Understanding Different Types of Foundation Cracks and Their Implications

Crack in white brick Mosley Ferry

As a homeowner, finding cracks in the foundation of your home can be a stressful experience. Foundation cracks can lead to a variety of problems, such as water damage, structural issues, and safety hazards.

Understanding the different types of foundation cracks and their implications can help you make informed decisions about how to approach repairs and prevent future damage. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of foundation cracks that homeowners can encounter, including their causes and ramifications.

Types of Foundation Cracks

Discovering the various types of foundation cracks and how they may impact your property can enable you to make knowledgeable choices about fixing them and avoiding potential harm. The following are a few of the most common types of foundation cracks:

  • Vertical Foundation Cracks: Vertical foundation cracks typically run straight up and down and are caused by normal settling of the foundation. If these cracks continue to widen or are accompanied by other signs of damage, such as bowing walls or uneven floors, you may need a professional assessment.
  • Horizontal Foundation Cracks: Horizontal foundation cracks can mean settlement, but they can also indicate a more significant problem with your home's foundation. When present in basement walls, these cracks may be caused by soil pressure or water damage and can weaken the structural integrity of your home. If you see horizontal cracks in your basement, it is important to contact a foundation repair specialist immediately.
  • Diagonal Foundation Cracks: Diagonal foundation cracks are also a cause for concern. They typically indicate that one side of your home's foundation is settling at a faster rate than the other side. This uneven settling can lead to cracks in brick, cracks in interior walls, uneven floors, and other structural damage.
  • Stair Step Cracks: Stair-step cracks in block foundations are a serious threat to your basement's structural integrity. These cracks occur along mortar joints and can compromise the entire foundation. Avoid potential hazards with proper maintenance and repairs.
  • Foundation Slab Cracks: Foundation slabs are likely to crack as they age due to natural settling, drying, and curing. Although often a cosmetic issue, it may pose a threat to the structure if cracks widen. Settlement issues with a new foundation slab could be a sign of poor workmanship or soil conditions. Crawl space slab foundations near ground level are also susceptible to frost heave, causing the concrete to buckle during freezing weather. It's important to address these issues to avoid more significant problems in the future.
  • Structural Foundation Cracks: Beware of these dangerous cracks that threaten the safety of your home's structure. Be cautious of horizontal, vertical, or stair step cracks in brick wider than a quarter inch, as they indicate serious structural deficiencies. Structural foundation cracks usually result from environmental movement, like temperature changes, soil pressure, or shrinkage.
  • Non-Structural Foundation Cracks: A non-structural foundation crack may not be an immediate danger to your home, but it can still cause water damage during rain or snow melt. These leaks can ruin your belongings, walls, and floors, and even promote mold growth.
  • Hairline Cracks: New construction foundations often experience hairline cracks within a year of completion of construction due to the foundation settling and drying. Fortunately, these cracks are mostly cosmetic and can be easily fixed by both do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners and professionals.
  • Shrinkage Cracks: These types of cracks happen when concrete dries out and loses moisture. While common in new home builds, shrinkage cracks typically pose no structural threat. However, if your area has high levels of radon gas, ensure your basement is properly sealed to prevent any potential leaks through these cracks.
  • Vertical Displacement Cracks: Vertical displacement cracks are cracks in the foundation that create uneven sections, where one side of the foundation is higher than the other. This may occur when the lot was not leveled correctly before the foundation was poured or when one side of the foundation suffers more soil push than the other. This could be due to reduced soil load-bearing capacity or the weight of the house being too heavy on one side.

It is essential to be vigilant when it comes to foundation cracks. Regular checks and routine repairs can help prevent costly structural damage and the development of safety hazards. Remember to contact a professional foundation repair specialist to assess any foundation cracks that you may have. They can help fix the issue before it becomes more severe, which can help you prevent your home from suffering major damage.

Call Our Foundation Crack Repair Experts in Nashville for a Free Consultation Today!

Don't procrastinate on foundation-related issues. Cracks in your home's foundation can worsen and lead to costly problems. They may also expose your home to water intrusion, posing a risk to its structural integrity. Schedule a complimentary inspection with our Nashville foundation crack repair experts today to save yourself time, money, and stress.

Looking for an effective foundation crack repair service in Nashville? Look no further than United Structural Systems. We’re a reputable company with almost 30 years of experience in the industry. Take the first step towards a more secure foundation by scheduling your complimentary inspection and estimate today. Call us at (615) 307-9510 or connect with us online now to learn more.

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