Help! My House Is Falling Apart!


September, 2018

Whether you just bought a home or have been living in the same place for a couple decades, you might be noticing some alarming cracks and holes appearing throughout your home. Whether it’s paint splitting down a wall, ceilings looking a little droopy, or foundation cracking down the middle, you have a right to worry about the integrity of your home. Luckily, most foundational issues aren’t beyond repair, and can often be fixed with minimal effort. We’re here to help, and this week we’re walking you through when to worry, and when to remain calm.

paint splitting on the wall, not a sign of falling apart

Paint splitting down the wall

Our guess: Remain calm.

Unless the cracks in the paint appear 1-1.5 inches wide, it’s most likely not a structural issue. While it can feel like your house is falling apart from the seams, it’s most likely a cause from a different issue. Your house might be contracting or expanding due to changing in humidity or weather, and cracks are more likely to happen in rooms exposed to direct sunlight or extra humidity. Also, you may have chosen either the wrong or low-quality paint for your wall, which will result in cracking or bubbling. It’s important to invest in the proper product to ensure cracks won’t occur.

Clear out the crack with a screwdriver or utility knife, fill with solution or joint compound, and make sure the solution dries completely. Complete by drying, sanding, and repainting the surface with upgraded paint.

Ceiling cracking or drooping

Our guess: Time to worry.

Stay calm, but analyze your ceiling. While cracks in walls only indicate foundation issues when they’re relatively large, cracks in ceilings only need to be 1/16th of an inch to worry. While it still might not be structurally related, if bowing or drooping is accompanied with the crack, it’s time to start worrying. If the cracks on your ceiling appear to match those on your wall, almost as if it’s one continued crack, that’s a sign that your home may have previously suffered through some time of external damage such as a storm or long term settling.

a crack in the ceiling around a light fixture

If the crack in the ceiling appears minimal, feel free to live out all of your DIY dreams. If the damage appears more severe, consider reaching out to your local professionals who can better assess the issue.

Cracks in foundation

Our guess: Remain calm.

When homeowners see cracks in the foundation, their instinct is to panic and assume they have foundational issues. Most of the time, this isn’t the case. If the cracks run vertically (up and down) or even slightly diagonal (at a 30-70 degree angle), remain calm. This is an effect of houses settling, and can occur within as little as 6 months of a new home being built. Simply fill the crack with a urethane or epoxy material.

While uncommon, if a crack is running horizontally through the foundation, this is severe. These horizontal cracks are most common in homes with concrete block or brick foundations. You’ll need to reinforce your foundation, which will require extensive repairs.

Doors that stick or don’t shut all the way

Our guess: Remain calm.

Chances are, your experiencing waterproofing issues rather than structural issues. Often times when doors don’t shut or get stuck, it’s because humidity in your home has caused them to either warp or expand. If you doors are warped, the simplest way to remedy this problem is to replace the door and frame. If the door is simply expanded due to moisture in your home, you’ll just have to wait this one out. With time, the door will contract and go back to fitting like a glove.

To prevent this issue in the future, consider waterproofing your home or finding other ways to reduce moisture in the parts of your home where the doors aren’t shutting.

Most homes shift and move…

It’s important to remember that most homes shift and move with time, weather, and activity. As you probably noticed, most of the above mentioned signs people worry about aren’t actually anything to stress about, and are completely normal in homes of all ages. If you see something in your home that doesn’t look like normal wear and tear, don’t hesitate to reach out to your experts. Here at J-Tech, we offer plenty of services that will take the work off your hands and allow you to remain calm in all situations!

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