Structural 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
If there are cracks in your mortar or sheetrock,
they are most likely the result of a shifting or
This means that to effectively close the cracks and prevent more form
developing, you need to stabilize
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
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!