How to Tell If a Foundation Crack Is a Serious Problem

Foundation CrackIf you spot a crack in the foundation of your home, it’s only natural for you to feel a little anxious about it. A crack could indicate a serious issue that will cost a lot of money to repair. In many cases, however, these cracks are not a cause for immediate concern. Here is a quick overview of common foundation cracks and what they might mean for your home.

Vertical Cracks

Vertical cracks are the most common type of crack in a foundation. Fortunately, they’re also not very likely to compromise the structural integrity of your home. More often than not, a vertical crack indicates that your home’s foundation has settled since it was built. Even homes that are just a few years old will often have a vertical crack or two in their foundations. While it’s a good idea to get these cracks sealed, they are typically not an indication of serious foundation issues.

Diagonal Cracks

Although they’re not quite as common as vertical cracks, diagonal cracks that run at 30 to 75-degree angles are also relatively common in foundations. They tend to be hairline cracks with one end that is noticeably wider than the other. Much like vertical cracks, these cracks are rarely a cause for serious concern. Instead, they generally indicate that one side of your home has settled more than the other, resulting in uneven tension throughout the foundation. It may cost a little more to repair diagonal cracks than vertical ones, but it still shouldn’t be prohibitively expensive.

Horizontal Cracks

Horizontal cracks in a foundation are, hands down, the most serious type of crack to look out for. Because they can be indicators of dangerous foundation issues, they should not be ignored. Horizontal cracks are most common in homes that sit on concrete block or brick foundations. Common causes of horizontal cracks include soil pressure from outside the foundation and hydrostatic pressure from groundwater in the soil. Horizontal cracks should always be addressed immediately and will usually require extensive (and expensive) repairs.

At Center Grove Real Estate Inspections, we conduct a thorough structural inspection to make sure the foundation in your new home is built to last. Request an inspection online or give us a call today to learn more!

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