How Foundation Cracks can Signal Potential Structural Problems

Your home’s foundation looks pretty good. There may be a couple of tiny cracks, but nothing in your mind warrants the need to have it inspected by a professional foundation specialist. And that may end up being a very costly mistake. The cost of an inspection is a small price to pay for the peace of mind knowing the actual base of your home is safe. 

Identifying Foundation Cracks

Not all foundation cracks are created equal and understanding the difference between the most common types of cracks can help you determine if that crack is truly cause for immediate concern. 

  • Diagonal Cracks-generally are created due to foundation settling caused by uneven soil tension and is the number one culprit of these 30 to 75 degree angle cracks. Many of these cracks are small hairline fractures with a wider crevice at one end. Often one end of a home’s foundation will settle lower than the other. This is frequently seen in homes built on hills, homes with rainwater pooling due to lack of gutters causing the soil to expand and then contract as the water evaporates and the soil dries out, or tree roots growing under the foundation. These types of cracks need to be professionally evaluated and sealed. 
  • Horizontal Cracks-are cracks that need to be inspected as soon as possible. A horizontal or sideways crack is one of the most serious and damaging cracks and can cause major structural integrity concerns. Two of the most common causes of horizontal fissures are exterior soil pressure and hydrostatic pressure caused by moisture soaked soil applying pressure to the foundation walls. Horizontal cracks require extensive repair and should be taken care of as soon as possible in order to avoid further structural damage. 
  • Vertical Cracks-are the least troublesome. Many homes end up with vertical cracks, especially homes in areas that experience high rainfall amounts. These cracks are also very common in newly constructed homes, as the moisture from rain and humidity causes the foundation to encounter pressure and tension ebb and flow. Ever notice how your interior crown moulding often will split and then shrink back together depending on the seasons? That is the same science behind foundation vertical cracks, except the crack doesn’t close back up. But repairs are generally fairly simple and are done by using a water-resistant epoxy or polyurethane injections to seal the crack. In order to keep the cracks from reoccurring angle gutter downspouts away from the home’s foundation and get creative with landscaping if your home is built on a sloping hill. 

Concerns about your home’s foundation? One call to Closing Contractor can help answer all your questions and take care of any necessary repairs. Reach us today at 864-326-2640 or contact us through our safe and convenient online form and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

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