We have a sun room built by a contractor for which building plans had to be approved by the city and a professional engineer. The room is about 12' x 12' and attached to the house. It sits on a wooden box frame on top of 4 ground anchors that sit in heavy, heavy clay.

Five years after construction one of the windows has lost it's seal and there is a point of movement between two drywall sheets. I patched the area between the two drywall sheets but a week later the crack is back!

I believe that the ground anchors are moving just a little bit due to the clay and the temperature range of -40 deg F to + 90 deg F range that we get in a year.

It's too late to do anything with the anchors as they are boxed in. There is siding covering the exterior of the box and wire mesh from there to the ground to keep animals out.

Is there anything that can be done for the drywall or a new window that would tolerate slight movements?

From the pictures it looks like they put in two ground screws and then attached the box to the concrete foundation of the house.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • You could put an expansion joint in the drywall, but it sounds like you have more serious issues. Are you able to update your question with a link or image showing the type of ground anchor in use? What do you mean by "boxed in"? – isherwood Feb 24 '16 at 20:49
  • 1
    And don't rule out liability on the part of the contractor or engineer. Substantial movement shouldn't be happening. – isherwood Feb 24 '16 at 20:50
  • @isherwood the anchors are not visible and it is now -30 Deg F outside so current pictures are not possible. I do have pictures when it was installed and will post later tonight. Tell me more about a drywall expansion joint. – kevinsky Feb 24 '16 at 20:56

Put in a warranty with whomever you can & ride it out until warmer weather for a full reveal & adjustment, the anchors look somewhat adjustable & may permanently fix any initial settlement. This could be freeze thaw settlement & you may find movement stops in warm weather. Indicating the anchors were not installed correctly by not going below the frost line.

Masking tape outlined with a pencil over the drywall crack is a better movement monitor. The masking tape is just to make it pretty, you actually keep marking the wall every time it moves. To get an idea of how much it's moving, why it's moving, how it's moving & therefore when it stops moving & even goes back up.

Drywall patching & window sash resealing will only succeed when the box frame finally rests on the ground, if the movement doesn't stop on its own. If there's no warranty anywhere & especially not on any paperwork, then your best & really only course of action is to put in a real foundation with really big feet fat stinky feet. Anchors only work when they contact ledge rock & only companies that do it right do that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.