Do Stuck Windows & Doors Mean Foundation Problems?

16.05.2019
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Do you have problems opening and closing your doors or windows? Windows and doors getting stuck can be really annoying. 

There are many possible underlying reasons, but foundation issues are the most serious one. While you should definitely get a professional opinion on your particular situation, it pays to know about the different possibilities. 

In this article by Granite Foundation Repair, you’ll gain more understanding about stuck windows and doors and how the symptoms link to foundation issues.

What are the most common reasons for stuck windows and doors?

Foundation problems may not be the most typical reasons for windows and doors getting stuck. There’s a good parallel with the medical world. While chest pain and coughing may be symptoms of very serious diseases, usually, the underlying causes are something more benign. The same goes for these inconveniences regarding everything in your home that’s on hinges.

Wood and Moisture

Wood expands and contracts due to varying temperatures along with other seasonal factors. In this case, you are able to spot periodic problems regarding shutting or opening the doors and windows. If this is the case, you shouldn’t worry as this situation has nothing to do with the foundation and its settlement.

And sometimes there’s heavy rainfall followed by similar consequences. You may find that you just can’t seem to properly close the door anymore. A period of heavy rain showers can easily raise the moisture content in the indoor atmosphere as well. 

The wood starts to expand, making your doors stuck. You just have to wait until the humidity decreases. When it’s low enough, the wood shrinks again, and closing the doors won’t be a problem anymore.

Misaligned Doors due to Wear and Tear

Besides foundation issues, there’s another possibility why your doors won’t properly open. But this one needs an actual fix. Misaligned door hinges create problems with sticking. The misalignment has many possible reasons: banging the doors, loose screws, kids playing with the doors, and so on.

Whatever the reason, you need to do something about it because it won’t get better by itself. You will need to change the hinges and screws or shave the bottom of the door to open and close without trouble again.

When might stuck windows and doors mean foundation problems?

Foundation problems may be the main factor for the stuck windows and doors when there are additional suspicious signs. These signs include cracked drywall, uneven floors, and strange gaps between the floors and the walls. 

If you don’t immediately act upon seeing these red flags for foundation issues, then you might be making the fixes costlier in the long run. 

Foundation problems never resolve themselves; instead, they only grow worse as time passes. That’s why early intervention is the smartest decision you can do.

How are foundation issues repaired?

Everything depends on the type of the foundation problem. Foundation settlement that’s getting out of hand usually needs helical pier underpinning. This support system is installed under the foundation. It will effectively stop any settling happening after the installation.

But the helical piers won’t work everywhere. In more rocky soil, micropile underpinning is needed instead. Using micropiles makes the foundation more stable and cuts the risk for any settlement issues.

How much are the repair costs?

Many variables come into play when determining your foundation repair costs. As said before, it’s better to act quick and get help sooner than later. The extent of the foundation damage is an important factor influencing the final cost. 

In addition to incurring serious structural repairs and costs, you’ll need to address the cosmetic side as well. Don’t wait too long as there will be more cracks to fill out. Of course, the particular method used for the repair work will considerably affect the numbers on the bill. 

You should aim for using methods that will provide a long-term fix. Some people order regular work that’s only targeting the aesthetic side of the problem. But painting over the cracks and patches will just delay the inevitable work needed to really fix the foundation.

Do stuck doors and windows mean foundation problems, then?

Try to understand whether the windows and doors getting stuck might be because of something simpler instead. For example, if the doors are periodically sticky or get stuck after a rainstorm, then this might not have anything to do with the foundation. 

Should you notice other signs, such as cracks and uneven floors, it’s time to get serious about the problem. Foundation issues are never resolved without putting in the work and will only get worse if neglected. In this case, it’s best to get a professional evaluation followed by repair works.

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