Identifying Structural Problems

A well maintained home can last a century and beyond, but you’ll need to identify these problems before they become a major issue for your home and your safety. So we’ve written up a guide for identifying some early signs of home wear and tear that should be looked into before it gets to big.

Wet & Dry Rot

Rot is a major structural issue, affecting the timber frame of a home and severely affecting a roof. Dry rot is caused by the fungus serpula lacrymans and can spread throughout much of the home, it’s not common but can be a very serious problem. You can usually see dry rot in the form of the fungus spores growing across the woods surface. Wet rot is caused by the beams becoming wet, weakening and decaying the wood. This tends to remain localised to the area of the damp, and the source of the wetness should be located and treat alongside the wet rot itself to avoid it happening again. Both should be treat by a specialist builder.

Cracks

Cracks are usually harmless and merely a cosmetic sign of the house “breathing”, expanding and shifting as the seasons pass. These cracks can be plastered or cemented over with little to worry about. However if these cracks get noticeable larger, or continue to re-appear, then it could be the sign of a much wider structural problem such as rotting masonry or timbers, and should be inspected by a specialist. Even if it turns out to just be a result of changing temperatures it’s better to have the peace of mind.

Damp
Damp is a frequent for home owners in the UK, with a large amount of rain to deal with an improperly sealed home can suffer quite heavily with damp. Damp itself is not a major problem, but the moist environment provides excellent breeding grounds for moulds and spores that can cause health issues for you and your family. Damp can also lead to rotting timber and framework, which can be serious concerns for the safety of the home. Damp can be caused by bad ventilation of a home, a leaky pipe or gutter, or rising damp through bad seal. Once the root cause is identified and repaired the damp must be dealt with too, be it a replacement of just wallpaper, or the underlying plaster and timber.

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