When to Worry about Cracks in a Foundation
Cracks in a building’s foundation are extremely common. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a foundation that didn’t have at least a few hairline cracks in it. The important thing, then, is knowing which cracks you can ignore and which cracks you should do something about. This quick overview from the foundation repair experts at Engineered Solutions of Georgia will help you know the difference.
Different Types of Foundation Cracks
Foundation cracks are typically divided into three categories:
- Settlement – Every foundation settles over time, and as this happens, small cracks usually develop in the concrete. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on any small cracks that you find, to see whether they are getting bigger or not, but if significant time passes and they haven’t worsened, there’s probably no need to worry. If your foundation settles unevenly, however, it may cause cracks in the building’s interior walls (especially stemming from doorways and window wells). If this occurs, it may be worth it to contact a foundation repair company for an inspection.
- Shrinkage – Shrinkage is a natural process that happens to concrete over time. As water within the concrete dissipates, the particles pull closer together. Because the outer layer of concrete is exposed to air, it can develop sprawling, spidery cracking but since these cracks are only surface deep, there is not really a reason to worry.
- Horizontal – Among the most serious, these cracks occur when water-saturated soil around your home exerts too much lateral pressure on your foundation. Horizontal cracks should be addressed right away as they may cause foundation walls to bow, buckle, or even cave in.
Different types of foundation cracks require different methods of repair. If you see settlement or shrinkage cracks and notice them getting worse, you should contact a foundation repair company for a professional assessment. Likewise, if you notice horizontal cracking in your building’s foundation, you should have an inspection performed right away.
For more information on knowing when to worry about foundation cracks, or to learn about the many different types of foundation repair that we offer, contact Engineered Solutions of Georgia today.