Are Foundation Cracks a Serious Problem?

May 19, 2020 Baird Foundation Repair

Foundation cracks, depending on size and angle, can cost a lot of money to fix. Fortunately, there are some symptoms of bad foundation that you can detect before it gets to that point.

Where can you find the cracks?

While you are not able to see what’s happening under your house, foundation cracks help you picture any issues occurring below. Cracks aren’t the only signs of a problem, but they are the easiest ways to tell a problem is happening.

Oftentimes cracks appear in walls, windows and, most commonly, in doorways. However, not all cracks in these locations are signs of foundation problems.

If you do notice unusual changes, look around and take an assessment of your home. Pull up rugs to check for floor cracks that are smaller on one side than the other. If a door has been sticking, check for a gap at the top or bottom. Walk around and inspect all the walls for cracks.

Again, it’s the cracks that spread like spider webs or run in jagged, diagonal patterns that you have to worry about, not those that are straight and even.

The same is true for exterior cracks. Stair-step and vertical cracks are often more indicative of a problem than horizontal cracks or cracks that are larger on one end. In two-story homes, foundation problems are often more evident on the exterior of the second story than the first, so make sure you inspect both stories carefully.

Why do the cracks occur?

The minerals you have around your house could determine the reason. Clay tends to expand and contract due to water after it rains. Houses tend to crack under the pressure from the clay expanding.

Concrete has the opposite issue – shrinkage. As the concrete cures and it shrinks, it shifts the underground and causes cracks.

These cracks do not normally indicate foundation weakness because they are common in newly built homes. However, if the crack continues to widen, that could make the home vulnerable to more damage. Soil can create vertical cracks because the weight of your home creates an uneven ground.

This shifting results in what are often considered to be the top five signs of foundation problems:

  • Doors that stick or squeak
  • Interior cracks where walls join ceilings/other walls, or at the corners of windows or doors
  • Cracks in brick exteriors
  • Floors that sink or slope
  • Bowed walls

Which kinds of cracks are the most dangerous?

The seriousness of the crack depends on what kind of crack you have. The most common, and least serious, cracks are vertical. These are normally due to a new house settling, but they could widen over time and cause more damage.

Diagonal cracks are also common and are likely due to one side of your home settling more than the other side.

The solution can be relatively simple, but it depends on what is causing the two sides to be different. The last, and most dangerous, type of crack is a horizontal crack. This is a sign that your foundation has experienced damage and lacks structural integrity.

No matter how big the crack is, we can help. If you have noticed any of these signs of foundation problems, let one of our foundation specialists assess the damage and determine what type of foundation repair is best suited to your foundation issue.

We are able to fix the problem by installing helical and push piers quickly at an affordable price. For a free personalized quote, contact Baird Foundation Repair today to get started.

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