Why is this trim pulling away from the sheetrock?

hollanFebruary 13, 2010

I recently noticed not being able to close the bathroom door anymore and discovered that the trim has pulled away to the point that you can see the sheetrock. It's only on one side of the door jam. It will not push back in at all. The walls on either side look okay. The door has not been slammed. This is a 1955 house. What in the world?

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Remove the strike plate for the lock, then use a block of wood and hammer the block to put it pack in place (keeps from making hammer marks into the actual wood).

But on the other hand, it actually seems the casing (i.e. "trim") may not be moving, but instead the entire door jamb has moved inward and away from it. If that's the case, use that block of wood and hammer from the inside of the door casing and knock it back in place. You may need someone to push against the casing on the outer side. ONce it's in place, drive a couple finish nails through the jamb to hold it all in place.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 9:23AM
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Is that a load bearing wall and is it over a crawl space or basement? If so, you could have issues underneath that area settling, possibly a footer underneath giving way.

Otoh, it might just be a simple fix as homebound advises, it's strange that it is "just happeneing" so you need to investigate why it's moving in the first place.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 10:24AM
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Well, although the house is 1955, the door frame is a lot newer. It's a split jamb unit that was not properly installed. I do not see any nails from the jamb to the framing. The door hasn't been slammed, but it looks like it's been tackled by a fullback. The staples are going to be difficult to get back where they belong. The good news probably is that as poorly as it was put in, it would be all the easier to remove, starting by pulling the hinge pins and removing the door, then take off the outside trim/jamb, and then the inside trim/jamb. You can then start over and install it properly with shims and nails from the jamb side into the framing.
In fact, link to tutorial below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Split jamb install

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:36AM
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It isn't a load bearing wall, just beyond one, but it is over a crawl space. It's an addition to the back of the house. I went into the crawlspace, and just by putting my weight on one hand, my hand sunk into the dirt under the plastic. Also, the ground in that area sounds hollow. Does that indicate that a footer is giving way? If so, how could I investigate further and what would the fix likely be?

I agree about the sloppy door installation. Thank you for the video tutorial.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 4:11PM
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Taking a 6-8' straight edge, a level that long would be better, you can check the joisting to see if there are sags in the area. If the addition was built post 1955 and you aren't having issues with the house, it could simply be that the soils weren't compacted properly for the foundation/footers on the addition. The fix would be compacting, jacking, concreting in piers in areas that might need to be leveled if that's the problem.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 7:32PM
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I used the straight edge and a level as suggested. It appears the the original outside wall of the house (which is now inside) is lower than the addition's outside wall, which leads me to believe the original outside wall has settled. I think the addition was done in the 70's. It appears that there is sagging in the original floor joists, but not in the addition. I can't find any cracks in the concrete blocks. It looks like there has been 2-3" of soil washed away from the addition's outside wall (looking from the outside). The addition is 8'x27' and there are no vertical supports in the center. I assume that doesn't matter since it's not sagging. Can anyone provide further direction?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 1:45PM
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