How to find out the structural damage to the property?

“There could be things happening to the structure of your property that could impact you financially and could harm your family’s safety and well-being.”

Noticed increasing gap between floor and the wall of your property?

Drywall cracks coming around windows, doors, or ceiling?

These indicate a serious problem to the structure of your property that requires immediate attention.

Whether you’re planning to buy any property (residential or commercial) or already residing in there, keeping a check on the structural damage will save your hefty repair bills and potential health hazards as well.

What is structural damage? What are its causes and how to spot any structural damage to the property before it’s too late?

Keep reading to know answers to these questions popping in your mind. Lets’ Begin.

Structural Damage and it’s Reasons

Any damage to the property pertaining to walls, roof, load-bearing walls, and foundation that harms/impacts its structural integrity and distresses it, is known as structural damage.

Whatever be the types of structural damage, have a look at some common reasons/causes behind this vulnerable damage.

  • Poor construction
  • Poor planning
  • Natural disaster
  • Ground movements /Soil Shifting
  • Climate/weather conditions
  • Poor Workmanship
  • Material defects

Knowing the signs enable you keep a watch over potential problems occurring in the property early.

How to spot signs of structural damage to a property?

Just look around and you’ll be able to spot some visible signs of structural damage, they may be aesthetic or otherwise.

Let’s begin how to find structural damage to property by looking its exterior.

Exterior Structural Damage Signs

1. Cracked/Leaning Chimney

Cracked/Leaning Chimney

Chimney is generally the heaviest thing of the property where most of the weight is concentrated over a small space.

Leaning Chimney or cracks in its bricks are a sign of structural damage which is either due to poor foundation or unstable soil.


While there are many DIY options available if the defect is minor but repairing by yourself may put you in a risk of hurting yourself majorly.

You may look out for property inspectors or go for snagging inspection (in case of new properties) for the possible survey and solutions to issues.

2. Cracked/Chipped concrete

Cracked/Chipped concrete

While walking out from your driveway you may notice cracking or chipping of concrete slabs or sometimes sinking as well.

There could be possible many reasons such as bowing under their own weight, silting of soil, poor construction, or hydro pressure.

If the same is happening inside your house as well, this could indicate a possible structural damage that requires your immediate attention.


You can easily fill these cracks of your own. But still, if the problem persists, it may require professional resolution.

3. Cracked Bricks & stonework

Cracked Bricks & stonework

If you’ve noticed vertical, diagonal, or horizontal brick cracks; or vertical cracks on your staircase, take it as a red flag.

This may mean home is settling more on one side which is exerting force resulting in cracks/gaps.


Small aesthetic issues can easily be repaired of your own. But for major issues it is always advisable to approach a construction company near you for an effective solution.

4. Walls separating from the house

These cracks are easily visible as a single wall is getting spilt into two walls with a huge gap between them. It generally happens on the exterior of property.


Wall splitting the property is a serious issue that cannot be repaired by normal measures and require professional approach to save the structure.

5. Foundation settlement & sinking

This is very easy to notice. If you find your property sinked a bit or titled and not straight, it could be a result of a damaged foundation.

Poor pre-construction works, soil quality and planning are a few reasons that result in sinking and settled foundation of property.


Depending on the condition of your property, your structural engineer may suggest using Helical Piers, Push Piers, and Slab Piers to correct it.

6. Porch moving away from home

Your front porch, stairs or patio moving away from your property? Just don’t neglect, assuming it be an aesthetic issue.

This could be one of the major underlying reasons for your home settling in one side which can possibly turn your property vulnerable to collapse in future, if left untreated.


Immediately call a survey inspector or structural engineer from a reputed construction company for inspecting your property and finding a perfect solution for the same.

Interior Structural Damage Signs

1. Drywall cracks

Drywall cracks

Not all cracks can be a sign of structural damage.

But if you are noticing random wall cracks appearing outside and inside of your property, you should consult your construction company to rule out any risk of structural damage.


If it’s a normal crack or a hairline crack that has nothing linked with structural damage, you can easily repair it by filling it using wall materials.

But, if the things are serious and are linked with foundation issues, then consulting with a construction engineer is a must.

2. Drywall nail pops

Noticing some small circular bulges or circular small cracks in your wall, this could be a potential sign of drywall nail pops that need immediate repairs.

It happens when nails installed during construction of the property bulge out due to poor construction or weak foundation.


You can easily fix them using paint and spackling compound. But, should consult a professional in case problem occurs over and over again.

3. Floor & wall gaps/ Sagging floors

If you can see a clear gap between the wall and the floor, this could be a severe issue that needs urgent addressal.

Be it a hairline gap that makes you see the light from beneath or a deeper gap, indicates warping which means one side of the property is sinking fast and the other side does not.


Beams, Slab piers or crawl space support system (jack) are installed to stop the further sagging of the floors and offer it strength.

4. Damp Basement

A damp basement could be an issue of waterproofing that may lead to foundation failure if left undetected.

Don’t ignore if your basement smells bad, has bad odour, signs of water damage, warping floors, rising water/electricity bills. This could be a potential sign for a major structural damage.


Patchup any leaks and seal the basement walls by using masonary crack fillers or hydraulic cement (for bigger gaps) or other popular patching compounds.

Also, connect with a structural inspector who can conduct a survery to find out the exact reason behind the dampness.

5. Struck windows and doors

If your windows/doors are struck or swing open when shut, could be a possible indicator of structural damage.

This mainly happens when the floor sinks as the soil beneath no longer can support the foundation of your property.


You can repair it yourself, but the solution would be temporary and may last a few years only.

6. Uneven floors

Just like walls, floors can also get impacted by uneven settling of property. The main sign is the titling of floor in one direction which can be very clearly seen.

If left untreated it may lead to wall cracks over time, leaving the property vulnerable to collapse.


If you have a slanting wooden or concrete subfloor, you may go for many floor patching products available in the market.

But, it is advisable to connect to a professional before repairing it yourself.

7. Gaps in window/doors frames

Noticing gaps between doors/windows frames, this could be an indication that your home has started to experience warping.

The reason could be that you construction company might not have done the preparation work properly which resulted in poor foundation.


Gaps between window and doorframes are not only aesthetically unappealing but also are a safety concern.

If there is little damage, you can replace your doorframes and windowsills. But if the damage is large, then prefer availing professional assistance.

8. Bowed Walls

Bowed balls are quite difficult to notice early as they become prominent over a period. Here the walls will start to curve inwards especially in the basement area.

The water drained into the ground and absorbed by the soil creates hydrostatic pressure that makes the basement walls bowed or titled.


As bowed walls are related to foundation of the property, using retaining walls, kits or branches may not help. You may need professional assistance.

Some Common Repair Solutions

It is recommended to approach a trusted construction company for your project as pre-construction analysis and checks play a huge role in deciding the longevity of your home.

But don’t worry! Technology has advanced and there are many repair solutions available today. Have a look at some commonly asked solutions for structural damage.

  • Carbon Fiber Basement wall repair
  • Foundation waterproofing
  • Helical piers
  • Crawl space support system using jack
  • Wall repair system using I-beams
  • Push Piers
  • Slab Piers
  • Wall Anchors
  • Reinforcers

Bottom Line

Your property is your biggest asset and handing over your project to cowboy builders may put your property in danger for structural damage and further put your money and fame on stake.

A right construction company has a team comprising of expert structural engineers, certified architects, 3D experts and experienced workmen which ensures stringent checks, solid foundations, and strong structure.

Don’t forget to explore Google for the best construction company near me, before you are starting a new project, undergoing home extension, loft conversion or home renovation.

Complaints coming from your sub-contractor? It’s time to switch to TEL Constructions – the leading and most trusted construction partner for all your residential and commercial needs. Call Now.

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