How to identify load bearing walls
Ways to Identify the Load Bearing walls :
You may require to posses some keen observational skills to identify load bearing walls. Even when you want to make some home alterations, you must be able to identify the walls that support structural loads. In case you do not provide any temporary support to these load bearing walls, you might possibly end up in a disastrous situation while altering or removing them during re-structuring process.
Steps to Identify Load Bearing Walls
You can go into your home basement and locate support girders, posts, or beams that are running at the basement length. Any visible walls above the structures are likely to be load bearing. Even walls that are running perpendicular to the floor joists directions are load bearing. In case you have a home basement you can start your search at the concrete pad itself.
You can take a professional opinion from a building inspector or a contractor who will be able to easily locate wall load bearings before you make any attempt for restructuring or remodeling of your house.
You will find many Structural engineers both online and offline who are readily available to offer your timely advice. You can rather do some pre-work of removing plaster or drywall or plaster from the walls before your engineer visits your home for an inspection.
You can locate walls load bearing underneath your house by carefully examining the interiors. Walls that are seated on the foundation walls normally tend to support the roof weight and are thus identified as load-bearing walls.
The exterior walls resting over the foundation can also be considered as load-bearing. You can also locate walls that sit at the centre of your home on the first or second floor of your house. These walls lay parallel over the center basement beam and can thus be identified as load-bearing walls.
You must also spare time to view the plans of the original building to get a clear idea on walls that are load bearing. While buying a new home you can also get in touch with the contractor and gain idea from him about which walls are carrying load.
You can locate foundations, girders and concrete footers at your basement. If you can locate any wall or beam above on the very next floor of your house, you can easily consider it as a beam or wall load bearing.
You can also search for interior walls running perpendicular to the rafters. These are normally considered as walls that bear loads. Your outside home walls are also considered as load bearing walls as they tend to support your home roof strongly. Thus, you may need to give these walls an additional support especially at the time of altering or re-structuring your home.
You can also check in for areas that are below and above the walls. In case a wall has a wall below or a support beam, it is probable to be a load bearing wall.
In case you are contemplating for a home renovation, alteration or a remodeling that requires removal of walls; you might have to possible check in for indicators that certain walls are load bearing.
The best option would be to call a structural engineer for an inspection rather then removing or altering any walls on your own and ultimately leading to disastrous situations.
You can also easily identify load bearing walls by understanding the entire concept of wall construction. Usually all the Load-bearing walls are constructed using blocks and bricks. Any partition or stud wall irrespective of being plasterboard, plaster or lath is rarely found to be load-bearing. However, there are some stud walls which add on to the struts stability even when they do not hold up anything in real.
Need to identify load bearing walls:
No doubts every load bearing wall tend to offer a building structural integrity. It equally distributes and carries weight from the top floors and roof to the very foundation of your house.
Any damage to the walls that are load bearing can cause your house flooring to sag or crack. This can even lead to the collapse of the entire wall structure.
Load-bearing walls generally tend to hold up your house strongly. In case of a slightest alteration, the structure of these load bearing walls can get damaged and cause severe problems. Thus, it becomes very important to identify the load bearing wall before you are planning to do any alteration, modification or remodeling of your home.