Structural Damage in Washington D.C. – Emma’s Story

by | Feb 18, 2022 | Blog


Structural damage to your home can start small and over time become an expensive issue if not addressed. The signs can seem innocuous but paying attention to the signs can save you in repairs.

A few of the signs inside your home that something is wrong structurally, can start with your windows and doors. Windows and doors that used to open properly and now get stuck shut can be a sign of a shifting foundation. Smells from your electrical outlets can be the result of loose wiring in the walls. This can lead to a house fire if not addressed immediately. Cabinets that just seem to open themselves can be a sign of your home settling. Bulging paint on the walls is a sign of moisture or water damage to the wall behind it. This can also quickly lead to mold if the leaking is not addressed and fixed.

It’s good to walk around the outside of your home periodically to check for structural damage too. Cracks in the bricks of your foundation are a sure sign there is a problem. A dirt tunnel from the ground to under your siding can be a sign of termites. Look for signs that the dirt around your foundation is shifting away from your house. This can be a sign of an improperly laid foundation. Seemingly uneven concrete, steps that are pulling away from the front of the house, and roof leaks are all signs to check for around the outside of your home.

Being aware and expediting the repairs on structural issues can save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run. Making time to walk around your house every season can keep you from running into the same problems Emma did with sagging floors and broken windows. This is Emma’s story.

Emma’s Story

Emma is a 45-year-old government employee in Washington D.C. Emma had lived in her house for years without any apparent issues. She had noticed over time that the floors seemed to drop a little and hallway doors didn’t seem to close like they used to anymore. Some of the windows stuck too but she assumed that it was just because the house was getting older.

One afternoon, Emma noticed that some of the lights in her house began to flicker randomly. She thought it was just the bulbs and went to replace them. The new bulbs did not fix the flickering. Thinking that perhaps the replacement bulbs had somehow Emma decided to go and get new bulbs from the store to try in her lights. The flickering continued. She got online and decided to research the causes of flickering lights in a house. Emma quickly found results for structural damages to homes. Reading the information and realizing that flickering lights were a sign of structural damage, she decided to check some other things around her home as well. Checking around further inside, she realized that what she thought was really no big deal with her doors and windows not opening right, can actually be because of the foundation settling. When She noticed small cracks in her walls above the doors and openings in the house she realized that what she had thought was just the house getting older, was turning into a serious cause for worry.

Emma then decided to check around the outside of her home for signs and found even more. She noticed while walking around the outside that there were cracks in her foundation that she hadn’t noticed. She decided to call in a structural foundation expert and an electrician to look at the issues she had found.


Emma called in a structural, foundation repair specialist and set up an inspection. The specialist came out to look at the foundation issues Emma had discovered. They looked at the doors, windows, and cracks inside. They noticed small cracks that had also formed on some of the windows that were stuck shut. Outside they looked at the cracks in the foundation. The cracks were bigger than just the normal settling of the house.

After the structural specialist, Emma called an electrician to inspect the flickering lights. The electrician found loose wiring in the walls that were causing the lighting in the house to flicker. If not addressed immediately, there could be a risk of a fire inside the walls.

Emma received the inspection reports. The structural issues were going to require repairs to the foundation, the door frames, and new windows. The electrician’s report recommended all new wiring and updated lighting fixtures as soon as possible to avoid a possible fire. All of the repairs would leave Emma displaced while most of the work was going on.

Emma’s Solution

The estimate for repairs quickly added up to several thousands of dollars that Emma didn’t have to spend. After consulting her homeowner’s insurance, she discovered that they would not cover hardly any of the repairs. This left Emma with having to come up with the money for the bulk of repairs out of pocket and a place to stay while they were going on.

Emma decided to do more research online to see what solutions she could find for her situation. While researching, Emma came across Akin Developers. She saw that Akin offers a no-cost, no-obligation offer for homes in almost any condition. Emma decided to reach out to us and see if Akin could help her. After her initial phone conversation, we set up a meeting to take a look at her home. We met with Emma and after inspecting her home, we offered a fair price for the home in its current condition, which Emma accepted. Emma’s house closed in about 15 days. She was able to look for a newer home in a different area without the worry of the impending foundation and electrical repairs.


While some foundation settling is normal, t is important that you periodically walk around and notice what seems different about your house. Seasonally check the outside for large cracks or anything that seems out of the ordinary on the foundation. Notice cracks in your walls inside and whether doors and windows start to stick more than usual. Foundation issues will only get worse over time, and become more expensive if they are not dealt with and repaired. Doing seasonal checks and keeping up on needed walls and structural issues inside your home can hopefully keep you from ending up in Emma’s situation.

Should you find yourself in Emma’s situation and need to sell your home quickly for cash-whether with structural damage, electrical issues, distress, or in perfect condition-contact us here at Akin Developers and see what we can do for you too.

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