When it comes to rental properties, one of the most important things to keep in mind is addressing any damage to the structure or foundation as soon as possible. When left unchecked, any damage can quickly worsen. This causes the property to become more dangerous for tenants to inhabit and more expensive for landlords to address.
Fortunately, such damage often occurs gradually. Before anything severe occurs, there are often several key signs that indicate a problem that anyone can notice. Whether you’re a new or experienced rental property owner, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with these warning signs so you can take action to protect your investment.
5 Key Signs of Structural Damage to a Rental Property
There are many warning signs out there that can indicate a structural problem with your rental property, but a few are more common than others. These can also hint at the likelihood that your property is suffering from damage that must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid a worst-case scenario.
Let’s discuss these signs in more detail below.
1. Cracks in Walls & Ceilings
Cracks in walls and ceilings can be a natural part of the building’s settling process, but any new or severe cracks you notice should be investigated by a professional as soon as possible.
Typically, cracks as wide as 5mm and wider are symptoms of a much more serious problem. These cracks can be caused by anything from problems with your home’s foundation to improper drywall installation, moisture intrusion, plumbing leaks, and other structural problems that should be immediately addressed.
2. Sunken Basement or Garage Floors
Soil erosion beneath your basement or garage can cause the concrete floor of your rental property to sink. This problem can accelerate when a lot of moisture is introduced into the soil, particularly from a recent storm or snowmelt.
You can identify a sunken basement or garage floor when it doesn’t appear level with adjacent surfaces. This is a problem you should address quickly because misaligned slabs can crack and buckle over time.
3. Bowing Basement Walls
Basement walls can bow inward when the surrounding soil absorbs moisture, expands, and begins to push against the walls. This phenomenon is known as hydrostatic pressure, and it’s a problem that you must address as soon as possible.
Bulging basement walls can compromise the stability of your rental property’s entire structure, which can have disastrous consequences if not remediated without delay.
4. Sticking Doors or Windows
A fairly common sign that your property is under new and unusual stress is when windows or doors seem to stick or not move as freely as they once did. This problem can have multiple causes, from the frame absorbing too much moisture to problems with the frame of your entire structure and even issues with its foundation.
If you notice your windows and/or doors sticking in an unusual way, contact a professional who can help you assess the situation and identify the right solution.
5. Uneven or Sagging Floors
If the floors throughout your home seem uneven or sagging, this can be a sign of multiple potential problems. From wood rot caused by water intrusion to sinking supports due to soil settlement, this is another problem you should waste no time addressing to avoid additional costs.
We Can Help You Restore Your Property
At United Structural Systems, we understand how daunting it can be to deal with a rental property with a damaged structure or foundation. We are here to provide peace of mind when it comes to finding the repairs you need to revitalize your property.
Our experienced team can work with you to thoroughly assess the damage, develop a plan of action, and then execute it. Our solutions are tailored to meet both the structural and budget requirements of our clients.
Learn more about how United Structural Systems can help by contacting us online.