Unexpected Problems That Can Compromise the Structure of Your Home

Updated for 2023
Cracked wall

As a homeowner, you are likely always on the lookout for ways to improve your home’s structure. However, some unexpected problems can compromise the stability of your home’s foundation and framing.

Here are a few of those problem areas to watch out for:

Overwatering Your Lawn

Overwatering your lawn can have several negative consequences. For one, it can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can damage the material of your home or the ground that it stands on.

Additionally, overwatering can leach nutrients from the soil, making it more difficult for your grass to grow while simultaneously promoting the growth of weeds.

To avoid these negative consequences, it is important to water your lawn only when necessary. Check the weather forecast before watering to see if rain is in the forecast. If so, you can skip a day or two of watering. You should also only water early in the day so the grass has time to dry before nightfall.

If all else fails, check the soil moisture level before watering to ensure that the ground is dry and in need of water.


Poor Topsoil

Topsoil is an important component of a home’s structure. It helps to protect the foundation and provides support for the house. Poor topsoil can cause problems with a home’s structure.

Several things can cause poor topsoil, including:

  • Erosion: Erosion occurs when water washes away the topsoil. This can happen due to heavy rains or flooding.
  • Poor drainage: If the topsoil does not drain properly, it can become saturated and compacted. This can happen if there is a lot of clay in the soil.
  • Compaction: Compaction occurs when the soil is packed down too tightly. This can happen due to heavy traffic or construction activity.

There are several things you can do to improve the topsoil on your property, like:

  • Improve drainage: You can improve drainage by installing French drains, catch basins, and other drainage systems.
  • Add organic matter: You can improve the quality of the topsoil by adding organic matter, such as compost, mulch, straw, or manure.
  • Amend the soil: You can amend the soil with sand, perlite, or vermiculite to improve its structure.
  • Reseed the area: You can improve the topsoil by reseeding the area with grass seed or other plants.

By improving the soil, you can ensure that your home has a strong foundation.

Climate Change

Climate change is having a major impact on our planet, and our homes are not exempt from its effects. As the climate continues to warm, we can expect changes in temperature and weather patterns that could put our homes at risk.

For example, rising temperatures can cause expansion and contraction of materials like wood and metal, which can lead to cracks and other damage. In addition, as climate change worsens, extreme weather events like hurricanes and floods are expected to rise as well, causing serious damage to homes.

To prevent climate change-related damage from occurring, here are some things you can do:

  • Check your home’s insurance policy to make sure it covers climate-related damages.
  • Make sure your home is in good repair and up to code. This will help it withstand damage from severe weather events.
  • Clear out gutters and drains regularly to prevent flooding.
  • Inspect your foundation regularly for cracks or other damage.
  • Keep an emergency kit on hand in case you have to evacuate your home due to a natural disaster.

Unbalanced Structure

A structure is only as strong as its weakest point. If the load on a structure is not evenly distributed, the entire structure can become unbalanced and collapse.

There are a few ways to prevent a home’s structure from becoming unbalanced, like:

  • Ensure the home is properly anchored to its foundation.
  • Ensure that the roof is evenly distributed. If the roof has more weight on one side than the other, it can cause the entire structure to become unbalanced and collapse.
  • Have your home’s structure inspected by a qualified professional. A qualified professional can assess the situation to determine if the structure is unstable and recommend ways to prevent it

By taking measures to prevent a home’s structure from becoming unbalanced, you can help to keep your family safe.

Swimming Pools

If you are a homeowner with a swimming pool, it is important to know the potential damage your pool could cause to your home or the ground it stands on. One of the most common problems associated with swimming pools is water seepage. If your pool is not properly sealed, water can leak out and cause damage to your home’s foundation or the ground around your pool.

Another common problem is pool draining failure. If your pool’s drain system fails, the weight of the water in the pool can cause the entire pool to collapse. This can cause serious damage to your home and put you and your family at risk of injury.

To avoid these problems, you should have your pool installed by a professional. Ensure the company you hire uses high-quality materials and follows all local building codes.

Nesting Species

There are a variety of animals that can cause damage to homes by nesting in them. They can include:

Nesting animals can create several problems for homeowners, including structural damage, the contamination of insulation and ductwork, and the spread of disease.

The best way to prevent nesting animals from damaging your home is to ensure they cannot get inside in the first place. This means sealing up any cracks or openings they could use to gain access. You should also remove any potential nesting sites, such as piles of leaves or debris, from around your home.

If you do find a nest in your home, call a professional to remove it to prevent further damage from occurring.


Burrowing Species

Some animals are known to burrow into the ground to create their nests, which can cause damage to the foundations of structures. In some cases, the burrowing may cause cracks in the foundation.

These animals include:

Similar to nesting species, it is important to take preventative measures around your home, such as:

  • Ensure there is no food or water available for the animals near your home. Without a food source, they’ll most likely find a different habitat.
  • Seal any openings or cracks that animals could use to enter your home.
  • Consult with a pest control professional to find the best solution for your specific situation.

If you already have animals burrowing near your foundation, there are a few things you can do to remove them:

  • Trap the animals and relocate them to a different area.
  • Fill in any animal burrows you find with soil or concrete.
  • Consult with a pest control professional to find the best solution for your specific situation.

Curious Species

Beyond nesting and burrowing species, there are also additional animals that could cause damage by pecking and chewing away at your home, and hoarding materials. To prevent these animals from causing damage, it is important to take steps to keep them out of your home in the first place. If they do find their way inside, it is important to remove them quickly and safely. Otherwise, they could cause serious damage to your home. Here are some common animals that are notorious for causing damage:

  • Woodpeckers — These birds use their powerful beaks to drill holes into wood, which can weaken the structure of a home. To prevent woodpeckers from causing damage, remove potential nesting sites, such as dead trees or large branches.
  • Squirrels —These creatures gnaw on wood and wires, which can create fire hazards. They also dig frequently, which could cause damage to your home’s foundation over time. To prevent squirrels from damaging your home, keep them out in the first place by sealing up any holes or cracks that they could use to get inside.
  • Chipmunks — Their curious nature leads them to investigate everything they come across, including chewing on wiring and insulation. To prevent chipmunks from damaging your home, seal up any cracks or holes they could use to get inside.

By taking these steps, you can help keep your home’s structure in good condition and avoid costly repairs.

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