Show Notes: Foundations, Gaps and Cracks – On the House

Show Notes: Foundations, Gaps and Cracks

By on March 12, 2017

Is your homes foundation going south when it should be going north? Are there gaps and cracks in your baseboards and doorways? Do you need an idea for a quick DIY now that you have an extra hour of daylight? We have help for these problems and more, just for you.


Russian Company Prints 3d House In 24 Hours

Construction company Apis Cor and Russian developer PIK group took one day to construct an on-site 3D-printed house in Stupino, Russia. Built by a mobile 3D construction printer with a concrete mixture as the ink, the single-story structure measures 38 square meters (about 410 square feet) and costs around $10,134 to build. Temperature and curing restrictions of the mixture—which can only be used above 5 C (about 41 F)—required the team to erect a tent around the construction zone to insulate the area. The house was finished with a layer of “mineral plaster [that] consists of white cement and ball-shaped marble and granite crumbs, so it can serve as an additional heat insulation and goes well with the thermal insulation systems,” according to Apis Cor’s website:


Got Gaps and Cracks in Baseboards and Doorways?

Due to constant wear and tear, doorways and baseboards can often develop gaps or cracks around the edges. These cracks aren’t usually a major issue, but they can negatively impact the energy efficiency of your home. Properly sealing these cracks prevents air leaks and can reduce your energy bills. Sealing cracks and gaps around doorways and baseboards is a simple task that homeowners can do themselves.


Silicones, fillers and most types of weather stripping require a clean surface to adhere to to ensure a good seal. Clean dirt and debris out of large cracks using a paintbrush. Vacuum or spray canned air into narrow cracks that won’t accommodate a brush. If you’re replacing damaged weather stripping around doorways, clean away all traces of the old adhesive with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits and rinse the surface with clean water.

Choosing the Right Sealer

When sealing cracks around baseboards and doors, the type of product depends on the size of the crack. Latex or water soluble caulks are ideal for cracks up to 1/2 inch wide. Cracks wider than 1/2 inch, but less than 2 inches, should be filled with latex foam sealant. If the gaps around your doors and baseboards are larger than 2 inches, use a polyurethane foam sealant to fill them.

Door Trim

Run a continuous bead of clear or paintable latex caulking along cracks where the interior door trim meets the wall. If you don’t like the appearance of this seal, remove the trim and apply the caulk beneath so that the cracks are sealed, but the caulk is hidden. Smooth the caulk with a caulk tool or wet finger, and wipe away excess with a damp cloth.

Door Jambs and Sills

Apply adhesive-backed foam weather stripping along the entire length of your door jambs to ensure that you seal all cracks. The width of these cracks can vary considerably, but foam weather stripping comes in a variety of thicknesses and will compress to fit almost any size. Seal cracks along the bottom of the door and the sill with a threshold seal or a door sweep. Door sweeps are typically installed if there’s no weather stripping on the bottom of the door. Large gaps up to 2 inches wide should be filled with expanding foam insulation. When using expanding foam, don’t fully fill the gap so that there’s room for expansion. When the foam has cured and will no longer expand, trim the excess with a utility knife.


Seal narrow cracks with paintable or clear latex caulk, either at the top or along the bottom where the baseboards meet the floor. Run a continuous bead of caulk along the gap and smooth it with a caulk tool or wet finger. Wipe away the excess caulk with a damp cloth. Cracks that are wider than 1/2 inch require a bit more work. Carefully remove the quarter round, which is the trim that finishes the baseboard at the floor. Fill the cracks with backer rod, which is a foam rope-like material that is pressed into the crack, and then replace the quarter round.


 Does It Takes Superhero Strength To Move The Sliding Patio Door?

Chances are, debris has jammed the wheels. Remove the operable door by turning the adjustment screws at the bottom, then clean the wheels and tracks, and spray with silicone lubricant.


How To Know If Your House Foundation Is Bad

A shifting foundation can throw the walls and roof of a house out of plumb.

Foundation problems are usually the result of moisture. Soil expands when it get wet and contracts when it dries out, and these movements can cause a foundation to shift. This effect is compounded in seismic zones, where earth movements increase the instability of the soil. Evidence of foundation problems that need immediate Commercial Construction Foundation Repair is usually apparent in the interior and exterior of the building, as well as in the ground around the building and in the foundation itself.

 Misaligned Doors and Windows

The workers who installed the doors and windows of your house made sure they were plumb, so if they go out of alignment, it’s usually because the foundation is shifting. Indications that a door is out of alignment are that it sticks, swings open or doesn’t latch. A window may be hard to open, or, in extreme cases, have cracked glass. Door and window problems in a certain part of the house should alert you to a problem with the foundation under that part, especially if accompanied by problems with the walls or floor.

Sloping Floor and Cracking Walls

A sloping floor is a sure sign that the foundation underneath it has settled, but the slope may not be readily apparent, especially if the floor has a carpet. In the absence of a carpet, dropping a marble on the floor and watching where it rolls will give you a good idea of the direction and pitch of the slope. Drywall seams often crack under the stress of a settling foundation, especially around doors and windows. You may also notice popped drywall nails and gaps between the baseboards and the walls. The baseboard may also be loose or misaligned at the seams.

Exterior Cracks and Bulging

Small cracks are common in concrete or brick footings, walls and other structures, but large cracks that seem to follow a regular pattern are worthy of investigation, especially if they appear to be getting bigger. Step patterns in concrete footers could mean that the ground behind or under them is settling unevenly. If sighting along the foundation wall reveals bulging, it may also be an indication of shifting. The chimney isn’t the first place most people look for indications of foundation problems, but if it’s cracked, it’s a sign of shifting in the framing that begins with the foundation.

Other Indications

Many homes in temperate climates have concrete perimeter foundations but rest on a structure of posts and beams. If an inspection reveals that any of them are leaning, it’s an indication that the house has shifted its position. You shouldn’t see any water under the house. If you do, or if you notice that the ground is wet on one side of the house and dry on the other or that there is standing water near the foundation, it’s a sign of drainage issues that need to be addressed. If they haven’t already, such issues will cause foundation problems in the near future.


Clean That Dusty Chandelier

Allow the fixture to cool. Wear a pair of white cotton gloves―one dry, one dampened with glass cleaner. (For crystal, use one part rubbing alcohol to three parts distilled water.) Wipe each prism with the damp glove, then the dry one.



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