Your foundation supports everything in your home, from walls, furniture, and people. For that reason, when anything causes damage to your foundation, it also causes damage to your home. Drywall cracks are one of the most noticeable foundation problem signs. They occur when walls shift due to foundation settlement and appear on the weakest sections of your wall – above door frames and windows. Our team at Foundation Support Specialists have dealt with this issue plenty of times, and we have the solutions to fix the problem.
Drywall Cracks Explained
Generally, there are three common types of drywall cracks you may notice in your Texas home. All three cracks have one thing in common, they are signs of a foundation problem that should be addressed quickly.
Although there are several reasons your ceiling could crack, it’s important to consider structural damage as being a leading cause. If the ceiling cracks are larger than an eighth of an inch and cover most of the ceiling, the cause is commonly a structural problem. This is especially true if a recent addition or heavy furniture has been added to a level above.
There is an important distinction to be made when it comes to door cracks. Are the cracks in the door itself or are cracks happening around the door frame? If the cracks are in the door, a simple repair can address the problem. However, if the door frame is cracking, it often means structural damage causing the problem.
Even the slightest of drywall cracks near a door frame is cause for quick attention. Since door frame cracks are caused almost exclusively by structural problems, the sooner you act the less invasive the solution may be.
Window Frame Cracks
Similar to door frame cracks, if you notice drywall cracks around your windows your home may be in danger. Cracks caused by structural damage typically show as a diagonal crack extending from the corner of the window.
Although it’s possible it’s a cosmetic issue, the bigger the crack the more likely it is a result of your home moving and sinking.
Foundation Support Specialists can diagnose all drywall cracks and let you know if a DIY repair is okay or if it needs to be addressed by a foundation specialist.
What Causes Drywall Cracks in San Antonio & Austin?
Since drywall cracks are a result of foundation damage, understanding what causes foundation damage is key to understanding the cause behind this common issue. Usually, it has to do with problematic soil.
Austin and San Antonio are two areas of Texas with high amounts of clay soil. Homeowners in these areas of Texas need to keep in mind that clay is incredibly expansive when exposed to water. Even though it doesn’t rain very often in Southeastern Texas, the small amount of rainfall that does come to the area can still cause clay soils to grow in volume. When this happens, the soil pushes against your foundation and forces it to shift. As a result, structures throughout your home shift as well and you’re left with drywall cracks in your home.
While rainfall can cause clay soils to expand, it causes a different issue for the other type of soil found in Travis County and Bexar County – sandy loam soil. While sandy loam soil drains water fairly easily, its light structure makes it susceptible to erosion during heavy precipitation. Once again, despite the infrequent rainfalls in Texas, a rainstorm can still cause the sandy-loam soil in your area to become soft, muddy, and unstable. Eventually, your foundation sinks into the washed-out soil and causes drywall nail pops to form all over your home.
Drought and Dry Soil
Unfortunately, the generally dry conditions of Southeastern Texas can also cause problems for the soil in your yard. When soil suffers from a lack of moisture, it shrinks in size and becomes extremely brittle. This causes a void between the ground and your foundation. Gravity takes over and forces your foundation to sink into this newly formed gap, where the heavy weight of it crushes down into the brittle soil. Once again, drywall cracks form as a result of the sudden foundation settlement and sinking.
Drywall cracks need to be taken seriously, not matter how small they might seem. Many homeowners make the mistake of ignoring small cracks in their drywall until it’s no longer avoidable. Once the cracks have grown in size, major damage has already occurred to your foundation and the structure of your home. As soon as you notice any kind of cracking on the walls of your home, you will benefit from a professional inspection from one of our experts at FSS. Remember, any cracks in your drywall need to be addressed as soon as possible. This can save you time and money in the long run!
Homeowners are often tempted to repair drywall cracks on their own, but DIY options never solve the problem. Using caulk, wood glue, spackling, or any other hardware store sealant on a cracked drywall is only going to offer a temporary fix. While this might look better for a while, the main source of the problem (damaged soil) is still causing your foundation to shift. Eventually, the store-bought sealant will fail, and your wall will continue to crack just as it did before – only this time, you’ll have spent unnecessary time and funds. However, professional solutions from FSS can fix drywall cracks permanently!
This is entirely dependent on the extent of the damage. FSS has solutions that restabilize your foundation and lift it back to its original position. This can close up any cracks in your drywall, but you may still want to replace the damaged sections of your wall. If the gaps are relatively small, you could fill them with sealant after foundation repair has taken place. If the drywall cracks have damaged huge sections of your wall, it might be worth it to invest in wall repair after foundation repair has occurred. Our experts can advise you on the next steps after we’ve eliminated the main foundation problem.
Drywall cracks are unnerving and can end up being a danger to your entire home. Fix this problem permanently and avoid this problem in the first place with foundation solutions from FSS. Using pier systems, wall anchors, carbon fiber wall reinforcement, and more, our team fixes the problem every time. All of our solutions are manufactured in the USA to ensure the highest quality on the market!
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Contact FSS for a Free Inspection!
No matter how small or large the drywall cracks in your home are, our team at Foundation Support Specialists are prepared to fix them. Our neighbors in San Antonio and Austin have trusted us with foundation problems since 2017, and our expert team has been in this business for over 20 years. Come see why we have accreditations from the Better Business Bureau, the Texas Construction Association, and Home Advisor. We believe in honest, quality business for every homeowner. Contact us to learn more about our foundation services and schedule a free inspection today.