Foundations can crack for a number of reasons such as loose soil, poor settling, earthquakes, and inadequate drainage. Some cracks are insignificant, but there are also cases where they might indicate a serious structural problem. This only makes it important to determine how serious a crack is.
The seriousness of a foundation crack depends on its size and location, as well as whether the property is showing other signs of structural problems. House foundation crack repair experts note that type of the crack also matters, as some can be unsettling and more dangerous than others:
- Vertical cracks or those that go straight up and down usually occur in almost all houses and aren’t something you should worry about. While they might not be a structural concern, however, they allow water to enter through the foundation, especially during heavy rains. The solution to this is usually simple and inexpensive like an epoxy or urethane injection.
- Diagonal cracks can be more of an issue than vertical cracks, as they could indicate differential settlement that can result in a serious structural problem. Uneven or differential settlement occurs when the soil under the structure contracts, expands, and shifts away. This can cause the foundation to move in two different directions, leading to diagonal cracks. It’s best to call a pro.
- Horizontal cracks are the most serious type. They are commonly seen in brick and concrete block foundations. Common causes for these cracks include bowing foundation, excessive backfilling, and frost heave. If you see these cracks in your home, it’s advisable to call a foundation crack repair expert.
- Stair-step cracks are commonly seen in brick and concrete block foundation. They can be a concern if the crack is bigger than ¼ inch or if the wall is bulging. They are also caused by differential settlement and should be assessed by a foundation repair specialist.
You should know that foundation cracks could lead to other issues like roofing problem, framing issues, leaks in basement walls, and problems with doors and windows. You can always benefit from calling a pro when evaluating and fixing foundation cracks.