Your home’s foundation is an essential element in ensuring that your property remains stable, secure, and safe. Over time, however, even the most robust and well-built foundations can develop cracks and fissures.
If left untreated, these foundation cracks can cause significant damage and potentially compromise your home’s structural integrity. In this article, we will explore the different types of foundation cracks you should know about, how to recognize them, and what actions you can take to prevent further damage.
Hairline cracks in foundation walls
Hairline cracks are tiny fractures that appear on the surface of the foundation walls. Often, they are caused by temperature changes, and they are usually not a cause for alarm.
However, if the opposite side of the wall becomes visible through the hairline crack, it may indicate a significant shift in your home’s foundation. If you notice hairline cracks on your foundation, ensure they are sealed as a preventative measure.
Step or stair-shaped separation
Cracks that form in a step or stair-like pattern are a sign of a more severe issue that requires immediate attention. Over time, a lack of vertical reinforcement can cause your home’s foundation to shift, leading to the development of step or stair-shaped separation.
The foundation may shift and can cause the home to become structurally unsound. If you notice this type of cracking in your foundation, contact a foundation repair specialist immediately for an assessment.
Shear cracks in bricks
Shear cracks are often visible in brick walls and can be caused by the movement between the wall and its foundation. If the foundation below the brick wall cannot hold up the weight of the structure, it will shift and cause the bricks to crack.
If you notice shear cracks in your brick walls, contact a foundation specialist who can assess the degree of damage and the necessary repairs.
Horizontal cracks in brickwork
Horizontal cracks in brickwork are usually a sign of settlement issues and should not be ignored. This type of cracking usually appears around the mid-point of the wall and can be an indication that the foundation beneath the wall has shifted.
It’s advisable to get a professional assessment and repair services to address these problems as they can cause more severe damage to your property if left unchecked.
Diagonal cracking can often be a sign of differential settlement, which means that one side of the foundation is settling while the other side is not. This type of cracking typically appears close to the corners of the home and is more commonly seen in homes built on a sloping foundation.
Hiring a foundation repair company to assess the damage is crucial, as the shifting foundation can lead to more significant structural integrity issues if left untreated.
Bulging walls are a clear sign that a house’s foundation is failing, and there is a considerable hydrostatic pressure buildup. This type of damage is severe and needs immediate attention because it can cause a structure to collapse or become unsound.
A professional foundation repair contractor can help assess the source of the pressure and reestablish structural soundness before progressing on with any repairs.