While your home’s foundation is initially made to last, foundation cracking can greatly reduce its integrity. No home is safe from a cracking foundation, no matter how well it was built. In fact, environmental issues, such as temperatures and humidity levels, are a top player in how your foundation will hold up in the long run.
Every homeowner should take the time to check their foundation for new cracks. However, be aware that not every crack leads to structural damage. That’s why it is so important to know what to be on the lookout for the next time you inspect your home’s foundation.
- Stair-Step Shaped Cracks
- If your home is built on a cinder block foundation, cracking is often noted in a stair-step pattern. This type of foundation cracking occurs whenever the cinderblocks crack and then separate. These cracks are a sign of pressure from either water or shifting soil.
- Whenever this pattern of cracking is noted, there may already be some structural damage to your home. If a large, horizontal crack is found, then you need immediate intervention from a structural engineer to remedy the situation and save your home from further damage.
- Cracking Concrete Slabs
- If you have a poured concrete foundation, you may begin to notice cracks sooner than other foundation types. There is no need to worry, though. Most of the time, these are simply hairline cracks that pose no structural risk.
- Even though your cracks may be benign, they should still be repaired. Filling the cracks may prevent water damage or mold growth. Don’t wait for the cracks to grow before you repair them.
- Cracking or Separating Exterior Brick
- If your home is constructed from brick, you should be on the lookout for any cracks that form. Be sure to inspect all brick areas, including brick facing and even the chimney. Cracks in brick are often caused by foundation shifting.
- Damaged Interior Walls
- Cracks can also appear in your home’s drywall. Be sure to take note of any cracks, whether they are vertical or horizontal that may appear in the drywall. If they suddenly appear or get wider, it is most certainly because of a structural issue with your foundation. Ill-fitting doors and windows may also point to a foundation issue.
No matter where you first notice signs of foundation cracking, be sure to call a professional for advice. They will be able to determine the extent of your damage and provide you with a surefire way to repair your foundation problems.