As a homeowner, discovering problems within your home’s foundation can be quite unsettling and is often a cause for concern. One common issue many homeowners experience lies within their home’s foundation: cracks. While not all cracks are serious, some types of foundation cracks could require immediate attention and, in that case, you’ll need the heroes at StayDry to evaluate and address the problem.
Of course, you first need to familiarize yourself with the types of foundation cracks so you can recognize them and take the right course of action. In an effort to inform our customers of the types of cracks and the severity of each, we’ve compiled a list of varying types of cracks, as well as how to recognize them. First, let’s take a look at the several types of foundation cracks.
Types of Foundation Cracks
As mentioned, foundation cracks vary. Some may be minor with no cause for concern, whereas others will lead to serious trouble if they aren’t addressed promptly or properly. We’ve categorized them by their causes, including the types of cracks that often result from each cause. Take a look below to learn more about each type of crack.
Shrinkage: Most often occurring in poured concrete foundations, shrinkage cracks can vary in size from hairline to approximately ⅛ of an inch. This type of crack typically occurs once the concrete has been poured and water from the mix starts to evaporate. Cracks will vary in shape and location based on a variety of factors, such as temperature, steel reinforcement, and the volume of water.
Fortunately, most shrinkage cracks won’t compromise the structural integrity of your home, but you should take note of them and ensure they don’t grow.
Settlement: Often caused by foundation displacement due to soil conditions, settlement cracks typically occur in poured concrete and block walls. Within settlement cracks, there are a few different types. See below:
- Step Cracks: Typically taking the shape of steps, these cracks often occur within block walls when the foundation settles.
- Vertical Cracks: Some vertical cracks will take the shape of a V, while others will remain vertical. One of even both sides of the crack will pull downward. Diagonal cracks are similar to vertical, yet they are often much more concerning and may be a result of more than vertical displacement.
Lateral Displacement: Possibly the most worrisome and dangerous types of foundation cracks, those caused by lateral displacement occur in poured concrete and block walls. Also caused by soil, this time pressing against the wall, lateral displacement cracks need to be addressed immediately. As with settlements cracks, there are two types of cracks within lateral displacement:
- Diagonal: Often consisting of two cracks in poured concrete walls, these diagonal cracks are the result of too much pressure by the soil outside the wall, causing the wall to lean inward.>/li>
- Horizontal: Typical of block walls, horizontal cracks resulting from lateral displacement are often found near or below the grade and is caused by soil pressure. A bowing wall is a common result and will call for a professional.
Dangers of Foundation Cracks
Though not every type of foundation crack will affect the structural integrity of your home, you should always keep a close eye on the less serious ones, while having the StayDry heroes inspect those of more concern, such as lateral displacement cracks. Minor cracks can often be repaired with our crack injection services, but some may call for more extensive work.
Whichever the case, StayDry Waterproofing is always here to help. If you’re concerned about a newly-discovered crack, be sure to give us a call so we can take a look and address the issue. You can contact us here or give us a call at 800.782.9379.