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Leikela 11-22-2009 07:31 PM

Ceiling cracks and uneven floors...
My house was built in 1956 and I have noticed that above some doorways in an upper corner there is a crack running up towards the ceiling. There is also some other cracks where the wall meets the ceiling in other areas. Is this the result of the house shifting? Is this cause for concern?

Also, the floors are uneven in certain areas on all levels. (My house is a split level.) What causes this and is it easy to fix?

Everything in my house, except for the bathroom, is circa 1956 and I want to start doing upgrades. However, I don't want to lay tile in my kitchen with an uneven floor. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you!

Daniel Holzman 11-22-2009 08:30 PM

Cracks in the drywall at the corners of the doors and windows are very common in older homes. Uneven floors are not so common. Cracks in drywall may be due to annual changes in moisture and temperature within the house, or may be due to long term settlement of the foundation.

Unveven floors may be due to foundation settlement or deflection of the floor joists if the joists are undersized. The best way to determine the cause of settlement is to perform a detailed level survey of the house. I usually use a fluid level, the particular one I use is made by the Zip Corporation (this is not an endorsement). You need a level accurate to within 1/8 inch. Your take about a dozen measurements per room, then draw a contour map of the house, and you can zero in on where settlement is occurring.

Once you know exactly where the settlement is occurring, you can begin to determine the cause of the problem, whether it be framing deflection, foundation settlement, or some other cause.

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