Your home’s foundation has a lot of responsibility, as it must support every structure in your home, including all of the contents inside. This includes the floors and walls throughout your house. When your foundation shifts, so too do these important structures. Over time, foundation damage can lead to floor and wall gaps – an unnerving site that can potentially turn dangerous. Don’t worry, FSS has the knowledge and solutions to help.
What Floor and Wall Gaps Reveal
Floor and wall gaps are a big problem for Texas homeowners. In addition to causing a serious tripping hazard, especially for children or the elderly, it indicated an active foundation problem at your home.
One of the main reasons your home may be experiencing floor and wall gaps is because of home settlement. When your home is no longer supported by the soil beneath below, it sinks. It rarely does so evenly, however, this is called differential settlement.
This uneven sinking leads to your home shifting making floors uneven and leading to unsightly gaps.
Over Spanned Joists
If your home is over a crawl space, your floors are supported by joists and support beams that bear the weight of the home and daily life. It’s important that the spacing of these joists and beams is correctly calculated to provide enough support.
If there is an error in the calculation, the result is called over span. Over spanned joists mean your floor is likely to sag, leaving a noticeable gap between your walls and floor.
If you suffer from floor and wall gaps, you may have rotting wood. Although mold and mildew are easy to spot, it’s a good idea to have an expert inspect the basement or crawl space. Dry rot, for example, is a bit tricky to recognize with an untrained eye and can spread like wildfire resulting in larger gaps and putting your home’s structural integrity in jeopardy.
What Causes Floor and Wall Gaps?
Floor and wall gaps are a symptom of foundation damage. Overall, foundation damage is caused by problematic soil, generally brought on by certain weather conditions. Here’s how the environment in San Antonio and Austin can affect the soil around your home.
Expansive soils refer to types of soil that grow in volume when they absorb water. Clay soils tend to be the most expansive. Austin and San Antonio have a large amount of clay soil throughout their respective metro areas. This can become a major problem for homeowners when rain comes to Texas. Even though these areas experience a lower-than-average amount of rainfall, the precipitation can still cause clay soils to expand in size. This puts an immense amount of pressure on your foundation, and may cause it to crack, upheave, or settle unevenly – all of which can lead to floor and wall gaps.
Drought or Dry Soil
Southeastern Texas is a rather arid environment, with only moderate humidity throughout the year and a small amount of annual rainfall. Dye to regular dryness and intense heat during the summer, soils in the area can shrink in size and become brittle. Clay soil becomes especially cracked when it lacks moisture and will no longer be able to support your foundation if it dries out. Eventually, your heavy foundation will crush through the brittle soil and experience settlement and sinking. Of course, this can lead to floor and wall gaps in your home.
Even though Austin and San Antonio don’t receive a ton of rain throughout the year, precipitation can still cause issues when it does eventually show up. We already mentioned how clay soils expand when it rains, but another type of soil common to these areas can experience a different process known as soil washout. Sandy loam soils are another type of soil found in Travis County and Bexar County. While sandy loam can drain water well, if it becomes overwhelmed, it can easily be washed away and eroded by rain. As the soil is washed away, your home sinks, and gaps open up throughout your house.
We don’t advise using store-bought sealants to deal with floor and wall gaps in your home. Caulk, acrylic, or anything in between doesn’t solve the actual problem, it only provides a band-aid fix to floor and wall gaps. While the gap might look closed for a while with store-bought sealant, your home is still experiencing foundation damage caused by soil. Only professional foundation solutions can protect your home from soil issues. DIY solutions simply don’t work effectively!
Yes. Floor and wall gaps are just one symptom of foundation damage. If left unchecked, floor and wall gaps can translate into other issues – particularly problems in your home’s walls such as drywall nail pops or wall cracks. Moreover, gaps between your floor and wall could also lead to uneven floors, which can become tripping hazards for anyone living in your home. Don’t ignore floor and wall gaps when you see them because they will only get worse over time.
Floor and wall gaps are very easy to identify, as their name is literal. You will see an open gap between a section of the wall and your floor. This void could vary in size, but any separation between the floor and wall is a sign of foundation damage. Keep an eye on your floorboards, as this is where the gap will be located. Additionally, perform a regular inspection on your foundation. Protecting against foundation damage before it even gets started can prevent floor and wall gaps in the first place from forming in the first place.
While floor and wall gaps might seem like an unreasonable problem, FSS has plenty of solutions to repair and defend against this issue. Using different tools such as pier systems, wall anchors, or carbon fiber wall reinforcements, our team can bolster your foundation against problematic soil. Don’t let something you can’t control, such as the weather, determine the health of your foundation. Our foundation solutions put your home’s health back in your hands.
Many homes in Austin and San Antonio rely on pier and beam foundations for support. Thanks to their design, these foundations often fair better in shifting soils – but when they get damaged, FSS is here to help!
Push piers are an effective way to prevent your foundation from settlement. In turn, the entire structure of your home stays protected.
Slab piers work like any other pier system but are specially designed for concrete slab foundations. Here is everything you need to know about this useful foundation solution.
Call FSS for a Free Inspection!
Floor and wall gaps are no fun for any homeowner. They look distressing, and they can cause all kinds of problems throughout your home. Thankfully, FSS has an experienced team of foundation experts that have worked in the field for over 20 years. Our company has been serving homeowners in Austin and San Antonio since 2017, helping our neighbors with their foundation problems and using only the finest tools manufactured in the USA. To learn why homeowners in Texas trust us with their foundation issues, and to enjoy your home the way it was meant to be enjoyed, contact us today and schedule a free inspection.