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Are Gaps Around the Windows Signs of Foundation Problems?

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Gaps around your doors and windows may indicate foundation settlement or failure. Homeowners may ignore this problem, blaming it on humidity. However, this issue could be more severe, and your deteriorating foundation could be blamed. If you have gaps around your doors and windows, you must look around your home to see any other signs that you may have a foundation problem.

While many issues can cause gaps around windows and doors, the two most frequent foundation-related causes are settlement and crawl space support that has settled, shifted, or worsened.

Detecting Issues with Gaps Around Windows and Doors

Any problem with your home can be upsetting, but it can be especially for your foundation. Foundation issues such as sticking windows and doors or gaps around them are the most visible and inconvenient.

Cracks along window and door openings can signify a much larger foundation settlement problem. If ignored, the foundation problem that caused these cracks may worsen, potentially causing more severe damage to your home.

Main Causes of Window and Door Gaps

SETTLING FOUNDATIONS

Foundation settlement is never uniform due to varying characteristics of the soil. Sections of a foundation or slab can crack and shift due to uneven settlement, while other portions remain original.

While foundations and slabs crack because of soil settlement, the wood framing above is more likely to bend or twist. As a result, window openings are skewed, as are doors and floors, resulting in gaps around the doors and windows.

Because drywall firmly attached to wood framing is less flexible, it is more prone to cracking especially at window and door edges. A firm foundation is more likely to have cracks in the upper masonry surfaces of a house with a brick or stone exterior due to a lack of flexibility.

Solution

We resolve foundation settlement issues at HydroHelp911 by installing foundation piers in strategic locations. The piers are installed in the foundation with steel brackets and extend to stable, load-bearing soil. This repair work precludes further settlement and might enable the foundation to be jacked back into place.

Cracks in the wall will close once the foundation is raised again. Doors, locks, and windows may reopen, and further settlement damage will be halted.

To address foundation settlement issues such as gaps around doors and windows, we offers two types of foundation piers: push piers and helical piers.

SUPPORT FOR SINKING CRAWL SPACES

Crawl spaces are frequently poorly constructed, with insufficient support columns, decaying floor joists and rafters, and sagging supports caused by weak supporting soils.

As the crawl space structure settles, the floor it supports, resulting in uneven surfaces underfoot. And as the floor sinks, the interior walls attached to it will fall with it.

The walls pull apart as they plunge, leaving cracks in your interior walls. As the house warps, doors inside will jam and become difficult to open or close.

Solution

Structural repair experts use crawl space support jacks to repair structural issues that address gaps around windows. First, we excavate a hole for each support and lay a foundation with engineered fill. After this, a pre-cast concrete base is installed on the filling, and the support jack is mounted.

Our crawl space supports, once installed, will prevent your floor from sinking and sagging. These adjustable jacks can also be altered to stabilize your floors and walls.

Crawl space jack systems are easy to install and generally take about a day to complete. As a result, they outperform other repairs such as concrete columns, shimming, and light-duty jack posts.

When to Know if the Gaps Around your Windows are a Concern

MAKE SURE THE WINDOWS AREN'T PAINTED SHUT

If you have recently shifted into an older home, foundation issues are common, but so are painted-close windows. Examine the window sash’s perimeter to see if the joint between two moving parts has been painted over. If this is the scenario, you may be able to solve the problem by sliding a putty knife along the joint and then prying the window open.

EVALUATE FOR MOISTURE AND HUMIDITY ISSUES

Moisture and humidity issues are another reason windows may stick. This is especially important if you have wooden window frames, which swell the most in wet weather. This could be the only issue if you notice that the windows stick more in damp weather. You could also have a moisture issue, such as a slab leak.

According to foundation repair experts, other moisture issues that can cause a window to stick include roof leaks, siding leaks, and simply having too much humidity inside your household.

Which could be due to inappropriate basement waterproofing. Mold, rot, blistering paint, as well, as other signs of excess moisture around your windows can also be caused by roof or siding leaks.

EVALUATE THE WINDOWS AND DOORS FOR CRACKS

Sticking windows and doors can indicate that the window and door frames have become slightly cockeyed in some cases. The misalignment may not be noticeable with the bare eyes, but it is significant enough that the well-framed windows and doors no longer fit properly. Generally, this is due to the house’s foundation no longer being flat.

This is likely not a sign of foundation problems if you only have one sticking window, as noted by structural repair professionals. However, if multiple windows and doors are sticking, you should start paying attention. Look for gaps or hairline cracks around windows and doors, as well as anywhere else on the walls. These signs could indicate that windows and doors are showing foundation issues.

EXAMINE YOUR FOUNDATION

You may notice apparent foundation issues, such as a large tree expanding right beside your house or big cracks opening up in the foundation wall. Contact a foundation repair company right away if you notice any of these issues.

Schedule an inspection if you suspect a foundation problem that isn’t visible to the naked eye. Some foundation issues, such as gradual settling, can cause unevenness and other matters without causing apparent symptoms. Because the leak is hidden beneath your concrete slab, a slab leak, for example, can destabilize your foundation while remaining invisible.

Your foundation inspection will reveal that you have no foundation issues in the best situation.

This Is Why Gutters Are Important To Your Foundation!

FAQs

WHAT CAUSES WINDOW GAPS?

Stress on the foundation can cause cracks or cause the concrete slab to slope, putting strain on the door and window framing. Water is frequently the source of such issues. When the soil below is too wet, it expands outwards then shrinks as it dries. Water can accumulate in the soil surrounding the foundation and cause serious problems, indicating a lack of proper drainage.

You must keep your gutters and downspouts clean so that excess water can flow away from the perimeter of your house and into your yard. This prevents water from pooling beneath the foundation. The drain can become clogged, causing water to accumulate in the soil, preventing water from draining away from the house and adding pressure to the foundation. If you suspect you have a clogged drain, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so that we can assess and repair the foundation problem. If you cannot identify the primary source of the problem, it is strongly advised that you hire a professional before your home’s foundation is further harmed.

WHAT STEPS CAN BE TAKEN TO REPAIR SINKING FOUNDATIONS?

Foundation sinking, also known as foundation settling, can be caused by various factors.

The failure of one or more posts is the most common issue with this type of foundation.

This damage can occur if the soil beneath the foundation lacks sufficient bearing capacity or drainage issues have washed away some of the ground beneath the foundation.

There are two standard repair methods. The first step entails pumping a thick liquid mortar into the void beneath the foundation to fill the space and prevent further sinking.

This is known as mud jacking or slab jacking.

When a foundation sinks due to the insufficient bearing capacity of the soil, a different repair technique is used.

Steel piers are pushed into the ground until they reach bedrock or solid-bearing soil. Brackets attached to the piers either stabilize the foundation or raise the firm foundation.

WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF COLLAPSING CONCRETE SLAB FLOORS?

Crumpling concrete floors are frequently caused by expansive soil beneath and around the foundation. The characteristics of soil can vary greatly.

Soils that drain well are generally more stable than clay-rich soils, shrinking when dry and broadening when wet.

If a foundation contractor determines that expansive soil is causing floor buckling, the first repair task is to use different drainage techniques to reduce moisture in the soil.

After that, other techniques such as piercing or mud jacking can stabilize the floor.

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