Not all cracks are created equal. Cracks in your foundation can typically be classified into two categories: structural cracks and non-structural cracks. Both can be worrisome to a homeowner who is not sure what might be going on. Not all cracks cause structural damage. Non-structural cracks are typically cosmetic and don’t require major repair. Structural cracks can affect the structural integrity of your home and should be repaired by a qualified foundation specialist.
Non-Structural Foundation Cracks:
Non-structural foundation cracks can be caused by things like thermal movement, changes in the moisture content, or hydrostatic pressure. Some cracks are simply a natural sign of aging. Non- structural cracks typically don’t pose a major threat to the stability of your home.
A few characteristics of non-structural cracks in your foundation are:
- Small cracks in plaster or drywall around corners or seams
- Small cracks in concrete slab floor where there is no signs of moisture or vertical movement in the cracks.
- Narrow cracks in block or pored wall foundation, typically 1-2mm, and have not shown any signs of movement for a period of time. (You may want to consult with a structural engineer on the length of time you should monitor cracks)
Structural Foundation Cracks:
Structural foundation cracks left unfixed can lead to problems that are dangerous and expensive. Structural foundation cracks may be caused by loose soils that are not properly compacted during construction, erosion, prolonged exposure to broken downspouts or gutters, decomposing fill supporting the home, or a damaged waterline just to name a few.
A few characteristics of structural cracks in your foundation are:
- Vertical cracks that start small and get wider at the top or bottom
- Stair-step cracks
- Cracks wider than 1/8”
- Horizontal cracks that run continuously along the wall
- Windows/Doors sticking or not functioning properly
- Bulging or misaligned blocks
B-Level can repair structural foundation cracks by installing carbon fiber straps or steel beams to stabilize the basement walls. We can also install helical piles to stabilize sinking or settling foundations.
If you think you are experiencing any of these issues, contact our office today. We provide homeowners or property managers free proposals!
Written By: Project Manager, Butch Storts