This is a common problem seen on homes suffering from structural issues. If your windows and doors don't open or close like they used to, if they randomly open after being shut, or if you notice gaps around the top or bottom, then it is a warning sign of foundation settlement.
This is a problem that can occur whenever the soil around a home is poorly backfilled, or when there are issues in the earth. Excessive rainfall in the spring and fall can make the ground very soggy, and this can make it difficult for the base of your home to properly support the weight of the structure. When this happens, you may notice that one or more exterior walls appear to actually be "sinking" into the earth. Additionally, if tree roots in the soil grow around the base of the home, this can create gaps or voids in the earth. Over time, the home will sink into these voids.
Additional warning signs of the problem:
- Noticeable sinking can be seen on one or more sides of the home
- Certain spots on the floor no longer feel level
- Interior and exterior cracks form, especially in drywall
- Cracks appear on the driveway, garage floor, or sidewalk
- Chimney is tilting or pulling away from the home
Could I Take Care of the Problem Myself?
It is not recommended for the average homeowner to try to inspect the base of the home on their own to pinpoint the cause of their stuck windows and doors. There are times when the problem is caused from warping due to moisture. This may be a result of a waterproofing problem in the basement. This is not something you are going to know on your own until you have a specialist come to take a thorough look at the home overall.
What Should I Do?
To take care of the damage which has already been done, and to get the problem taken care of, you are going to need the help of a trained, knowledgeable professional repair company. We can help you to locate a contractor in your area who is experienced and ready to work with you.
Fixing the Issue
If the problem is caused from settlement, piers can be installed next to the damaged walls. The main job of a pier is to transfer the weight of the home off of the weakened and sinking foundation and onto itself. As time passes, this will help to keep the home level, safe, and secure. The number of piers needed will depend on where the damage is and how extensive it may be. Cracks inside and outside of the home will need to be filled in and sealed, as well, so that seepage won't be able to get inside and cause any additional damage.