Foundation repairs are a daunting thought for a homeowner. Nothing is more dreaded than the sight of cracks in the walls or ceiling of your home. It is crucial to understand when those cracks, even little ones, are a sign of something more sinister going on.
Recognizing A True Problem
A crack does not always equate to your foundation’s demise. Unfortunately, this fact contributes to the difficulty in recognizing a real problem. Sometimes a crack can be superficial and merely cosmetic. The worst-case scenario is that the cracks are signs of your home, settling unevenly.
Keep Record of the Development
Keeping a record of the fissures in and outside of your home is a good practice. Note how long they are, where they are, they are and the date that you first saw them. Check them every couple of weeks for signs that they are traveling or growing wider.
If you do have a crack or fissure in your home that is wider than one-sixteenth of an inch, it is a good idea to call in a professional to have it inspected. If your home has a crawl space you are willing to check yourself, it can be a good indicator of a more significant problem even for a layman.
A professional will be able to verify whether the crack compromises the integrity of the wall in cases of a severe crack. They should also be able to let you know the cause of the crack and if there are severe issues with the foundation in addition to the wall. It is not uncommon for a cracked wall to be replaced with no problems. However, if the crack appears in a weight-bearing wall, it could make the structure of your entire home unsafe.
Other signs of looming foundation repairs include uneven floors or doors that do not fit the door jam properly. Some might attribute this to weather, but this itself is another sign of damage to the foundation. Soils that change with moisture or the lack of it are notorious for settling in a way that is damaging to the foundation.
Not All Cracks Are the Same
As mentioned before, there are some cracks that are signs of superficial problems, while others are sure indicators of larger and more costly repairs. Knowing the difference between them will help you know if it is a simple repair, you can take care of yourself, or if it is crucial, you call a professional right away.
Static cracks are the superficial sort. If you see one you they typically do not get larger. In addition, these types of cracks are usually found running vertically.
A dynamic crack is one that is getting larger in either length or width or both. This kind of crack should be inspected and not just repaired. Even more ominous is a dynamic crack that runs horizontally. The implications of this kind of crack are serious and potentially dangerous and should be inspected by a professional immediately.