Here is an ultimate guide to identifying structural cracks and non-structural cracks
It’s not unusual to see cracks in the foundation a few years after construction. Cracks can sabotage the strength and stability of the whole structure. Different types of cracks are repaired using other techniques. Knowing what you are dealing with can help you fix it before the damage worsens. Here are some helpful tips to identify different types of foundation cracks.
- Cracks wider than ¼ inch or those that are horizontal are known as structural foundation cracks. As the name indicates, these cracks pose a severe threat to the structural integrity of the foundation.
Soil shrinkage, soil pressure, and temperature fluctuations cause the formation of structural cracks. These movements build up tension in the foundation resulting in damage.
Identifying Structural Cracks
- Landscaping around the foundation of a house can lead to water retention, uneven soil movement, and ultimately the development of structural cracks.
The list below will tell you how to identify structural cracks.
- Cracks that measure 1/8″ or wider
- Cracks that appear on foundation slabs
- Gaping diagonal cracks
- Stair-step cracks that run alongside walls
- Several vertical cracks in a row
Repairing Structural Cracks
- If the crack is structural, an epoxy resin can be used as a sealant to repair it. But sometimes, epoxy alone is unable to fix the structural cracks properly. So, carbon fiber countersunk straps are combined with epoxy to repair these cracks permanently.
Sometimes epoxy is inserted along with metal pins into the concrete across the crack to further stabilize the wall. This welds the concrete together, making it impenetrable once again. The weld is much stronger than the original concrete and includes a 10-year, transferrable warranty on most wall cracks.
- Non-structural cracks range between 1 to 2 mm and are vertical or diagonal. These cracks do not pose a threat to the foundation. However, they leak water when the snow melts and during the rainy season. Water seeping into your home is a matter that requires fixing. Moisture can damage walls, floors, and other belongings. Moisture damage will most likely result in the growth of mold. Therefore, non-structural cracks should not be left unattended for too long.
Identifying Non-Structural Cracks
- Non-structural cracks are often thin hairline cracks that are less than three millimeters in width. Creep damage, settlement, shifting foundations, hydrostatic pressure, and vegetation or trees are the causes of non-structural cracks.
Here are some signs of non-structural cracks:
- They are singular hairline cracks
- They are less than 1/8 inch in size
- Vertical cracks that run from ceiling to floor
- They appear near doors or window corners
- Plaster cracks
Repairing Non-Structural Cracks
- Non-structural cracks are not dangerous and do not need to be promptly fixed. However, keeping an eye on them is a good idea to ensure they don’t get bigger over time. If the cracks increase in signs, they’ll need to be fixed right away. They can be simply repaired by adding extra material to pack the crack. However, structural cracks quickly reappear even after they are filled. This is another way to differentiate these cracks.
One of the worst sights for a homeowner is to discover cracks in their foundation walls. In addition to making the house structure weak and susceptible to damage, cracks also promote water seepage, which can cause flooding in the basement. Therefore, it is essential to address the gaps before they worsen.
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. For more information, call us at 877-727-2259.