There is little doubt that you are unnerved when you see cracks in your foundation. It is common for many people to associate the appearance of cracks on a building with a poor design or construction of the building. However, this is not always true. Foundation cracks and other types of cracks occur due to various reasons. Different types of cracks also mean different things, and not all types of cracks should be a cause for concern.
Here are some points that you need to know about different types of foundation cracks and what they mean when you see them in your house.
1. Vertical Cracks
Most vertical cracks run up and down the foundation, though some of them slant up about 30 degrees. It is common to see vertical cracks on the foundation during the foundation’s curing process. The reason why vertical cracks are common, especially in new buildings, is that they are caused by the concrete shrinking process.
Most vertical foundation cracks are small and, therefore, harmless since they are usually just at the surface of the foundation. But you should be concerned if you see vertical cracks that are wider than 1/8 inch or 3 mm. You need to call a foundation repair expert if you see such cracks.
2. Diagonal Cracks
Diagonal foundation cracks are caused by uneven settling of the foundation. They usually have a slanting orientation, with an angle of between 30 and 75 degrees. At the start, diagonal cracks are usually narrow and are commonly known as hairline cracks. But if left unrepaired, these cracks can expand and provide an easy route for water to penetrate the foundation. As water seeps through these cracks, they become even wider.
Therefore, if you see diagonal cracks, especially those that are becoming wider, you should consult a professional foundation repair company to avert any further damage to your building.
3. Stair Step Cracks
Stair step cracks are a combination of diagonal and vertical cracks. They are referred to as stair-step because they take the form of a staircase. These cracks appear diagonally and are clearly visible along mortar joints. Like diagonal cracks, stair step cracks are also caused by the non-uniform settling of the foundation.
You should consult a professional foundation repair company when you see stair step cracks. The technicians will determine whether the cracks simply need to be filled or there is a structural issue that needs to be addressed.
4. Horizontal Cracks
Horizontal cracks occur due to lateral pressure exerted on the foundation. This can be a result of hydrostatic pressure, frost heave, large roots, or other occurrences. These cracks indicate a severe structural problem and may be associated with other issues, such as foundation wall bowing. You should contact a foundation repair contractor immediately if you see horizontal foundation cracks.
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Is a fully licensed and insured professional Waterproofing & Foundation Repair company serving communities throughout Michigan since 1993. Family owned and operated. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and professional attention to detail. Our company is fully licensed by the state of Michigan and insured for your peace of mind. We have been accredited since 2001 with the Better Business Bureau and are members of the Basement Health Association receiving the National Star Service Award 15 years running.
Whether you need an interior drain tile system installation, wall straightening with anchors or stabilization, encapsulation, or epoxy injection we do it all at Basement Cracks & Leaks, Metro Inc. We specialize in both interior and exterior waterproofing systems & foundation repair.
Our team will come to your home & evaluate your specific problem with over 30 years of industry experience behind them. Using that knowledge & expertise they will design and draft a custom repair plan to meet your home or businesses specific needs. Before we begin your project, we will review your plan with you and make sure you completely understand the repair process. From start to finish we will work with you every step of the way.