Floor and Wall Gaps

When you start to notice floor and wall gaps, you may worry about what it means for your foundation. How can you fix these problems more easily?

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Fixing Floor and Wall Gaps More Easily

Floor and wall gaps can be a very serious problem that many people have a hard time addressing. This is especially true because it’s common to miss the early warning signs of floor and wall gaps. You may not even notice them until they’ve become extremely obvious, by which time you may have serious and lasting damage.

What’s the answer? How do you fix these floor and wall gaps properly? The good news is that if you’re willing to put some time and energy into floor and wall gaps, you can certainly fix them. These small tips and tricks can make it much easier for you to handle foundation problems now and in the future.

An Early Fix for Floor and Wall Gaps

One of the most important things to know about floor and wall gaps is that you can often handle them more easily if you tackle them early. Here are a few things you can do to fix floor and wall gaps early on.

  • Know About Secondary Signs

The first thing you should do is make sure you know about the secondary signs of floor and wall gaps. Because floor and wall gaps typically occur due to a structural failure, it’s common for there to be secondary signs that you can look for. These signs may include any of the following:

  • Basement wall cracks
  • Bowed basement walls
  • Cracks in drywall
  • Bouncy floor joists
  • Stuck windows and doors

These tend to be easier to notice than small floor and wall gaps. When even very small floor and wall gaps can be indicative of a structural issue, it’s easy to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to notice them in time. These secondary signs are often easier to find in your home. 

  • Opt for a Yearly Inspection

It’s pretty well known that a yearly inspection can be beneficial to your home’s structural health. Unfortunately, some homeowners don’t want to invest in a yearly inspection for their foundation. This is typically because a yearly inspection can be costly and feel useless. After all, nine times out of 10, the inspector will come back with information about how your home’s structure is completely fine. So, what’s the point?

The point is that one time out of 10, you’ll learn that there is something wrong with your home’s structural health. When you need to fix your home’s structural problems, weeks and even days can count. That’s why it’s so important to have yearly inspections. When someone does notice that something is wrong, it can save your home. 

  • Do Inspections on Your Own

Although an inspection from an expert is one of the few ways you can discern what’s going on in your home’s structure, that doesn’t mean you should leave it all to the experts. After all, while an expert may come to your home once a year, you’re there every day. Doing your own small inspections should be an important element of owning your home.

You shouldn’t expect to catch extremely small elements of structural failure that people typically don’t notice. However, you can notice those secondary signs, including things like nail pops and floor sinking. When you notice these smaller issues, you can contact an inspector when you start seeing too many of them, potentially saving you thousands of dollars and plenty of frustration.

Can Floor and Wall Gaps Have an Impact on Other Elements of the Home?

You may wonder whether the gaps in your walls might have an impact on other things around the home. After all, they don’t seem so bad, right? Unfortunately, these can be seriously detrimental. Here’s what you need to know about their secondary impacts.

  • Individual Rooms 

The most obvious impact these gaps can have is one that seems pretty obvious when you look at them. They don’t look great. It can be very frustrating to look at the gaps, especially if you otherwise have a very beautiful home. It’s not a great element of your home, and it’s one you want to fix.

Additionally, these gaps can serve as places where small items can roll underneath and get lost, especially if you’ve left them for long enough to become very severe. Plus, the larger these gaps become, the more likely it is that you’ll have other problems. For the most part, these bigger problems stem from the fact that these floor and wall gaps have a deeper cause. 

  • General Structure
drywall crack

The overarching structure of your home can have serious issues because of floor and wall gaps as well. Part of the issue is that floor and wall gaps don’t just show up out of nowhere. More often than not, they show up because you already have structural problems. The problem typically arises because one side of your floor is sinking more than the other side. In certain homes, this can cause the floor and the wall to separate.

The inherent tension that this gap causes can also create more structural problems. For example, you might notice drywall cracking due to the floor and wall gap. This happens when the wall has to carry more weight than it should be able to. When you see these secondary elements of damage, you can end up with even more serious issues than you would have at first.

  • External Areas 

What about the external areas of your home? Floor and wall gaps could also have a distinctly negative impact on these areas. Again, this goes back to the underlying reason for these floor and wall gaps. For the most part, floor and wall gaps happen because of a structural integrity concern. This integrity problem can seriously impact anything on the property.

This can be a problem when it comes to other concrete in the area. You almost certainly have a significant amount of concrete in and around your home. This may be your driveway, the sidewalk outside your home, your patio, deck around your pool, and many other areas. Structural instability can have a real impact on all of these concrete areas.

FAQs About Floor and Wall Gaps

When you see a wall and floor gap, you might wonder if there’s only a problem when the gap is a specific size. How big does the gap between the wall and floor have to get before it’s a real problem that requires an expert’s help?

  • Any Gap Is a Problem

Unfortunately, any wall and floor gap can be a problem. You should always take home problems seriously, whether those problems seem minuscule or seem extremely serious.

The moment you see a gap between the wall and floor, you should know that there’s a problem and start dealing with that problem seriously. Handling problems that revolve around gaps between the wall and the floor is the best way for you to make sure that you truly have enough structural stability for a healthy home.

  •  A Widening Gap Indicates That Things Are Changing

Although any gap indicates a problem, you have a problem on your hands if you notice a widening gap. That’s because when the gap gets larger and larger, it’s indicating that the underlying problem is continuing to get worse. For example, if a gap is happening because of foundation settlement, a widening indicates that the settlement is getting even worse.

If you notice a widening gap, you have a problem that needs to be fixed. Whether it’s foundation settlement, poor construction, moisture problems, or something else, you need to fix it to avoid other secondary problems that can be much worse. Talk to an expert as soon as possible to address the underlying causes.

Floor and wall gaps are aesthetically frustrating, but do they always indicate a serious concern? Is it possible that your floor and wall gaps could just be aesthetically annoying? Unfortunately, they are pretty much always caused by an underlying problem. Here are a few of the issues that could arise with floor and wall gaps. 

  •  Foundation Settlement

If one side of the home has started to settle faster than another side of the home, the wall is going to have that same settling problem. However, the problem will mainly have to do with one side of the wall bearing more weight than the other. When this happens, a gap can open up on whichever side of the home doesn’t have settling problems.

Although foundation settlement can cause problems with wall gaps, that isn’t the worst that could happen. It can also lead to a variety of structural concerns, up to and including walls and floors collapsing. Fixing foundation settlement should therefore be a priority for you.

  • Wood Rot

Are you experiencing wood rot or other waterlogged wood problems? If so, you may also have floor and wall gaps happening. Wood rot problems can cause the center of the floor to dip inward, often leading to gaps opening between the walls and the floor. It’s a key component of that “bouncy floor” feeling that some homes occasionally end up with.

Although wood rot is one of the more common problems to notice in this arena, other issues may cause similar symptoms. For example, mold and mildew both require a lot of water to grow and can develop on all sorts of organic materials. Regardless of the actual problem, any growths on your floor joists are an issue.

It’s tempting to just try and cover up the gap between the floor and the wall. You might just consider installing some footing trim around the bottom of the floor and wall. However, just covering the gap won’t actually fix your floor and wall gap problems. Covering up the gap offers absolutely no support for the structural damage that you may be experiencing throughout your home.

  • Ignores the Underlying Problem 

When you cover up the gap, you’re essentially ignoring the problem. The wall and floor gap isn’t the problem. The problem is whatever foundation concern is causing your wall and floor gap. This might be foundation settlement, poor construction, floor joist failure, or a variety of other potential foundation problems.

Regardless of the problem you’re dealing with, it’s clear that this gap is just a symptom of the primary problem. By covering up the gap, you’re ignoring that symptom. However, if you instead acknowledge the gap as a symptom of a problem and work on making it better, you might be able to succeed in curbing the concerns early.

A foundation repair expert can be extremely beneficial. Experts like this can help you with your foundation problems, including floor and wall gaps. When is it a good time to call in a foundation repair expert to help you with floor and wall gap problems? 

  • As Soon as You See a Gap

It’s a good idea to call a foundation repair expert the moment you see a floor and wall gap. Unfortunately, a floor and wall gap always indicates that there’s a problem. The underlying cause of the problem might be different depending on the gap, but no matter what’s going on, you should contact an expert.

You must tackle any gap between your floor and wall early on. When you do, you can accurately handle your foundation repair problems as early as possible, which will dramatically increase your possibility of avoiding an invasive solution. Calling in a foundation repair expert as soon as you notice the problem can help you do that.

  • When You Notice Secondary Problems 

If you don’t call in a foundation repair expert the moment you see the gap, you at least need to call in a specialist when you start to notice secondary problems for your foundation. That may include bowed basement walls and sunken floors, among other things. These secondary problems are letting you know fairly early on that there’s a serious problem.

Any time you notice secondary foundation problems, it’s a sign that you should call in an expert. Schedule an appointment with a Groundworks expert today to learn more about your options. You’ll be able to fix the problem as early as possible, making it more likely that you’ll solve things with a minimum amount of fuss.

Requesting More Help from a Professional for Wall and Floor Gaps

As you can see, wall and floor gaps aren’t just a bothersome element of your home. They could be a serious element of home structural failure. This is the case with many home issues, ranging from nail pops to basement walls bowing inward. Even if they don’t seem serious, they can be indicative of a deeper problem.

If you have gaps between your walls and your floor, chances are there’s something deeper going on. It’s always a good idea to check and see whether there are actual structural issues happening or whether you’re experiencing normal home issues. With an inspection from a Groundworks expert, you can check to make sure your home is functioning properly.

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