Tuesday, April 20

How Can I Tell if a Foundation Crack is Serious

As a homeowner, seeing a crack in your foundation can certainly be cause for concern. Here in The Bay Area, the age of the homes as well as harsh rainy seasons can take a toll on your foundation.  Even if it hasn’t happened to you, many of us have heard horror stories of water damage and shifting foundations that can cost a pretty penny to repair. The last thing any homeowner wants to see is a crack running along their foundation.  So, how can you tell if the small crack you discovered signifies a much larger problem? Read on to find out.

What Different Types of Cracks Can Signify

There are several different types of basement cracks that commonly occur within the foundation of a home, each of which can signify a different problem.  It’s always a good idea to find a top rated general contractor in The Bay Area to help identify potentially serious problems:

  • Horizontal Cracks – A crack in your wall that extends horizontally, or looks like a stair step, commonly signifies a more serious problem for homeowners. These cracks leave your foundation susceptible to lateral pressure and with the natural expansion of the ground around your foundation, with moisture, it can actually cause your wall to bow around the crack. A horizontal crack can eventually lead to the entire failure and snapping of the foundation walls if not cared for appropriately. This type of crack cannot be fixed by simply filling it, it will require professional attention by an experienced foundation repair company to truly repair.

Horizontal Crack in Foundation in Toronto Home

  • Vertical Cracks – As concrete and the foundation of your home settle it can cause vertical cracks to occur throughout your foundation. These cracks are quite common and can be easily repaired by filling the crack with filler materials to prevent further spreading.  While vertical cracks can potentially be a sing of something serious, most often it is due to natural settling of your home’s foundation.  If you see new vertical cracks appearing in your foundation, it is best to contact a foundation repair company to take a look at it.

Toronto home with vertical crack in foundation

  • Diagonal Cracks – A diagonal crack is typically an indication of a fracture that has spread over time, so a simple filling might not fix it permanently. It is a good idea to get these types of cracks stabilized and reinforced by professionals so that further spreading does not occur.

    Toronto home with a horizontal foundation crack

Depending on the types of cracks that you are noticing within your foundation, you can better determine the next step that you need to take to protect your investment.

Even Minor Cracks Need to Be Monitored

Even if you have a vertical crack, you want to be sure that you monitor all cracks regularly. Expansion, bowing of walls and leaks can only cause more damage to your home and cost you more money. If water is leaking into your basement from the foundation crack it is important to get it fixed.  Water can erode the foundation over time and turn a relatively minor repair into a major repair job later on.  A great way to monitor your cracks is to use a pencil to mark the ends of a crack with the date reviewed. A few months later you can return to the crack and see if it has changed or expanded. If you notice an expansion then perhaps it is a good idea to seek professional assistance to ensure that your home is not in danger.