A crack can be a sign of a problem with your foundation. But, not every crack is a “bad” crack. In fact, some cracks are just part of the settling/curing process, especially in newer homes. But, if you’re seeing cracks, you need to be aware that they could be signs of bigger problems. Of course, if you have other issues such as bulging walls, sloping floors, or frame warpage (doors and windows), then you can’t ignore those cracks anymore.
How Severe Is My Crack?
Some cracks are just part of the settling process, but some cracks are signs of a much bigger problem. If the cracks are expanding in length or width, it can be a sign of a continuing problem. Most newer homes will develop small cracks from foundation settling; this is normal and expected. But if the cracks keep growing, there could be an underlying problem that needs to be rectified before it becomes worse and/or catastrophic.
It’s easy to monitor your cracks. To do this, use a permanent marker and draw a line where the crack ends. Then, write the date down next to the line. After a few weeks and/or months, revisit the crack. If it has not grown, it’s probably not a problem. But, if it has grown, then there’s a good chance you need to call a foundation repair company.
Another way to check for severity is to use a dime for measurement. A dime is .705 inches (just under 18 millimeters) thick. If you can fit a dime in any crack in your home and/or office, it needs to be addressed - this is severe!
Types Of Foundation Cracks
Understanding the type of foundation crack you have is important to diagnose the problem. There are two types of foundation cracks: vertical or horizontal.
Vertical cracks generally occur when a foundation is shrinking. This is fairly common in newer homes as the concrete foundation cures. Shrinkage cracks generally don’t get larger than .125 inches (1/8 of an inch) wide. However, if the crack is larger than .125 inches or it is located in a corner of your foundation, it might be a sign of a much bigger problem not related to shrinkage.
Horizontal cracks generally occur from pressure on the outside walls and/or structures. While most structures are designed to handle normal pressures from water and soil, additional pressures such as floods can create more stress that can cause erosion, settling, sinking, and even lifting. These types of cracks should never be ignored.
Remember, you can easily track if these cracks are growing using the line/date method we mentioned earlier.
Call Us Today
If you suspect that you have a foundation problem, give us a call. We’ll provide you with a free, no-obligation quote that will explain our findings and our recommendations. There’s no risk to you and you’ll know whether or not that crack is really a problem or not.