Settling of the Building or Roofing System Structure
When you hear a creak in the hallway or a strange moan in the celling, we chalk it up to a building settling. While settling is generally a normal condition, the amount of settling happening in a building can cause roofing problems. The same goes for expansion and contraction.
When buildings move, that movement can impact the integrity and stability of the roof. At Kidd Roofing, we specialize in inspecting roofs and repairing a variety of roofing issues, even those caused by settling.
Have you noticed strange sounds in your multi-family dwelling? Get in touch with the skilled Austin multi-family building roof repairs team at Kidd Roofing today and protect your investment from future damage. Call our office at (512) 671-7791.
What Is Settling?
Buildings, especially large ones like multi-family dwellings, are often viewed as immoveable and stationary objects. However, that isn’t entirely true. Settling can be a common occurrence. “Settling” is any movement by a structure that happens due to expansion, shrinkage, or compression of the foundation. One of the most common causes of settlement is foundation compression.
Compression occurs when a home or building gradually sinks into the ground. To understand this phenomenon, think about what happens when you dig a hole in the dirt to plant a seed. The second you plunge your shovel into the ground, you feel resistance. The earth is hard and compact. However, when you finish digging, plant the seed, and cover the hole with dirt again, you can plunge the shovel into the newly turned earth easily. You can even stick your finger in the area and encounter very little resistance. This occurrence is called backfill.
When a builder gets ready to lay the foundation of the building, they may need to backfill an area if the plot of land is uneven. Adding the immense weight of an entire building onto an area that is not backfilled properly can cause significant settling problems for a structure in the future.
Settling can also happen when there is earth movement, a rise in groundwater, or inadequate foundation design. Settling can occur when a load heavier than intended is placed on a piece of land. The makeup of the native soil itself can also cause settling issues. Soils rich in clay tend to experience more expansion and contraction, meaning they may cause more problems with settling.
How Does Settling Impact a Roof?
What happens under your feet can impact what goes on above your head. A building’s foundation is the basis of the entire structure’s strength and stability. When a foundation is damaged due to settling, it can cause significant problems with the roof of a building. Losing the full support of the foundation can cause a roof to curve or sag. A curving or sagging roof is unstable and dangerous. These problems can also result in leaks that allow moisture, mold, and mildew to further compromise the integrity of the roof.
Problems with Contraction and Expansion
Materials tend to increase in size when they get warmer and decrease in size when they get cooler. These phenomena are known as expansion and contraction. Changes in temperature, especially extreme temperature changes, can change the size and shape of building materials, from the wood used to frame a building to the metal rods that give a structure its strength. Temperature changes can even impact pipes, door frames, and the roof of your dwelling.
Most builders will attempt to account for this expansion and contraction by using control joints. These joints help control building movement during weather transitions. However, wild temperature swings and the presence of moisture can cause significant contraction and expansion problems. These problems may be more than some control joints will account for and can cause structural issues in the foundation and the roof.
Signs That Settling May Be Impacting Your Roof
Unusual noises aren’t the only hallmark of settling. There are other signs that your building may be experiencing issues with settling, expansion, or contraction. Spotting these signs can be crucial if you want to catch minor problems before they turn into major problems. Be on the lookout for:
- Standing water or problems with water drainage around the building
- Invasive tree roots
- Cracks in the foundation
- Cracks in the walls of the building
- Uneven floors
- Foundation movement
You will want to inspect your building routinely to catch these settling signs. Some of these signs take time to develop, and settling problems may occur gradually over time. If tenants complain about uneven floors or cracks appearing in their walls, take their comments to heart. They may have spotted the first signs that the roof of your multi-family dwelling is in jeopardy.
What Comes Next?
If you have concerns about the integrity of your building’s roof, get in touch with an experienced roofing company immediately. The sooner you get the roof evaluated, the better off you’ll be. Minor roofing problems can be addressed quickly and may help you head off the need for extensive and costly repairs.
At Kidd Roofing, our team is comprised of qualified and experienced roofing professionals. We have a strong work ethic and an even stronger reputation for delivering results. We even have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
When you call us, we will set you up with an initial roofing inspection. We will check your roof thoroughly for signs of damage and address the concerns you may have about settling. We will take note of any damage we find and the overall state of the roof. Then our team of professionals will let you know what we found and how we can help get your roof back into tip-top condition. We can even schedule regular maintenance inspections to help you catch small issues before they become big problems.
Talk to a Multi-Family Roofing Specialist Today
Protect your investment. Schedule a roofing inspection with Kidd Roofing today. Our team has decades of experience installing and repairing multi-family roofs in the Central Texas area.
Call our office at (512) 671-7791 or fill out a service request online. We’ll be responsive to your needs and work hard to keep you and your tenants safe.