stuck windows and doors

Why Do My Doors and Windows Stick?

In Residential Blog Posts by John Topa

While Florida is known for its heat and humidity, there are times when you want to open your home’s windows for some fresh air. If your home feels a bit stuffy, a gentle breeze blowing in from an open window is the perfect way to improve the ambiance. Unfortunately, you cannot enjoy the benefit of fresh air circulating throughout your home when the windows are stuck. Stuck doors and windows are a common problem faced by residents in Tampa, Naples, and throughout Florida. While it is easy to assume that this is an annoying inconvenience, it can indicate a significant problem with your home.

More Than an Annoyance

A single window or door may stick from time to time for various reasons. For example, if you have recently resealed the front door and used a thicker barrier than necessary, this could be why it is difficult to open and close the front door fully. Windows can likewise be difficult to raise and lower when the inner window frame needs to be cleaned and lubricated. However, stuck doors and windows can present many problems for homeowners in Ft. Myers, Orlando, and beyond, and these issues are magnified when multiple windows and exterior doors are affected by the problem. Stuck doors and windows can create a safety hazard, such as if you need to make a quick exit in the event of a fire. They also can impact energy efficiency or facilitate a pest infestation if they cannot close completely. You can see that stuck doors and windows are more than an annoyance, and the potential issues do not stop here.

A Sign of Serious Structural Issues

If multiple doors and windows in your Florida home are sticking, the cause of the issue requires your full attention. This is a sign of an unlevel foundation. A shift in the foundation can cause subtle or significant changes to the frame of the home. When the base of the home shifts, many other features in the home can be damaged. if the damage is severe, the home may no longer be safe to live in. Identifying foundation issues and addressing the problem through professional repairs can help you to avoid additional damages. It may also keep repair costs to a minimum.

Other Signs of Foundation Problems

windows sticking

In some cases, the primary sign of a foundation problem is doors and windows that stick. More commonly, however, the shift in the foundation will cause a wide range of other signs. If you identify any of the signs of a potential foundation problem in your home, you should request a professional inspection as soon as possible. Some of the other signs that you may notice include:

  • Cracks in the interior or exterior walls
  • Cracks in floor tiles
  • A visibly unlevel floor
  • The feeling that you are walking uphill or downhill inside the home
  • Gaps around the frames of doors and windows
  • Unexplained moisture or leaky pipes
  • Separation of built-in features, such as counters and cabinets, from the walls

Causes of Foundation Issues

Foundation problems are more common than many people realize. They can affect both older and newer homes in Orlando, Naples, and beyond. One of the reasons why foundation problems are so common is because they can be caused by many factors. In some cases, a home is impacted by multiple causes at the same time. What are some of the more common causes of foundation issues in the local area?

Erosion Around the Foundation: Frequent and heavy rainstorms in Tampa and surrounding areas often result in the soil around the home being washed away. It also causes the ground underneath the home to shift. As a result, the foundation will sink or settle.

Moist Soil: When the soil around a home’s foundation is moist, it expands. While Florida’s wet season is extensive, there are times when the ground can dry out. As the soil dries, it contracts. This process creates empty gaps in the soil that ultimately lead to the foundation sinking.

Root Growth: Tree roots can expand far from the base of the tree trunk. When they reach a home’s foundation, they can exert enough pressure to cause the foundation to shift. Even established tree shrubs can generate enough pressure to create foundation movement.

These are only some of the reasons why the soil around your home’s foundation can shift. Regardless of the reason for the ground movement, the issue needs to be addressed properly and as soon as possible.

Addressing the Underlying Cause of Stuck Doors and Windows

Some homeowners are inclined to simply address the issue with stuck doors and windows. For example, they may lubricate the window tracks or adjust the door frame so that these features open easier. However, this is a superficial patch that does not address the underlying cause. The reality is that foundation damage often worsens over time. Adjusting a door frame today may enable the door to open and close more easily today, but the foundation may continue to shift in the ground. As this happens and the foundation becomes more unlevel, the doors and windows may stick more to the point where they cannot open. Other issues may become more obvious, such as increasingly large cracks in the walls. The best way to deal with a potential foundation issue is to call a professional for help.

Schedule a Foundation Inspection Today

Through a professional foundation inspection in Ft. Myers or throughout Florida, you will learn about the true condition of your home’s foundation. Some homeowners may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the foundation is in great condition or that only a minor repair is needed. Others may discover that the foundation is severely damaged and that the damage is likely to worsen over time. If foundation repairs are recommended, consider scheduling the repair service soon so that you can prevent more significant damage to your home. Schedule your home’s foundation inspection today to learn more about its condition and its possible repair needs.