Interior Signs of Structural Movement / Distress in Residential Construction.

In an earlier post, we looked at some exterior signs of structural distress on a house inspected by my company, Magpie Property Inspections in Aurora, Colorado. That home had a brick exterior. This home, located in Denver Colorado, was also inspected by Magpie Property Inspections. It also shows clear evidence of  structural distress to exterior lap siding. The foundation walls and slab under an addition show evidence of significant cracking and movement as pictured below.

I thought this inspection provided some good examples of what type interior cracking is found when there is significant structural distress or movement in a structure which needs to be evaluated and repaired by qualified professionals. Almost every home has some hairline cracking to the drywall or plaster in places, particularly near window and door openings. These occur from the expected settlement and minor movement of the home and seasonal temperature variations. You have likely seen that type of cracking in your home.

The examples pictured below, however,  indicate that the structure has moved or settled more than what is commonly expected. The drywall surfaces have sheared and separated. Some cracks are 1/8 inch in width with multiple tears in close proximity. Cracking like this is indicative of likely structural damage which should be addressed by a qualified contractor under the direction of a structural engineer.  If you see this kind of damage in your home, or a home you are interested in, we strongly recommend you have it fully checked out.