It’s confusing to see your floor actually separating from the wall. What causes these gaps? In general, it’s caused by your home settling unevenly. This exerts pressure on the home in different ways, which may show up as a gap between the wall and the floor. These are just a few reasons you may be experiencing settling in your home.
Soil Expanding When Wet
Underneath your foundation, your home rests on soil. Although the construction company should have packed the soil down firmly before constructing your home, the soil may have settled since then, or the company may not have packed it down as firmly as it should have.
When the soil gets wet, whether because of rain, plumbing issues or groundwater, it expands and mixes into mud. The wet soil pushes up because there’s nowhere else for it to go. That puts pressure on the foundation, which can force the walls in and even lead to walls collapsing.
Soil Shrinking When Dry
When the soil gets wet, it can force pressure on the foundation. However, what happens when it dries afterward? Unfortunately, the repeating process of the soil becoming wet and then drying can be a big factor in your home’s uneven settling.
Drying soil shrinks and contracts. As the water evaporates, the soil under your home will start to shrink and pull away from the foundation. That leaves a gap between the soil and the foundation, allowing the home to then settle outward. This in-and-out movement leads to uneven settling and pressure on the foundation.
Sagging Floor Joists
This problem may happen if the construction company that built your home placed the support pillars underneath too far apart. Your home needs even support across the entire foundation, and uneven spacing of support pillars overloads the floor joists, causing them to bend and sag.
If you’ve started to hear squeaking and cracking noises from your floorboards, especially when you walk around, sagging floor joists may be the problem. Sagging floor joists can also cause a hardwood floor separating from the baseboard. These problems require quick intervention to save the whole home.