Understanding The Different Types Of Foundation Cracks

Explore the common types of foundation cracks and how to choose the best solution

Foundational cracks can jeopardize the strength and integrity of the whole structure and your property. Cracks of different sizes and shapes usually appear near the windows, walls, or floors. Different types of cracks require different repair techniques. Knowing what you are dealing with can help you fix it before the damage worsens. This article lists different types of cracks to help you address the problem before it causes severe damage.

Horizontal Cracks

  • Horizontal cracks in your foundation are a big threat to the integrity of your home. These cracks result from uneven soil and the hydrostatic pressure of water pressing against the foundation wall. They cause the foundation to bow inward, and you may notice water seeping into the basement. Horizontal cracks can occur in both block and poured foundations.

Horizontal cracks are frequently discovered below grade, where the frost line exists. The cyclical freezing and thawing of the soil typically induce them. The continuous expansion and contraction of the soil create an unbalanced force on the foundation wall, ultimately leading to a horizontal crack.

Vertical Cracks

  • Vertical cracks are not as severe as horizontal cracks and usually do not endanger the structural integrity of your home. These cracks are commonly found in poured foundations and run vertically up and down the wall. In addition, vertical cracks are among the most prevalent cracks found in basements.

They are caused by the foundation settling over time or the natural curing process of the concrete. The usual repair method for vertical cracks is an epoxy or polyurethane crack injection. DIY kits for such injections can be purchased cheaply but are not long-lasting compared to professional crack repair services.

Stair-Step Cracks

  • Stair-step cracks resemble the pattern of steps on a staircase and are a common type of cracks found in block foundations. They usually develop along the mortar joints and extend throughout the wall. Stair-step cracks are identical to diagonal cracks and require prompt attention and repair to prevent further damage to the foundation.

The two primary factors contributing to the development of stair-step cracks are unbalanced or sinking foundation settlement and moisture around the foundation. These cracks can grow and threaten the foundation’s integrity if left unaddressed. It is essential to have stair-step cracks repaired by a professional as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure the safety and stability of your home.

Diagonal Cracks

  • These cracks are not a serious threat to the foundation like vertical cracks. They are usually caused by the natural settling of concrete over time or by the natural curing of the foundation.

They run along a 30-degree angle and do not damage the foundation’s structural integrity. However, it’s better to get them repaired. Concrete injections can fill the crack and restore the foundation’s strength, preventing further damage.

Hairline Cracks

  • types of foundation cracksHairline cracks are more common in newly constructed foundations. Settling and drying of the new foundation can cause hairline fractures to appear within just one year of construction. Although they are typically not a major structural concern, it is essential to address them to avoid future problems.

If you discover a hairline fracture in a newly purchased home, a home builder can cover the repair cost. But it is wise to take photos or mark the cracks to monitor their progression.

Let our experts from Crack-X take a look at your cracked foundation. We include a 10-year, transferrable warranty on most wall crack repairs. Crack-X is a structural repair company located in Maine and New Hampshire. Call us at 877-727-2259 to get started.

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