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Some walls in a home are decorative or used just to divide one room from another. Other walls -- structural walls -- help to support the upper floors (if applicable), the attic and the roof. These can be made of wood, brick or steel.
Sometimes structural walls get compromised by a house shifting slightly over time. They can also be damaged by careless remodeling crews who don't recognize that a wall is a load-bearing wall. Occasionally, adding weight to a room with things like a library, grand piano or spa tub can affect the integrity of the structural walls. The home inspector will check for signs of stress in these load-bearing walls.