3 Cracks to Look for to Determine if you Have Foundation Issues
Cracks can form almost anywhere, above door frames, around baseboards, next to windows and along the floor of your home. Do all cracks pose a serious issue that requires a major house repair? The short answer is no. Hairline cracks, for instance, are very minuscule in size (>1mm to 5mm) and only damage the aesthetics of the home. Most cracks that appear in the home are due to the natural settlement of the home over time. Many factors can contribute to hairline cracks popping up around the home, such as:
- Temperature Changes: Due to the heat during the summer and the cold in the winter, homes can swell and contract causing cracks to form.
- Location: Depending on if you live near a busy street or highway, vibrations from traffic can cause cracks to appear.
- Construction: Any recent additions to older homes, if not properly supported, can cause small cracks to appear.
- Drying Out: Recently built homes are highly susceptible to cracks forming. Lumber that was used during a new build shrinks and shifts over time as it dries out.
There should not be any concern if minuscule cracks are forming above your doors or windows, around baseboards, or in the drywall joints of your home. They can be naturally explained and easily fixed. If you notice these cracks start to widen, contact Carolina Foundation Solutions.
Cracks Getting Worse?
Moderate-sized cracks (<5 to 15mm) are more serious in nature and have the potential to cause damage if not addressed by a professional. They form on the weakest part of the wall during the natural settlement of your home, however, being wider in size they could be the cause of structural issues. If ignored, you could start noticing various symptoms that indicate the structure of your home is compromised:
- Interior or Exterior Wall Cracks: Water can gather and push against your foundation with hydrostatic pressure much like a dam blocking the path of the water. Depending on how porous the material your foundation is made of, the water can work its way into the walls of your home. Cracking due to hydrostatic pressure means that the water has worked its way into the walls of your home enough to cause cracking to occur.
- Crooked Doors: Doors will start to stick and refuse to close properly due to settling.
- Uneven Floors: Floors will sink typically around air conditioning vents or at the base of walls.
If you notice any of these early signs of structural damage, contact Carolina Foundation Solutions.
Rapid Action is Needed
Have your moderately sized cracks grown into large, severe cracks? These cracks signal major structural issues that are typically due to poor soil compaction and decay of materials within the soil. Soil expands and shrinks when it rains. If the soil has no place to go but up, it can cause stress to be put on your home’s foundation, whether that be a concrete slab, crawlspace or basement. With stress on the foundation, that moderate crack has widened into a severe crack (<15 to 25mm+) that requires serious attention. Here are some signs that your home has foundation issues:
- Cracks in walls (sheetrock, drywall, or plaster)
- Uneven, sloping floors – Your home is not level anymore and your floors are high in some areas and low in others causing flooring separation.
- Separation around doors and windows
- Bowing walls
- Cracks in bricks
- Cracks in brick mortar joints
- Cracks in blocks
- Cracks in block mortar joints
The Repair Process
With over 100 years of combined experience working in commercial and residential foundation repair, Carolina Foundation Solutions can tackle any job, no matter the size. We provide a free assessment of your property, identify the problem and provide a solution with a range of repair services that include the installation of helical piers, carbon fiber wall reinforcement, concrete slab repair with polyurethane foam injection and epoxy stitchweld. We refer you to a trusted structural engineer within our network. Engineers can tell you if your issues are due to an improper water drainage system, poorly compacted soils ad/or a faulty foundation design. They provide specifications on the products we install to ensure your foundation is properly secure and stabilized. Our work is backed by warranty and we offer financing options.