Virginia Foundation Solutions
4.9 stars - 290 reviews
How Do You Determine the Structural Integrity of a Home?

You’ve found your dream home, perfect in every way. But beneath its charming exterior, could hidden structural issues be waiting to turn your dream into a nightmare? 

What if you’re sitting comfortably in your current home when you notice a crack in the wall or a door that no longer closes properly? Could these be signs of underlying structural problems? 

Whether buying a new property or maintaining your treasured home, ensuring its structural integrity is essential for peace of mind and long-term safety.

7 Tips to Determine the Structural Integrity of Your Home

Ensuring the structural integrity of your home involves a thorough structural integrity inspection to evaluate the strength and stability of the house foundation and overall structure. Here are some methods to check your home’s structural stability and signs that may indicate issues requiring professional intervention.

1. Visual Inspection

The first step in assessing structural integrity is a visual inspection. Look for visible signs of damage or wear, such as:

  • Cracks in the walls, floors, or foundation: Small cracks might seem harmless, but they can be a sign of underlying foundation issues that, if not addressed, could lead to severe structural problems.
  • Uneven floors or walls: These can indicate shifting or settling of the foundation, which might worsen over time, leading to more significant structural damage.
  • Doors and windows that do not open or close properly: This can be a sign of structural movement or settling, which might mean the foundation is not as stable as it should be.
  • Sagging or leaking roof: A sagging roof could indicate problems with the house’s structural support, while leaks can lead to water damage and weakened structural components.

2. Foundation Evaluation

Evaluating house foundation strength is crucial. A solid foundation is the backbone of a structurally sound home. During an inspection, check for:

  • Cracks in the foundation: These can expand over time, leading to significant foundation failure, which can be costly to repair.
  • Water pooling near the foundation: Persistent water near the foundation can erode and weaken the soil, causing it to shift or crack.
  • Shifting or settling of the foundation: Noticeable settling or movement can indicate serious underlying issues with soil stability or foundation design, necessitating immediate attention.

For more detailed assessments, consider hiring a structural repair contractor who can fully evaluate and recommend necessary repairs.

3. Checking Load-Bearing Elements

Load-bearing elements, such as beams and columns, support the weight of the house. Inspect these elements for:

  • Signs of rust or corrosion (for steel beams): Rust weakens the structural integrity of steel beams, making them less capable of supporting the house’s weight.
  • Wood rot or insect damage (for wooden beams): Wood rot or insect damage can severely compromise the strength of wooden beams, posing a risk of structural collapse if not treated.
  • Cracks or splits: Any damage to load-bearing elements can reduce their ability to support the structure, leading to potential failures.

4. Roof Inspection

A thorough roof inspection can reveal issues that affect structural integrity. Look for:

  • Sagging or uneven roof lines: These can indicate problems with the underlying support structures, which might lead to more significant structural failures if not repaired.
  • Missing or damaged shingles: This can expose the roof to water damage, weakening the structural elements over time.
  • Water stains on the ceiling inside the home: Water stains suggest leaks that could lead to rot and damage to the roof structure, compromising the home’s integrity.

5. Professional Structural Inspection

While homeowners can conduct initial checks, a professional structural integrity inspection is recommended for a detailed assessment. Structural repair contractors or qualified inspectors can use advanced tools and techniques to identify hidden issues, such as:

  • Using moisture meters to detect water damage: Undetected moisture can lead to wood rot and structural weakness.
  • Employing thermal imaging to find hidden cracks and gaps: This can reveal issues not visible to the naked eye, ensuring a thorough inspection.

6. Soil and Drainage Analysis

Soil stability and proper drainage around the house are significant in maintaining structural integrity. Poor drainage can lead to foundation problems. Ensure that the soil around your home slopes away from the foundation and that gutters and downspouts are functioning correctly to prevent:

  • Soil erosion and shifting: This can weaken the foundation, causing cracks and structural instability.
  • Water accumulation around the foundation: Persistent water can lead to basement flooding and damage to the foundation, necessitating costly repairs.

7. Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is critical to preventing structural issues. This includes:

  • Cleaning gutters and downspouts: Prevents water accumulation that can damage the foundation.
  • Inspecting and sealing cracks: Ensures small issues don’t escalate into significant problems.
  • Ensuring proper ventilation in attics and crawl spaces: Reduces moisture buildup, preventing wood rot and structural damage.
  • Regularly checking for termite or pest infestations: Early detection can prevent extensive damage to wooden structural components.

Final Words From VFS

Determining a home’s structural integrity involves multiple steps, from visual inspections to professional evaluations. Addressing issues immediately can prevent further damage and ensure the safety and stability of your home. For expert assistance, consider consulting a structural repair contractor. Visit our foundation repair in Virginia Beach page for more information.

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Quality materials and workmanship. Matt answered all our questions, even after hours, and Miguel and his crew were efficient and resolved all issues immediately. A very satisfied customer.


Professional and courteous at all time. Crew was on site for 4 days in terrible weather and never missed a beat. Kept us informed, did what they planned and kept the areas near and clean. A really great crew.

Hal Luebke

VFS crew did a wonderful job. They worked effectively together to complete our project. They used care in making sure our lawn was not ruined and they cleaned up their work area when completed.

Mary Routten

Work was completed as promised. Purple crew was prompt, professional, and considerate of our home. Zero complaints

S House

I highly recommend this company. They had the best price, quality work and it was completed on time, which is rare these days. It’s not easy so I commend the crew on their hard work!

Donald Marx

Everything looks GREAT and the finished crawlspace was better than we expected. The RED crew did a great job and left the entire worksite cleaner than it was when they arrived.

Mike Shaffer

We recently used VFS to install an interior french drain and sump pump in our finished lower level. The "purple crew" was assigned to our job and they were fabulous!!! They were timely, neat, respectful and hardworking. We are very happy with the job they did.

Howard Bloom

The yellow crew (Willy, Marco, Oscar, and Patrick) were VERY professional and hard working. They kept us informed every step of the way. The clean up at end of the workday was exceptional. The best part is my foundation is fixed and our crawlspace is the cleanest crawlspace I have ever seen.

Scott Withdrew

The workers were very professional, experienced and knowledgeable. They left the crawlspace with reinforced support beams. A supervisor checked their work in the afternoon.

Rick Ruscak

VFS did a great job on our house’s foundation in double quick time and when they left our yard was cleaner and tidier than it was when they came! Thank you all. The masonry team also did a wonderful job. The damaged brickwork looks as good as new. Well done!

Alan Stephenson

Newport News


We loved working with this company. All of the workers were friendly and helpful. They were very particular about their work and showed professionalism and organization. They did a great job; we are so thankful for their help.

Daphne Jonas



Professional and kind staff, started on time, finished on time, good clean up, and next best bid was 40% higher using same materials. Highly recommend!

Ron Bianchi



VFS was on time, clean, polite and thorough with good workmanship.

Lois Horton

Newport News


Great customer service. Fantastic work under the house along with follow through to ensure everything was complete. Our Moisture and Termite inspector said it was the best "under house" inspection he'd done!

Larry Bianchi

Virginia Beach