Window Door Stuck

Jamming, Sticking Windows & Doors

A window that is cracked at the corner and separating from the brick foundation wall in Oxford

Window damage due to foundation settlement in Lebanon.

Any opening made in a wall represents a weak point. This is especially true for load-bearing exterior walls. That's why foundation settlement will often cause cracks around window and door openings, as shown above.

The Problem:

Your windows and/or doors are sticking, jamming, or your doors have non-functioning locks.

Telltale Signs:

  • Doors don't open or close properly.
  • Windows need extra force to open & close.
  • Diagonal cracks that start at top corners of windows & door openings
  • Floors are uneven or dip and sag
  • Door & window openings are out of square
  • Cracks forming in windows

How to Fix It:

While there are many issues that can lead to sticking windows and doors, the two most common foundation-related causes are settlement and crawl space supports that have settled, shifted, or deteriorated.

Foundation piers can be used to repair settlement issues, while crawl space jacks are a good solution for sagging floors over crawl spaces.

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We serve Hamilton, Dayton, Cincinnati, and many nearby areas in Ohio and Indiana.

Identifying Problems With Windows & Doors

Any problem with a home can be distressing, and doubly so when there's a problem with your foundation. Foundation problems related to sticking windows and doors are among the most obvious and inconvenient of them all.

Symptoms Of Sticking Windows & Doors

We depend on windows and doors for ventilation, security, and aesthetic appeal. So when they don't operate correctly or don't look good because of skewed openings or cracks around openings, it's clear that something must be done.

Below are images of windows and doors we've encountered that have been damaged due to more far-sweeping foundation issues.

(Click each photo to enlarge.)

Stair step cracking starting at a window in a Hillsboro homeSliding doors that are crooked and jamming due to a foundation issue in Hillsboro home A long foundation crack that begins at a doorway of a Greenville home. A long drywall crack beginning at the corner of a doorway in a Batavia home.
A long, diagonal crack that begins at a window corner of a Oxford home long jagged cracks starting at the corner of a window along a brick wall on a Franklin home A large settlement crack on interior drywall in a Lebanon home. A gap in a window along the outer wall due to foundation settlement of a Miamisburg home.

What Causes Windows And Doors To Stick Or Jam?

Cracks that extend along window and door openings can be a symptom of a much larger foundation settlement issue. If ignored, it's possible that the foundation problem that caused these cracks will get worse, potentially leading to more severe damage to your home.

Window and door cracks that are connected to foundation problems have two common sources:

Illustration of a severe foundation settlement issue

Settling Foundations

Because of varying soil characteristics, foundation settlement is never uniform. Uneven settlement causes sections of a foundation or slab to crack and shift, while other sections remain in their original positions.

While foundations and slabs crack due to soil settlement, the wood framing supported above is more likely to bend or twist. This results in skewed openings for windows -- and doors and floors that dip.

The drywall fastened to wood framing is not as flexible, so it’s more likely to crack -- especially at the corners of window and doors. When a house has a brick or stone exterior, a settled foundation is likely to have cracks in these upper masonry surfaces due to a lack of flexibility

More about foundation settlement issues.

Illustration of a completed installation of a foundation push pier system The Solution:

At The Basement Doctor of Cincinnati, we address foundation settlement issues by installing foundation piers at key locations. The piers extend to stable, load-bearing soil, attached to the foundation with steel brackets. This repair work prevents further settling -- and can even allow the foundation to be jacked back to its original position.

Once the foundation is raised back up, cracks in the wall will close. Doors, locks, and windows may return to functionality, and further settlement damage will halt.

We offer two different types of foundation piers to address foundation settlement: push piers and helical piers. With either installation, there's a 25-year manufacturer's warranty, as well as our own performance warranty.

More about foundation piers.


Illustration of a severely sinking crawl space structure.

Sinking Crawl Space Supports

Crawl spaces are often poorly designed, with too few support columns, rotting floor joists and girders, and weak supporting soils causing the supports to sink.

As the crawl space structure sinks, the floor that it supports will sink as well, creating uneven surfaces underfoot. And as the floor sinks, it will pull the interior walls that are attached to it downwards.

As the walls sink, they pull apart, leaving cracks in your interior walls. And as the home warps, doors inside the home will jam and become difficult to open or shut.

Illustration of a repaired crawl space structure with crawl space jacksThe Solution:

We repair crawl space structural issues with crawl space support jacks. We begin by excavating a hole for each support and creating a base of engineered fill. A pre-cast concrete base is installed on top of the fill, and the support jack is mounted on top.

Once installed, our crawl space supports will stop your floor from sinking and sagging. These adjustable jacks can also be modified to attempt to lift your floors and walls back to a level position.

Crawl space jack systems install quickly -- with an installation usually being completed in about a day. They provide a superior solution to other repairs, such as concrete columns, shimming, and light-duty jack posts.

When shopping for crawl space jacks, it's important to find a system that's resistant to corrosion. Crawl space jacks that rust and corrode in a crawl space will become difficult, if not impossible to adjust. If you have a future issue, you won't be able to count on them to operate properly.

Which is Which?

When pinpointing what kind of foundation repair you'll need, it's important to note whether the visible problem in your home is centered around the interior of the structure or the exterior.

If you have exterior cracks, jamming doors, and windows, then the problem is most likely not sinking crawl space supports. These cracks are most often caused by foundation settlement.

Identifying The Source Of Window & Door Issues

  Potentially Caused By:
Structural Problem Crawl Space Structural Issue Foundation Settlement
Jamming Exterior
Or Entryway Doors
  green checkmark
Jamming Interior Doorways green checkmark green checkmark
Sticking Windows   green checkmark
Cracks Along Windows
& Entryway Doors
  green checkmark
Cracks Along Interior Doorways green checkmark green checkmark
Sinking, Sagging Floors green checkmark  

Your Local Foundation Repair Experts in OH and IN

Any problem with a home can be distressing, and doubly so when there's a problem with your foundation. However, it's good to know that a foundation contractor can have the damage quickly and permanently repaired -- restoring value and stability to your home.

If you have a problem with your foundation, we can help. At The Basement Doctor of Cincinnati, we offer free, no-obligation foundation repair quotes within our Ohio and Indiana service area. Each free quote includes an on-site inspection, personal consultation, and written estimate.

To schedule your free quote, call or e-mail us today! We proudly serve Hamilton, Dayton, Cincinnati, surrounding areas such as Middletown, New Albany, Loveland, Fairfield, West Chester, Fairborn, Jeffersonville, and nearby.

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

our service area

We serve the following areas

  • Aberdeen
  • Alpha
  • Amelia
  • Batavia
  • Bellbrook
  • Bethel
  • Blanchester
  • Blue Creek
  • Casstown
  • Cedarville
  • Clarksville
  • Conover
  • Fairborn
  • Fayetteville
  • Felicity
  • Fletcher
  • Georgetown
  • Goshen
  • Greenfield
  • Hamersville
  • Hillsboro
  • Jamestown
  • Leesburg
  • Lynchburg
  • Lynx
  • Manchester
  • Martinsville
  • Midland
  • Morrow
  • Moscow
  • Mount Orab
  • New Vienna
  • Oregonia
  • Owensville
  • Peebles
  • Pleasant Plain
  • Ripley
  • Russellville
  • Sabina
  • Sardinia
  • Seaman
  • South Lebanon
  • Spring Valley
  • Waynesville
  • West Union
  • Williamsburg
  • Wilmington
  • Winchester
  • Xenia
  • Yellow Springs
Our Locations:

The Basement Doctor of Cincinnati
10690 Loveland Madeira Rd
Loveland, OH 45140
1-513-331-7740
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