Foundation repair can cost you thousands if you aren't proactive. Cracks can provide insight to the future integrity of your home.
How can you tell the difference between normal cracking and problematic cracking?
Normal Vs. Problematic Foundation Cracks
Cracks can appear everywhere around your home. Inside, outside, in the foundation and on the ceiling. There are certain cracks that occur due to natural settling and will typically come to a halt.
Then, there are cracks that are cause for concern. Let's take a look at some different types of cracking.
Typically, less than 1/16th inch thick is not something to worry about. As concrete cures, it shrinks. This shrinkage causes cracks. This is something to keep an eye one, but typically nothing to worry about.
Foundations can bend, but not very much. If they start to bend too far the cracks will grow. Poured foundations will typically have small cracks due to settling.
1/8th Inch Cracks
Bending and moving can cause larger cracks. Most foundations are reinforced by rebar , which helps to provide additional support and keeps things from moving to0 far.
Although, if there is extensive movement below, the rebar will fail. Larger Foundation cracks can be a sign that you need to take action. This usually means there is shifting, shearing, and potentially severe movement from the foundation.
Block foundations will typically show their stress by revealing large gaps between the block that resemble steps.
Cracking that is leading towards doors and window is often another sign of structural issues.
Think of a boat on the top of an ocean. Although our house may seem heavy, large, and sturdy, in the relation to the earth and the moving soil below the house, it essentially weighs nothing.
This being said, the movement of the soil below your house can be a major culprit in your foundation cracking.
The biggest mistakes you can make are:
- Ignoring it
- Replacing it
Ignoring it can lead minor issues to lead to severe issues.
Replacing it can be far more expesive then repairing it. Since this soil is sometimes unpredictable, replacing replacing structures doesn't always fix the issue.
The last thing you want to do is invest heavily on a new foundation, only to find yourself in the same delima only a few months or years later.
SummaryKeep an eye out for:
- Foundation Cracking
- Drywall cracks
- Noises caused by moving and shifting
- Doors and windows that don’t work properly
- Larger than normal spaces between joints
If you see any cracking, keep an eye on it. If it is larger than a hairline, or headed toward a window or door, give us a call to come take a look at what is causing it.
Don’t ignore, and don’t replace, without first getting an experts eyes on it. This is possibly your largest investment, make sure you plan for its future.
Give us a call and schedule a licensed structural engineering to come to your house.