My Foundation Cracks: Are They Normal or a Structural Concern?

Without a strong foundation, what is holding your home up?

We understand how nerve-wracking it can be to spot cracks in your home’s foundation. Not only are you worried about the investment in your home, but major foundation repairs can be costly.

The truth is, not every foundation crack is a sign of structural failure.

Every crack in your foundation should be fixed but some are worse than others. Keep reading below to learn how to tell when a crack is normal or a structural concern. We’ll also cover the types of cracks you may see.

Are Foundation Cracks Common?

Believe it or not, foundation cracks are quite common. They also happen in homes of all ages. They can develop within the first year of a home’s construction or develop as the home ages. 

Sometimes, the materials or workmanship are to blame, but a majority of the time foundation cracks are caused by:

  • Concrete shrinkage as the foundation cures
  • Changes in soil composition due to weather and climate change
  • Eroding or shifting soil on your property
  • Expansive clay soil putting pressure on your foundation
  • Hydrostatic pressure applied to your walls
  • Poor drainage issues leading to pooled water
  • A natural breakdown of concrete or brick

By catching it early and scheduling residential foundation crack repair services, you can prevent further damage from being done. Examples of this could be a bowing wall or sinking foundation.

The Different Types of Cracks

Cracks in your foundation will typically appear in vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or stair-step patterns.

Vertical cracks are a sign of your home’s natural settlement. You shouldn’t panic if you see these. Instead, just seal them with an epoxy injection as soon as possible.

Horizontal cracks will appear in cinder block or brick walls when your foundation is damaged due to lateral earth pressure from poor drainage or one of the reasons we listed above.

If left alone, these horizontal cracks will slowly continue to develop, further causing the foundation wall to bulge or bow in more dramatically. This can cause the sill plate supporting it to deteriorate and move the floor joists. Call a professional right away if you spot horizontal, diagonal, or stair-step cracks.

A home foundation crack repair and structural foundation repair expert will determine the extent of damage, make a significant repair to your foundation, and seal up any cracks.

When a Crack in Your Foundation Poses a Threat

In most cases, a small or hairline crack with a leak can be permanently sealed by injecting liquid resin-based epoxy. This is a quick and cost-effective solution.

You can buy crack repair kits on your own, but we recommend that you hire a professional to do it.

Besides noticing a stair-step pattern in your foundation, you should also call for a foundation crack repair when it’s wider than one-quarter of an inch.

If the crack is not due to foundation movement or settlement, it can be stitched with steel plating on the exterior or be tied together.

Monitor Your Foundation Cracks

As we stated above, foundation cracks are fairly common.

It’s up to you as the homeowner to monitor any cracks you see around your property and call for foundation crack repair services if they grow wider than one-quarter of an inch or appear in a stair-step pattern.

Call us today at 847-382-2882 if you have any questions about your foundation or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation.