A homeowner in Charlotte, NC had the delivery driver hit the corner of his home three times in total. The first two times, the only damage was to the landscaping. However, the third time, the driver hit so hard that he caused structural damage to the home. The client is concerned that his home insurance policy does not cover structural damage so they contact NICS of Charlotte for help.
Dwelling coverage, also known as "dwelling insurance," is the portion of your homeowner's insurance policy that may help pay for the rebuilding or repair of your home's physical structure if it's damaged by a covered hazard. The Insurance Information Institute states that most standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage from certain hazards or perils. Coverage can differ based on state or geographical region, but typically these policies help with payments for the following events:
Although most homeowners insurance policies will cover these dangers, it's always best to check your specific policy to be sure.
Structural damage refers to any damage that weakens or harms the central foundation of your home. This can be caused by poor design or construction, to structural issues that have arisen since your house was built. Anything from the foundation and load-bearing walls, to the roof and exterior walls can be affected. Age is not always a factor in home structural damage. Whether your house is newly built or has been passed down for generations, you can start to see evidence of wear and tear at any time.
However, many people are unaware of what constitutes structural damage to their home, which often leads to a late diagnosis. In most cases, the longer the problem goes unaddressed, the more difficult it becomes to fix. If your home experiences structural damage, the house may no longer be able to stand. This means that your family and possessions are in danger.
Some of the most common signs of structural damage to a house include:
Cracks in walls may not always be a big deal, but they could also indicate more serious issues with the home settling unevenly. If cracks are diagonal (looking like stair steps), vertical, or horizontal and left untreated, they could cause foundation problems down the road. Not all cracks are easily seen from the outside; some can appear on the inside of your home as well. If you see cracks around doors or windows, for instance, this might point to a failing lintel or other structural problem.
If a door or window that used to open and close properly now has difficulty opening, it could be an early sign of subsidence. Another telltale sign is if cabinet doors start to open on their own. This usually happens when the foundation starts settling and tilting away from the wall. If you notice either of these signs, you should contact a professional to fix your home's foundation.
It can be tough to catch a leaning or bulging wall because they start very gradually. You might not notice an obvious curve in the wall until some time has passed. However, walls should always be straight. So, if you spot something off, it could be a sign of a structural issue with either the foundation or the actual wall itself.
If your roof is beginning to leak and it isn't even close to the 20-30 year mark, this could be a sign that the roof timbers are shifting. If your roof is sagging, it usually indicates that there are some architectural problems due to the removal of load-bearing walls, overloading through time, or having unsuitable sized framing timbers. If you want to avoid costly repairs to internal structural damage, it's best to fix any leaks in your roof as soon as possible.
Some causes for an uneven floor are improper construction and a settling foundation, both of which will require the expertise of a structural engineer to assess. Other possibilities for why your floor is bumpy include cracked floor joists or wood rot.
NICS of Charlotte is a full-service structural contractor in Charlotte, NC. We specialize in structural repair and evaluation and are fully insured for your protection. Our team of experts will evaluate your home to determine the cause of the damage, identify any weak spots that need repair or reinforcement, and provide solutions for restoring the strength of your home's foundation.
Our structural contractors are general contractors that not only complete electrical wiring or simple home improvement tasks but also specialize in complex undertakings such as home additions and foundation work. They have experience in load-bearing walls and building codes. We'll help you make the right decisions to ensure your home is structurally sound and safe. Contact us today to learn more about our structural repair services in Charlotte, NC. We're here to help you protect your investment and keep your family safe from any structural damage that might occur.