Property Structural Issues Explained

Learn more about what structural issues mean for your property and what survey you need to inspect any issues.

Structural issues are expensive to fix and could potentially lead to your property being unsafe if not addressed. Whether you’re selling or purchasing a property and you suspect that there may be any kind of issues with the properties structure, it’s important that you consult one of our RICS-qualified professionals for a Structural Survey.

What are structural issues?

Structural issues are any type of construction problems that arise from lack of stability or unwanted movements. This can be a result of weak or poor quality design, deficient building work, faulty or substandard materials and more, such as a failing drainage system. Identifying structural issues can be difficult, which is why you’ll need the help of a RICS-qualified chartered surveyor to conduct building surveys. Here, one of our professional surveyors will carry out an in-depth inspection of the property to identify any problems, and provide guidance on how to fix the issue. 

It’s important to note that there is a key difference between the surveys conducted by our RICS-qualified team, and a Structural Engineer. A Structural Engineer will only examine the structure of a property, while our surveyors will provide you with a detailed report that explains any property defects, details any repairs that require attention and help you contact a highly reputable company to fix any problems. 

What are the signs of structural issues?

The most obvious signs of structural problems in your property are deep cracks appearing due to movements and subsidence. Your surveyor will investigate whether this is a relatively new crack, such as a hairline crack, or an older long-standing crack. There are many different factors that cause cracks in your property, such as ineffective drainage that erodes the vital materials that support your properties structure, or other, more serious causes. For example, if your house is located on an old mine shaft, a deep crack could be a sign of foundation movements, which can have detrimental impact on your property.  

Other signs of issues to your properties structure include:

  • Uneven flooring
  • Leaning/wonky walls 
  • Walls that bulge 
  • Windows and doors that stick when opening/closing 
  • Uneven roof (that potentially leaks) 

A toy house with a magnifying glass and floor plans

How is structural damage caused?

There are many potential reasons why structural damage exists. The most common problems stem from poor design, lack of maintenance (for older properties), negligent construction work or ground movement. In some cases, there may even be natural causes for structural damage to a property, including storms, flooding, earthquakes or high winds that all contribute towards the unwanted movement of a property. 

To keep your property protected from structural damage, it’s important to know the signs and act as fast as possible. The sooner the issues are resolved, it’s likely that the less costly it will be. This is especially true if you recognise the signs of damage early on. 

How Crest Chartered Surveyors can help

If you’re based in London or the surrounding counties and you’re concerned about structural issues in a property that you’re buying or selling, then you will need the help of one of our trained professionals to inspect the property. With a detailed survey from a RICS-qualified Chartered Surveyor, you’ll be provided with all the information you need to proceed with your sale in confidence. 

Did you know that even some of the most basic structural issues are expensive to fix? If you’re planning on selling your property, any structural issues may cause delays or even a lack of a sale if unidentified with no resolution or guidance on how to fix these issues. On the other hand, if you’re purchasing a property, it’s important to have the peace of mind that you’re not going to be faced with the unwanted burden of additional costs. That’s why the team at Crest is ready to help.