The foundation is responsible for keeping your home firmly planted in the ground. The primary bed of support for the home, the foundation can cost a great deal to repair if the damage is extensive. As damage tends to occur slowly, you can typically spot it when you see growing cracks along the walls of the basement. Should you be worried about a foundation crack? Let’s take a moment to review the different kinds of cracks to find out.
Vertical cracks are not that uncommon and may be the least threatening cracks for your house to develop. They will appear as lines that run from the basement ceiling downward, or from the floor upward. Typically the result of natural elements and the compression of the foundation by the house, they require some interior patching and not much else.
Diagonal cracks can be hard to figure out. It could be nothing more than just a minor amount of damage caused by pressure. It may also be indicative of a stress fracture that will only get worse with time. There’s no harm in calling in a foundation repair expert to evaluate the crack and recommend a course of action.
Do the cracks on the walls of your foundation look like a ladder, a grid, or are there overly prominent horizontal cracks? If this is the case, then you will need to contact a professional. Horizontal cracks are formed when the pressure below the foundation and above the foundation is causing the wall to bow outward. This causes the horizontal and vertical cracks in your wall. If left unattended, the cracks will get worse over time. Don’t let this happen to your home.
It’s not uncommon to have a crack and not know if it will be a problem. Simply put, the only way you can tell is with time. Mark the ends of the crack with a pencil and list the date. Every month or so, go back down into the basement and check on the crack again. Has it changed? Is it the same? If nothing has happened, then let it be and check back in a few months. If it has gotten worse, then consider seeking a professional foundation contractor to take a closer look at it.
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