Stonehouse Professional Services: The Different Types Of Foundation Cracks And What They Mean
The Different Types Of Foundation Cracks And What They Mean
There are many different types of foundation cracks that can occur in your home. Some of these cracks are nothing to worry about, while others can indicate serious problems with your home's foundation. It’s important to know the difference so that you can take the necessary steps to repair or prevent any further damage.
In this blog post, we will explore the different types of foundation cracks and what they mean. We will also discuss what you can do to repair these cracks and prevent them from happening in the first place. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of foundation cracks and how to deal with them.
1. The Different Types Of Foundation Cracks
Different types of cracks in your foundation can point to different problems. It’s important to inspect your foundation regularly and know how to identify the different types of cracks, so you can better address the issue.
Horizontal Cracks -
It is not uncommon for residential or commercial foundations to develop horizontal cracks. They can occur for a number of reasons, such as soil expansion or contraction, poor drainage, and even tree roots.
If you notice a horizontal crack in your foundation, the first step is to have it assessed by a professional. They will be able to determine the cause of the crack and recommend the best course of action. In some cases, the crack can be repaired with a simple patch. However, if the damage is extensive, you may need to have your homes foundation repaired.
Stair Step Cracks -
Stair step cracks are a very common type of foundation problem. They occur when the foundation settles unevenly, causing the structure to shift and crack. These cracks are usually most evident in the corners of the foundation, where they create a “stair step” pattern.
If you notice stair step cracks in your foundation, it’s important to have them evaluated by a professional. While they may not pose an immediate threat to the stability of your home, they can indicate a serious foundation problem that should be addressed.
Hairline Cracks -
Hairline cracks are extremely thin cracks that can form in a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and glass. Generally, smaller hairline cracks are not caused for concern and are most common on any foundation. These are usually the result of seasonal expansion and contraction of clay soils beneath your house over time and can be easily patched.
Vertical Cracks -
Vertical cracks are a different story. Vertical cracks are usually caused by settlement or heaving, and they can weaken the overall structure of your home. If you notice a vertical crack in your foundation, it's important to have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible. Left unchecked, vertical cracks can lead to very serious problems down the road.
Diagonal Cracks -
Diagonal cracks do not pose a serious threat to your foundation. They are usually caused by foundation settlement. When your home’s foundation settles, it can cause the structure of your home to shift and crack. These cracks are most likely to occur in the corners of your home, where the foundation is weakest. Diagonal cracks can also be caused by lateral pressure, which is when the soil around your foundation pushes against your home. This pressure can cause your foundation to crack and your home to shift.
Shrinkage Cracks -
Shrinkage cracks are a type of cracks that can occur in concrete when it dries too quickly. These cracks can be unsightly and can also weaken the concrete structure. Shrinkage cracks are caused by the contraction of concrete as it dries. This contraction can be due to a variety of factors, such as too little water in the mix, high temperatures, or high winds.
Foundation Slab Cracks -
Foundation slab cracks are one of the most common types of cracks that occur in homes. They are usually caused by differential settlement, which is when one part of the foundation settles more than another. Foundation slab cracks can also be caused by settlement that is not evenly distributed, such as when there is heavy rain or an earthquake.
Foundation slab cracks are not always a structural problem. If you have a foundation slab cracks and are seeing signs of a bad foundation, it is important to have it evaluated by a foundation specialist.
Non-structural Cracks -
There are many types of cracks that can occur in buildings, but non-structural cracks are usually not a cause for concern. These cracks are usually caused by settlement or thermal expansion and contraction and are not indicative of a structural problem. Non-structural cracks can be repaired easily and do not pose a threat to the integrity of the structure.
Wet Non-Structural -
Wet non-structural cracks are cracks that fill with water when it rains or when snow melts. They usually form in areas where the ground is flexible, such as along foundations or walls.
Wet non-structural cracks are a common problem in both homes and businesses. They can be unsightly and can cause water damage if left unrepaired. If you have a wet non-structural crack, it's important to have it repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Structural Cracks -
While minor cracks in the foundation of your home may not seem like a big deal, they can actually be indicative of much bigger problems. These cracks can be caused by a number of factors, including foundation settling or even water leaks. If left unaddressed, these cracks can lead to serious structural damage and be much harder (and more expensive) to repair.
It's important to have any cracks in your foundation inspected by a professional. They will be able to determine the cause of the cracks and advise you on the best course of action. Ignoring these cracks can be very costly in the long run, so don't wait to get them fixed.
What They Mean
Foundation cracks are one of the most common problems homeowners face. While some cracks are purely cosmetic and pose no structural threat, others can indicate serious foundation problems that need to be addressed immediately.
So, what do foundation cracks mean? In most cases, foundation cracks are caused by settling, which is perfectly normal and happens to all homes over time. However, if you notice cracks that are larger than a quarter of an inch or that occur suddenly, this could be a sign of a more serious problem, such as foundation settlement or water damage. If you're concerned about a foundation crack, it's always best to consult a professional to get a closer look.
How to Repair Foundation Cracks
Foundation cracks can weaken the structure of your home and lead to further damage. If your foundation is out of level, it is important that you get that taken care of before doing any cosmetic repairs.
While installing piers in your home is usually enough, you could take it a step further and do epoxy injection. Epoxy injection is a common repair method for foundation cracks. To repair a crack with epoxy injection, you will need to inject the epoxy into the crack using a special injection tool. The epoxy will then fill the crack and bond with the surrounding concrete, repairing the crack from the inside.
Both of these repair methods can be very effective in preventing further foundation movement and cracking. Sometimes a combination of both methods is used to achieve a quick repair and prevent further foundation problems.
You can find DIY epoxy injection kits online or at your home improvement store but we always recommend getting a professional to do it. This is because the consumer grade epoxy kit will not provide a strong, lasting repair. While it is more costly, we always recommend having a professional epoxy injection company come in to do the work.
If your home or business is located in or near San Antonio Texas, and you have found cracks in your foundation, don’t hesitate to contact Stonehouse Professional Services. Stonehouse Professional Services has been providing the greater San Antonio and surrounding areas with top-notch foundation repair services. If you have questions about cracked foundations or would like more information, please don't hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to provide you with a free consultation and estimate.
Give us a call at 210-879-8521 if you have any questions, or book a free inspection online HERE.