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Old 12-24-2005, 12:58 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Summer / winter differences...

Hi everyone,

THis is my 1st post - found this place while I was looking round the net trying to get an understanding of what is going on in our house. I doubt I can fix something like this myself, so I'm just trying to educate myself as to what sort of things might cause the problem we are having before I go seek help from someone.

We have a 30 year old house with a finished basement. Not sure if you need to know this anyways, but there's what I would call a center beam - it runs right down the center of the house and this is held up with metal poles (I can see 2 of them in the 1 unfinished room in the basement, and I'm guessing from distances between them that is 1 other in a wall) - you can probably tell now that I'm a novice when it comes to houses........

So, on to the problem, We've had the house 2 years and in both summers we have had difficulty fully closing doors on the main floor, but in winter we can close them without problem, but also in winter we notice a small bump in the floor in 1 area on the main floor - it's more prominent in the center and I'd say it's very close to being over the top of where one of the metal poles would be (the one that is in a wall) in summer the bump is all but noticable. I see a few cracks in the ceiling on the main floor - nothing much, just on wall corners etc, they seem to get wider in winter and come together in summer months. There are no cracks in the ceilings / walls in the basement - it's all drywalled (including the ceiling).

So, does anyone have any thoughts on things that would cause this sort of thing? - I'm guessing it's either a temperature thing or a freeze / thaw thing, but I don't know......


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Old 12-24-2005, 01:35 AM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 430

Summer / winter differences...

It's most likely moisture related. Where are you? Somewhere cold? Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, so, in the winter you bring cold air into the house and warm it up without adding moisture to it, this means the air is now much drier than it would be if you had brought warm air into the house in summer. This dry air will take moisture out of everything in the house: you, your plants, framing members, flooring, whatever. This causes the wood to shrink, so you'll see cracks open up between floorboards and cracks in the drywall (attached to framing) will open too. A humidifier will help. If you live in Florida this won't be the cause, but if you live somewhere cold, it very likely is.

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Old 12-24-2005, 02:10 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2

Summer / winter differences...

We live in Northern BC, so yes, it get's cold in winter (not cold right now though).

... off to do some research on humidifiers (we use a small portable one upstairs as we do find it very very dry...)
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Old 12-24-2005, 09:34 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 253

Summer / winter differences...

If you were in my area I would say it is expansive clay. Clay is pretty stable if it is dry all the time, pushes up when wet.<P>

I don't think you could get freeze/ thaw under your slab.<P>

A local engineering firm that does residential properties might be able to tell you exactly what is happening. HS

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