Problems With Floor and Wall Gaps
When a home or business’ foundation settles into moisture softened soil or poorly compacted soil below the structure, gaps between your walls can begin to form. This can be quite a concern to a homeowner who wants to protect their hard-earned investment.
If you have noticed gaps in some rooms in your home or business, it is time to get serious and call in a professional to assess the problem. These gaps may appear between the walls and floors or between the walls and ceiling. These gaps don’t just look concerning, they are symptoms of more troubling issues within your home or business structure. The structural instability that causes these gaps to occur will only continue to get worse if not addressed.
What Can Cause Gaps Between the Floor and Walls of a Structure?
If you have noticed a gap between your floor or ceiling and your walls, there could be a myriad of causes. Unfortunately, none of them are good. Some are less expensive to repair than others.
Mind the Gap
The most common causes of these kinds of gaps are:
A Sinking or a Damaged Foundation
Structural instability and foundational damage are serious and, potentially, the most expensive causes of gaps in a home or business’ walls and floor. Settling, sinking, and various other forms of damage can also cause issues in a home or business, such as moisture build-up and bowed walls, which can expand the gaps that are already present.
Floor Joists that are Damaged
If joists or girders in the crawl space have become damaged, or even rotted, they can no longer support your floor properly. When this happens, the floorboards can sag and warp or even collapse over time. A gap between a floor and wall frequently is a symptom of this.
Crawl Space Is Improperly Supported
When there are not enough support columns In your crawl space, your floor will begin to look uneven or tilted and could sag in spots. When this happens, a gap between your wall and floors (or wall and ceiling) could be the reason. In time, this could cause your walls to pull away from the ceiling because of the improper support.
Bowing walls are concerning because, while they can be a cause of floor and wall gaps, they can also be symptoms of a deeper foundational issue. While your bowed walls could be increasing the gaps between your walls and floor, repairing only the bowed walls will not likely remove the issue completely.
- When you notice sagging in a floor, a tilt or lean in the walls, a damp or musty smell, or gaps between the walls and floorboards, you should contact a professional right away.
What Happens If the Problem Isn't Fixed?
The typical homeowner is under the impression that floor and wall gaps are not critical and are not much with which to be concerned. This is definitely not true. If the issue is ignored it will get worse in a variety of ways. The potential consequences of not addressing this issue include:
- Pest infestations
- Increased energy bills
- Mold growth
- Bowing walls
- Collapsed floors
- Ceiling that is bowing or collapsing
It should be apparent that the consequences of these problems can be dire. The good news is that the solution to most wall and floor gaps can be quick and easily affordable.