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Sheetrock & Mortar Problems

Sheetrock and mortar repair by My Foundation RepairsStructural issues on the exterior of the home, such as cracks in the mortar between exterior brick, are often quickly recognized as symptoms of foundation failure. On the interior, though, it may be more difficult to tell whether or not a problem was caused by foundation failure. Cracks in the sheetrock or drywall of your home could be a sign that there is an issue with your foundation. These cracks are caused by the stress that a sinking or settling foundation puts on the walls, and often appear above or around doors and windows. If they become too severe, these cracks may make it difficult to open or close the windows or doors.

Causes of Sheetrock & Mortar Problems

Whether cracks have begun to form on the exterior of your home, in the mortar between the brick, or on the interior of your home, in the sheetrock on the walls, they are a serious issue that should be addressed right away. The first step in fixing mortar or sheetrock issues is to determine the cause. The direction, size, and pattern of the cracks can help you determine what caused them.

  • Horizontal cracks: Horizontal cracks in your walls could indicate that the foundation is settling. This is especially true if the cracks appear near a door or window. If the horizontal cracks form near the center of the wall, it could mean that the wall is bowing, while cracks near the top or bottom of the wall indicate a foundation issue.
  • Stair-step cracks: If the cracks appear to be in a stair-step shaped pattern, it is also a sign that your foundation may be shifting or settling. These type of cracks are most common in brick or masonry. The most common causes of foundation movement are poor soil compaction, soil shrinkage, erosion, or increased hydrostatic pressure.
  • Vertical cracks: Vertical cracks in the walls may be a sign that your foundation is heaving due to the heaving and settling of the ground in freeze and thaw seasons. Caused by soil expansion, these vertical cracks may run the length of your sheetrock walls and continue onto the ceiling above. Diagonal vertical cracks around the windows and doors of your home, whether in the exterior mortar or interior sheetrock, are usually a sign of foundation failure.
  • Spider web cracks: If there are spider web patterned cracks in the sheetrock in your home, it is probably a sign of the natural settlement of your home's foundation. Although they are usually very fine, cracks larger than 1/16 inch indicate a problem with the foundation.

Solutions of Sheetrock & Mortar Problems

Repair of sheetrock and mortar problems by My Foundation RepairsIf there are cracks in your mortar or sheetrock, they are most likely the result of a shifting or settling foundation. This means that to effectively close the cracks and prevent more form developing, you need to stabilize the foundation.

Foundation stabilization can be done by a number of different underpinning methods by Earth Contact Products. These methods, however, should only be completed by a professional foundation repair contractor. The most common of these underpinning methods are:

  • Steel Push Pier Installation: Steel push piers are installed beneath the foundation to provide support and stabilization. These piers are first driven deep into the ground until they reach stable soils. Then, the weight of the structure is transferred onto the piers and they are used to lift the foundation back to its proper position. Once this is done, the foundation is stabilized and future foundation problems are prevented.
  • Helical Piers: Helical piers are very similar to steel push piers and work in much the same way. The biggest difference is that helical piers are screwed into the ground instead of being merely driven in. This allows them to be installed easily in any weather and provides extra stability for the foundation. These piering products are normally used for slightly lighter weight jobs, such as porches, stoops, or small structures.

It is vital to the safety of your home to contact a foundation repair expert as soon as you discover cracks in your mortar or sheetrock. The My Foundations Repair website can help you find and contact a foundation repair specialist in your area. Contact us today for a free estimate!


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