House Is Cracking Up. Get Help From Home Inspector Huntley IL

Posted on: March 10, 2010 by in Blog, Home Improvement
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Many homeowners are experiencing a frustrating occurrence in their homes. Cracks are appearing in corners where the interior walls meet the ceiling. These cracks may be small and hardly noticeable or they may be large gaping cracks that catch the eye of every visitor to the home. These cracks seem to be most visible in the dead of the winter and almost non-existent in the summer.

If I have just described your house, you may be experiencing a common phenomenon called “Truss Lift”. A truss is an engineered roofing member which has an top chord and a bottom chord connected by a number of cross members in geometric shapes. The top chord forms the roof line and the bottom chord makes up the interior ceiling. Many builders prefer to use a truss system when building houses because of strength and cost, but they do have drawbacks.

Simple Truss
A Typical Truss

The bottom chord, which is normally covered with insulation, is in constant contact with the heated air inside the home. That part of the truss stays warm and dry. The top chord is in the vented attic and is exposed to the cold, moist outside air. The difference in moisture content causes the top chord to swell which pulls up the center of the bottom chord causing cracks. Truss Lift is not a very attractive look (especially during the winter) but it is a typically harmless and naturally occurring phenomenon.

What can you do if you are experiencing Truss Lift in your home? Tune in again next week as we look into some of the most common remedies.


How to Fix Cracks in Old Walls

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