Gaps between your floor and walls aren’t just an eyesore; they’re often a warning sign of bigger problems with your home’s foundation. If you’ve spotted these gaps and are scratching your head about what they mean and how to fix them, you’re in the right place. This article will break down the common reasons for these gaps and offer straightforward solutions to get your home back in shape.
What Are Floor Gaps?
Floor gaps are visible spaces or openings between the floor and the walls. These gaps can vary in size and may appear as thin cracks or wider openings. They can be found in different areas of the house, including living rooms, bedrooms, or even basements.
Accompanying Warning Signs for Foundation Damage:
In many cases, floor gaps are accompanied by other indications that your foundation is in disrepair, if you notice any of the following issues, it’s a good idea to reach out to our experts.
- Drywall cracks: One of the most noticeable signs of floor gaps is the appearance of cracks in the drywall. These cracks may start small but can gradually widen over time.
- Sticking doors and windows: If you find it difficult to open or close your doors and windows smoothly, it could be due to floor gaps. As the foundation shifts, it can cause misalignment, resulting in sticking doors and windows.
- Uneven floors: Another indication of floor gaps is uneven flooring. You may notice that your floors are no longer level and have areas that feel higher or lower than the rest.
- Tilting chimney: If your home has a chimney, keep an eye out for any signs of tilting. A tilting chimney can be a result of foundation settlement, which can also lead to floor gaps.
What Causes Floor and Wall Gaps?
The gaps between your floors and walls can result from various contributing factors, each with its own set of challenges and remedies. Here are some of the most common culprits:
- Foundation Settlement: One of the leading causes is the gradual settling of your home’s foundation. The soil beneath your house isn’t as stable as you might think; it can shift, settle, or compress for many reasons, including natural settling over time, water runoff, or even underground animal activity. When the soil moves, it can lead to an uneven foundation. The result? Those pesky gaps between your floors and walls appear as the structure adjusts to its new position.
- Damaged Floor Joists: The skeleton beneath your floor, known as floor joists, serves as the critical support system that holds up your flooring. These joists can weaken or deteriorate over time due to factors such as rot, termite damage, or even poor construction. When they fail, your floors lose their structural integrity, leading to sags or shifts that manifest as gaps along the walls.
- Expansive Soils: If your home is built on soil with a high clay content, you’re dealing with what experts call “expansive soils.” These soils are highly susceptible to changes in moisture levels, swelling when wet and contracting when dry. This constant push-and-pull battle places undue stress on your foundation, leading to—you guessed it—gaps between your floors and walls.
Can You Fix Floor Gaps?
Good news—you don’t have to live with those unsettling gaps between your floors and walls forever. With the help of qualified foundation repair specialists, you can tackle the root causes head-on. Here’s a look at some tried-and-true methods that experts employ to fix floor gaps and restore the stability of your home:
Foundation piers act like the underpinnings of your home, providing a solid foundation where the soil has failed you. These piers are driven into the ground until they reach stable soil or bedrock, effectively bypassing the unstable layers that have caused your home to settle unevenly. Once installed, they are used to lift and stabilize the foundation, bringing your floors and walls back into alignment. This technique not only closes existing gaps but also fortifies your foundation against future settlement issues.
Crawl space supports are like the reinforcements your floor joists have been crying out for. If your floor gaps are due to weakened or damaged floor joists, this method aims to bolster that crucial support system. Made from durable materials such as steel, these supports are installed in your crawl space and adjusted to provide the perfect level of support to sagging floors. They act as a secondary network of support, essentially picking up the slack where the original joists have failed. This can alleviate existing floor gaps and prevent additional sagging down the line.
Why Address Floor and Wall Gaps Now?
Addressing floor and wall gaps as soon as possible is crucial to avoid more severe consequences. Here are some reasons why you should take action now:
- Stop More Damage: Fixing floor gaps early stops them from becoming bigger, costlier issues, like a shaky foundation or even a collapse.
- Save Money: Tackling the gaps as soon as you notice them means you won’t have to pay for more expensive fixes later on.
- Prevent Other Problems: Sealing these gaps also keeps out pests, stops moisture and saves energy.
- Boost Comfort: Repairing the gaps makes your home a more comfortable place to live.
- Keep Home Value: Fixing these issues prevents a decrease in your property value and may actually boost it.
Choose Mount Valley Foundation Services for Floor Gap Repair
When it comes to addressing floor gaps, it’s essential to choose a reputable and experienced foundation repair company. At Mount Valley Foundation Services, we have been providing reliable foundation repair solutions to homeowners across South Carolina and Western North Carolina for years. Our team of experts is trained to assess and repair floor gaps effectively, ensuring your home’s long-term stability. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection.
While some small gaps can be fixed with DIY methods, consulting a professional for a thorough assessment and proper repair is recommended. Closing floor gaps without the help of a professional may hide imminent foundation issues like failing floor joists.
The duration of the repair process depends on the severity of the gaps and the chosen repair method. Our experts can provide you with an estimated timeline and remedy plan at your initial free inspection.
Fixing floor gaps is an essential step in addressing foundation issues. However, it is crucial to have a comprehensive inspection to identify and address any underlying problems.
At Mount Valley Foundation Services, we recommend foundation push piers to stabilize foundations that are settling or sinking and showing symptoms such as cracked foundation walls, tilting chimneys, and jamming doors and windows.
The weather is finally getting warmer! Unfortunately, home’s that have foundation settlement problems will continue to have them even as the weather warms up. Warmer weather pulls moisture out of the soil, drying it out. As this happens, it allows room for movement, which causes settlement underneath your home. Soil settlement will cause multiple problems […]
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