Structural problems can be a nightmare to deal with. Fortunately, there are steps you can take during the house-building process to reduce the chances of structural issues occurring in the future. Read on to find out more:
Keep the timber dry
Timber is often used to construct a property's structural framework. This is because it is extremely robust and affordable. However, the strength and durability of this material can be negatively affected by moisture.
This is because, when saturated, timber wall frames can develop a fungus called wet rot. The fungus eats away at the wood, often to the point where it is no longer structurally sound.
Wood that has been attacked by this fungus will usually break apart when put under any pressure. As such, if the timber wall frames you use to build your house are afflicted with wet rot, you will almost certainly end up dealing with some serious structural issues in a few years' time.
This is why it is vital to keep the timber that you intend to use for the construction of your property completely dry. Do not assume that storing it indoors will be enough. If it is kept in a poorly-insulated space, such as a shed or a garage, any dampness or humidity could still result in the wood getting moist and succumbing to this fungus. If you need to keep it in this type of area, you should place a heavy-duty dehumidifier in the room to keep the moisture levels to a minimum.
Look for potential causes of subsidence
The word 'subsidence' refers to the issue of the soil beneath a property shrinking to such an extent that the foundation of the house starts to sink into the ground. This can lead to many structural problems, including warped door frames and large cracks in the walls.
It's not always possible to avoid subsidence. However, by seeking out and addressing potential sources of this problem during the construction process, you can reduce the likelihood of this issue developing in the future.
For example, large tree roots which grow near the foundation of a property often result in subsidence. This is because the roots absorb the moisture from the soil underneath the house which, in turn, results in the soil contracting and the foundation sinking.
As such, if there are large trees on the plot where you are building your house, it might be wise to consider either having them cut down or having root barriers installed in the ground, to prevent their roots from growing near the foundation of your new home.