Finding a crack in your foundation can cause anyone some stress, but that’s not always necessary. Of course, don’t leave cracks unnoticed and without examination, because there’s always a possibility that it could turn into something worse, but sometimes a crack is just a crack. If you’re a homeowner you might be wondering when you should worry about a crack in your foundation and when you shouldn’t worry. Some cracks can lead to framing issues and structural problems that will need foundation crack repair, while others are simply just there because of natural settling.
Foundation cracks can cause a lot of worries but there are ways that you can determine if your cracks are problematic or not. Typically there are non-structural cracks which shouldn’t be much of a concern and then there are structural cracks that will need foundation crack repair as soon as possible to ensure that it does not cause more problems. There are a few things that you should look out for to determine if a crack is an issue or not.
- If the crack is wider than ⅛ inch
- Cracks that are wider on one end than the other
- Cracks that are getting bigger over time
- Stair Step cracks in brick walls or floors
- Larger diagonal cracks
- Horizontal cracks
- Severe vertical cracks where there are multiple near each other
- Cracks that go across the ceiling and down the wall
These are some red flags to watch out for if you see cracks in your foundation. If you see anything on this list then it is probable that you will need foundation crack repair as soon as possible to fix the issues within your foundation and restabilize it.
Horizontal cracks are some of the worst to watch out for. If you have horizontal cracks in your foundation then you should immediately contact a foundation repair company to assess your foundation and come up with a plan to get a foundation crack repair. This type of crack is most commonly seen in homes with concrete blocks or brick foundations. This type of crack can be caused by many different things such as uneven pressure on the foundation which causes horizontal cracking and sometimes bowing of the walls. These cracks are typically repaired by the most invasive type of repair method which is putting reinforcements on your foundation. Typically this means putting piers under your foundation to help support it and close the gap as well as reinforce the foundation.
Hairline cracks in your foundation are normal and very common among homeowners. Any foundation that is made with concrete can expect hairline cracks eventually because over time it cures and shrinks which can cause hairline cracks. Usually, these are not a cause for concern as long as they are thin and vertical cracks. You may find solutions to fill in the cracks if they are causing worry. You should keep an eye on the crack to ensure that it does not widen or get bigger as time goes on because if it does then this could be a sign of more problems.
Foundation cracks such as hairline cracks that typically don’t call for foundation crack repair are usually caused by shrinking and curing of concrete or other foundation materials which will result in small vertical cracks in the walls. These are usually not a cause for concern. Other foundation cracks can be caused by larger issues though. Here are some events that can cause cracks in a foundation.
Soil- The soil under your foundation has a lot to do with the way your foundation is stabilized on top of it. Having soil that was not properly packed down or soil that is not moist enough may cause your foundation to shift and move with inevitable cracking in your foundation.
Temperature- Temperature changes are a huge part of foundation cracking. Concrete expands and contracts with the temperature change so if you live in an area where it goes from freezing to not freezing quickly then this will cause your concrete to expand or contract and cause cracking in your foundation.
Settling/Sinking- Homes naturally settle as time goes on but sometimes if the foundation isn’t supported properly then this can cause the foundation to sink. A sinking foundation can cause cracks because usually the home sinks or settles unevenly.
Nature- Earthquakes, ice, and other natural occurrences can also cause cracking in the foundation. Especially earthquakes, can shake your home and make the foundation unstable which causes cracking in it. Ice and other elements can cause cracking due to the expansion of the material in the foundation.
There are other reasons that your foundation might crack, but overall these are some of the most common reasons that this might happen. Most of the time it is natural and normal, but the cracks caused by these movements can get worse and cause more foundation problems for you so it’s important to get them inspected by a foundation repair company.
Foundation cracks will make any homeowner worry but it is not always something to worry about. Foundation cracks can be caused by a multitude of things from mother nature, temperature, or natural settling. Having foundation issues is not uncommon for homeowners, but this doesn’t make things any less stressful.
Remember to pay attention to the red flags and warning signs of foundation cracks to determine if there are any that you should get checked out. Foundation cracks may not look like a big deal but they could cause more damage and vice versa so it is important to watch them and make note of any changes. Always call a foundation repair company to come to inspect your foundation to see if the cracks you have are cause for concern. If they are, then the company will do a foundation crack repair and will get your home looking back to normal, and more importantly, it will be safe and stabilized.