Settling is normal and expected after the initial construction of any home. However, it can cause problems if left unaddressed. Drywall cracks as a result of settling are common in homes that were built on sandy soil or over an area with unstable ground beneath it. If your house has settled and you see evidence of this in your drywall, then that’s likely the cause of foundation problems. That said, there are other potential culprits as well. In this post, we will address what causes foundation settling and drywall cracking in response to settling; understand how to identify the source of your cracking; learn about the type of foundation settling that is most likely to cause issues with your drywall; offer tips for dealing with intermittent settlement issues that may continue to happen in your home; and share ideas for preventing future problems related to settlement in general by contacting a foundation repair florida contractor
What causes foundation settling?
If your home is built on a firm foundation, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you live in an area that is built on sandy soil or over an area with unstable ground beneath it, then settling may very well be an issue. Foundation repair tampa contractors identifies that settling is caused by the cycle of expansion and shrinkage of the ground beneath your house. This kind of constant change affects the appearance and structure of the soil. Firm soil has the right amount of moisture in it to allow the ground to support the weight of your house without compressing too much. Sandy soil is too loose and therefore not dense enough to do so. If you build a house on top of loose soil, it will settle when the ground beneath it compresses as the house’s weight is put on it.
Why does foundation settling cause drywall cracks?
Drywall is a paper-based construction material that is not built to withstand the type of pressure that is put on it when the ground beneath it compresses. As a result, the drywall will start to crack and separate from the wall behind it. If you see signs of cracking in your drywall, then it is likely because the foundation beneath it has settled and a Concrete repair Orlando contractor should be called in as soon as possible. Sometimes this drywall may be a minor problem especially if it is as thin as a hairline crack.
For drywall to properly adhere to the wall behind it, it must be put up against that wall at the correct level. The cracks may run diagonally across ceilings and walls, they may cause sagging and may result in gaps.
Different types of settlement and their effects
- Overall settlement – Overall settlement is the sinking of the foundation as a whole. If a large area of your house is settling, then you will likely see cracking in the drywall around doors and windows as well as inside corners. 2. End-wall settlement – In this case, only the ends of the foundation walls sink. This happens when the center of the house subsides more than the ends. Because the ends of the walls have less weight on them, they are more susceptible to this type of settlement. You will see cracking in the center of the wall, between the two ends. You may need to call in a Seawall repair Fort myers for damages such as these
3.Corner settlement – When your house settles unevenly, then one of the walls will sink more than the others. This puts pressure on the corners of the wall, causing them to sink and crack in the middle. You will see diagonal cracks in the corner of the wall.
Strategies for dealing with settlement issues that cause cracking
- Investigate the sources of the cracks. If you see cracks only in the corners of your house, then you likely have corner settlement. If you see cracks inside the walls, near doors and windows, then you likely have overall or end-wall settlement. This will help you better understand the source of the cracks.
- Hire a contractor. If you have found the source of the cracking in your drywall, then you will want to identify the cause of the settlement. You can do this by hiring a contractor to come out and perform a soil survey. This will help you determine what is causing your house to settle unevenly and help you take the necessary steps to prevent it from getting worse.
- Add support to the affected areas. If you have found that one part of your house is settling more than the others, then you will want to add support to that area. You can hire a contractor to add piers to the ground beneath the settling end of your house, or you can add weight to the other end in the form of sandbags.
When foundation settling causes drywall cracks and nothing is done to address it there are chances that it may become deep and wide enough to cause structural defects to your home. Hence you need to seek an experienced contractor to investigate the problem.