If you’re like many homeowners, finding a crack in your home’s foundation may cause a bundle of unpleasant emotions: fear, anxiety, and maybe even anger. For others, it might also spark feelings of uncertainty.
How do you know when the crack is a concern? Is it something that needs immediate addressing, or is it not a big deal?
These are some of the most common questions homeowners have about foundation cracks. However, sometimes it’s hard to determine the answers. Many people discount the urgency of seemingly harmless cracks until they cause significant damage, so it’s important to know what to be on the lookout for when you spot a crack in your foundation.
Before you start to worry about finding a crack in your foundation, there are a few things you should first take into consideration.
Identifying A Crack in Your Foundation
If the crack in your foundation is barely noticeable, it’s not something you need to worry about…right?
Size is one of the most significant indicators that foundation cracks need attention, but it’s also a primary reason why homeowners overlook growing problems. It’s no secret that large cracks can indicate structural problems, but smaller cracks aren’t something you should ignore either. A common misconception is that if the crack is tiny, it’s not a cause for concern. That is not necessarily the case, as small cracks typically suggest foundation movement, and even the most minor hairline cracks have the potential to grow and cause damage to your home.
So, how big is too big?
Workers in the home repair industry say that any crack wider than 1/16 of an inch is an issue. Additionally, if you notice any growth in your foundation cracks—regardless of how big they were, to begin with—you should consider contacting a foundation repair expert to assess your situation.
Even if the size of the foundation crack is minuscule and doesn’t indicate structural damage, it still presents an opportunity for termites to invade your home. Those suckers can fit through the tiniest of cracks, so getting them fixed as soon as possible is always a good idea.
Identifying Direction Foundation Cracks
The direction of the foundation crack is also something you must pay attention to. Vertical and horizontal cracks can help you determine the severity of your situation and give you an idea of what type of repair you need.
Cracks in the foundation that are horizontal are typically a warning sign for severe underlying issues. These types of cracks are something you should address immediately. Horizontal cracks suggest that the shrinkage is more than what normally occurs. It could be a sign that the stress from outside soil pressure is causing your walls to buckle. It would be best if you also were on the lookout for stair-stepping cracks.
On the other hand, vertical cracks are usually less severe and don’t always indicate structural problems. However, you should still take care of them since water and termites can easily pass through vertical cracks.
Finding a crack in your foundation is never something you want to have happened, but it’s a common problem for many homeowners. Depending on the age of your home and the soil that surrounds it, foundation cracking may be inevitable. Addressing these issues as soon as possible is imperative if you want to prevent further damage to your home.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Worrying is never fun, so if you are concerned about a foundation crack in your home or are unsure about what repairs you need, reach out to a foundation repair expert to discuss your options.