Posted on: 10.08.2022 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Skirting boards are a distinctive feature of a house. They contribute to visually appealing and balanced rooms. However, there may also be concerns when it comes to skirting boards and the appearance of a room. Over time, you may notice that baseboards are detaching from the walls, which can be quite an eyesore.

There can be many different reasons why skirting boards detach from the walls. Fortunately, the detachment usually occurs due to faulty installation, house shifting, warped boards, or shrinking sealants. While you can’t fix a shifting house, you can repair the unsightly skirting boards to restore the visual attractiveness of your house.

In this article, you will learn why skirting boards tend to detach from the wall and how you can easily repair detached skirting boards.

Why do your skirting boards detach from the wall?

Usually, you won’t notice skirting boards detaching from your walls until your house has aged a bit. When you see the skirting boards detaching, it can be alarming, but the repair doesn’t require much time or money. Before you start thinking about repairing the moving skirting boards, you need to figure out exactly why they are retracting.

Here are some reasons why they might be retracting:

  • Missing nails
  • Lack or shrinking of sealants
  • Imperfect wall surface
  • Incorrect installation

Looking at this list, you can see that none of the causes for skirting board detachment is significant and can likely be fixed with just a little bit of time and limited supplies.

Common reasons for skirting board detachment and their remedies

Skirting boards detaching from the wall are not uncommon. There are several reasons why you might see the skirting boards starting to move. In this section, you will learn more about these reasons, as well as simple solutions.

Missing nails

When skirting boards are installed, they should be fastened with two nails on each stud. This keeps the skirting board flush against the wall. Sometimes, you may see skirting boards fastened with only one nail, which may work for a short period but is likely to result in the skirting board detaching from the wall over time.

Some solutions for this problem are:

  • If you look at the skirting board and notice that there is only one nail in it, you have likely found the cause of the detachment. Add more nails.
  • Make sure the nails are in a genuine stud before proceeding with the repair.
  • If the existing nail is not in a stud, you will likely need to insert a second nail either above or below to fix the problem.
  • Use nails that are 1 ½ inches long to ensure a secure hold.
  • Using a nail gun is likely the most time-efficient, but if you don’t have a nail gun, you can use a hammer and a nail set to sink the nail head below the surface.
  • Use wood putty to camouflage where the nails were placed.

Lack or shrinking of sealants

It is not always necessary to apply a bead of sealant along the top of the skirting board. However, it can help keep it flush against the wall as the house ages. Another issue with sealants is using too little sealant. If too little sealant is used, it doesn’t support the skirting board when it detaches from the wall.

Perhaps the skirting boards initially had enough sealant, but it has started to shrink. When the sealant shrinks, the skirting board can detach from the wall.

Quick and easy remedies for sealing problems are:

  • Not all baseboard installations require sealant. It is often a personal preference. However, it can lead to skirting boards detaching from the wall.
  • Applying sealant to the wall can be time-consuming, as the bead of sealant needs to be just right without excess material overflowing.
  • Make sure to use a sealant that can be painted when selecting sealant.

Tips for proper application of sealant:

Applying sealant to any surface can be a challenge. To ensure the best seal, it is crucial to have a suitable caulking gun. Also, cut the tip of the caulk tube at an angle to ensure even distribution of the sealant on the wall and skirting board.

Imperfect wall surface

Unfortunately, not all walls in a house are perfectly straight and flat, which can cause the skirting board to detach from the wall. The reasons for an imperfect wall surface can be varied. The most common causes are an accumulation of joint compound and tape or a misaligned joint, both of which you cannot control, so you have to work around them.

Solutions that can help fix an imperfect wall are:

  • If there is a large gap between the wall and the top of the skirting board, you will likely need to fill it with joint compound, as the skirting board cannot be flush with the wall.
  • Use paintable joint compound.
  • An extremely wide gap will probably require foam to fill the excess space before caulking.
  • Insert the foam under the top of the skirting board before caulking.
  • Fill the remaining gap with caulk (this also conceals the foam insert).

Incorrect installation

Sometimes, skirting boards are installed incorrectly. Perhaps they were not nailed into the studs, two nails were not used, or the sealing may be limited or missing altogether. Whatever the installation issue may be, it can likely be easily fixed.

Some ways to remedy an installation error include:

  • Remove the skirting boards carefully and reinsert them correctly.
  • This will likely be time-consuming, as you need to exercise extreme caution when removing the skirting boards.
  • Make sure the skirting boards are cut to fit the wall correctly, then realign them. (One tip when removing the skirting board: assign a number to each wall and write it on the skirting board so you don’t mix up the parts).
  • Reinsert the skirting boards, ensuring to nail into the studs at the top and bottom of the skirting board.
  • Apply sealing on top to secure a tight fit.

The skirting board detaches from the bottom of the wall

If you notice that the skirting board is detaching from the bottom of the wall, there may be a different problem that needs to be addressed. First, check the position of the nails in the skirting board. If they are missing at the bottom, this could very well be your cause. However, if the skirting board is correctly installed, there may be a much more serious underlying problem.

There is a possibility that your foundation is the cause of this movement of the skirting board. If this is the case, you may not be able to diagnose it yourself and will need the help of an expert. Similarly, this may not be a major problem that needs fixing, but you should consult a foundation expert to ensure there is no hidden issue. (Source: AMC 911)

Final thoughts

Skirting boards look phenomenal in a home and can help add character; however, if not installed correctly or if they are older, they can detach from the wall. This is quite common with a variety of simple fixes that can be done with minimal cost and effort. If you ever question the cause of the detachment at any point, consult an experienced contractor.

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