What's going on with my house? PLEASE

Hi all, Something weird is going on with my 17-years old townhouse. I have several small cracks in the walls and ceiling (especially where wall meets wall, ceiling or around door jambs. Along with that I hear crackle sound (relatively frequent) comming from the attic. In addition to thefloor crackles, but I think it's related to the heating ducts underneath of it. It's my first winter in this house so I'm wondering whether it's something seasonal or i really should be worry. In case it's serious, should I hire a contractor to make an inspection of house structure? What kid of contractor should it be? Builder?
Thanks a lot, Vladi
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Sounds like you foundation is moving. Where is the house? Texas, Arizona or other area with expansive soil?
Boden
snipped-for-privacy@charter.net wrote:

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I live in Boston area
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Hi, Check with your neighbors to see if they have same problem first. Is the doors, windows still open/close OK? Tony
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It could be any number of things, but "It's my first winter in this house" makes me think it is mostly the result of reduced humidity in your home. A second part of the problem may be the construction quality and the cracks the result of someone quickly patching them before you moved in.
Of course there are more sinister possibilities.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Valdi,
If you live in a cold area and your home has a sloped roof the sounds you hear from your attic and the resulting cracks may be from some thing called truss uplift. What truss uplift actually is, is wooden structural members reacting to changes in temperature and humidity in the attic. During the colder months the bottom chords of your roof trusses, which are buried under ceiling insulation, stay warm and dry. The top chords are exposed to the colder, more moist attic air. Because of the different temperature and moisture levels, the top chords expand and the bottom chords contract, which causes the bottoms of the trusses to bow, or lift off the wall. So from the living space you might see a separation along the top part of a wall or along window and door headers. However because you mentioned floor problems you could also have a foundation problem as another respondent mentioned, or a whole host of other problems ranging from the trivial to some that would require more immediate attention. Having never seen your particular home I would recommend that you hire the services of a qualified home inspector to determine the exact cause. You should be able to find one at the American Society of Home Inspectors web site which is: http://www.ashi.com /
Best of luck John
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On 6 Dec 2003 05:53:22 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@charter.net wrote:

If "townhouse" in your area means the same thing it does here, then presumably your home is one of many built as a complex... whether each is freestanding, or they're built as duplexes, or as vertical "slices" of a larger building.
In that case, seems to me that the first thing to do is ask your nearest neighbors if they have similar problems occurring, and what THEY know about the history of the problems.
If it does come down to hiring an inspector, in most areas there are licensed home inspectors. Some general contractors might do a fine job of a home inspection, but a lot of them wouldn't; it's not their main thing.
-- Michelle
Please, Don't Breed or Buy While Shelter Pets Die.
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Hi all, Thanks for your replies.
In case this problem is related to some foundation movement or any other kind of structural changes, is that possible that only my unit could have it while my neighbours don't? I live in the townhose building of 4 units (mine is the end unit). We all have the same concrete foundation (I would guess).
On the other hand, if this problem is not related to foundation movement and in fact it is just a seasonal routine ("truss uplift" - as John has mentioned), why do you think I didn't see much wall cracks left from previous winters when I moved in? I think it's a little bit difficult to cover them up making them invisible. Is that possible that this kind of problem gets worse with the years?
Thanks again
Vladi
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