What Causes Cracks in Walls?
Water in Crawlspace
Poorly compacted soil
For many homeowners, a slight crack in the wall may not seem like that big of a deal. Some cracks are, after all, not a danger to the stability and safety of your home. However, some kinds of wall cracks are the telltale sign of major foundation issues.
How do foundation issues result in wall cracks? Some of the most common foundation problems that cause wall cracks are foundation settlement and shifting. When the soil below your foundation settles, expands as it absorbs more water, or shrinks as it dries out, the foundation above is subject to movement. This movement is often uneven and can cause walls to pull away from the foundation or from each other. The lack of proper support in some areas of the home can put pressure on your home’s wall, leading to crack formation.
If cracks have formed in the interior walls of your home, it is a good idea to have them examined by a professional to ensure there is no threat to the structural stability of the house.
The team at Affordable can take a look at cracked walls in your home and determine not only the cause but the best plan of action to fix those cracks. If the cracks are caused by foundation settlement, the repair team may install helical piers or steel piers to stabilize the area and prevent future foundation settlement. Cracks caused by foundation movement can be repaired using plate anchors or helical tiebacks to pull the foundation back into place. Contact us for a free estimate today.
Types of Wall Cracks
It is important to note that there are several different types of wall cracks that you might find in your home. Each type is a bit different and can indicate a different root cause.
Vertical cracks may be a sign of normal foundation settlement that occurred after the construction of the home, meaning that they may not be as serious as horizontal cracks. Non-serious cracks can usually be patched and painted over. However, if the cracks are more than 1/4 inch wide and extend from the wall to the ceiling, it is best to have them looked at by a professional.
If the crack is horizontal or runs at a 45-degree angle, it is more likely to be the indication of a serious foundation problem. Horizontal wall cracks are commonly caused when the foundation of your home shifts or water damage affects the wall. When you see this kind of crack, it is best to get in touch with a professional.
Cracks that are shaped like a flight of stairs normally occur in brick walls or cinder block walls (like the walls in your basement). These kinds of cracks are usually caused by settlement. Unless this kind of crack is accompanied by bowing or leaning or is exceptionally wide (over 1/4 inch), they are probably not terribly serious.
Sometimes, cracks appear in a spider-web-shaped pattern on your walls or ceiling. These cracks are usually fine, hairline cracks, and occur as a home ages or along with the natural settling of the foundation.
You should also keep an eye out for cracks in the corners of rooms or near your windows and doors since these might indicate foundation failure. Anytime there is a particularly wide crack in your home, or anytime a crack seems to be getting wider with time, you should contact a professional. Affordable Foundation and Home Repair is here to help, with free quotes – we are experts at fixing wall cracks.