timber beneath it is moving, which is likely to be an issue of subsidence. The supporting walls may also have shifted or someone may have removed a load-bearing wall by accident. 

It can also be a sign that you have a serious termite problem.


Older houses often suffer from rising damp as they don’t have a damp course between them and the floor. This allows moisture in the ground to rise through the floorboards and up the walls. It can cause a variety of issues including wet rot and mould, with the associated health issues.

The bottom line is simple. Keep a regular eye on your home and, if you see anything changing, get it checked out. The sooner you resolve issues the better.