How safe is your home? The doors and windows may be secured and you may have an alarm system being monitored by a security company, but is there another threat you have not considered? While your home may be well-protected from intruders, is it possible that the property structure could be under threat? When you move into a home, you have every expectation that it will be solidly built and stable. You don't want the floor to give way as you walk across it or to wake up one morning and find that a hole has appeared in your driveway. However, situations can change. There could be many reasons that your home is no longer as structurally sound as you once thought, and you need to call a structural engineer.
How can you spot a structural problem?
Most indications of a problem will start with something small. You might find that it becomes difficult to open or close a window in your property. Perhaps, you will notice that the internal doors no longer fit into their frames as well as they once did. More visibly, there might be jagged cracks starting to adorn the walls or ceilings of your home. If you notice any of these things, it is worth speaking to a structural engineer to see if there is a structural issue to address.
Are you buying somewhere new?
Ideally, you will want to identify any structural problems before buying a home, and a structural engineer can help you do that. Buying a property that proves to be unsafe could be a costly mistake. By calling a structural engineer before you agree to the purchase, they can examine the property. They look at any obvious faults and identify potential problems that may have escaped from the notice of others. Based on their report, you can decide whether you should continue with the purchase, look elsewhere, or perhaps agree on a reduction in the asking price.
Will you cause structural problems?
While structural problems can sometimes occur without much warning, other times, the work you are carrying out on the property could lead to structural issues. Are you thinking about adding weight to your home? Perhaps, you want to fit solar panels on the roof or even an additional storey on the building. How sure are you that the house structure can support the additional weight? It is best to arrange for a structural engineer to report on your plans before you continue. If you make a mistake, the consequences could be expensive or even deadly.