Understanding Different Types Of Foundation Cracks

Don’t let your home crumble! A comprehensive guide to recognizing and managing types of foundation cracks

Foundation cracks are a frequent issue that can appear in various forms, endangering the structural stability and safety of a home. Cracks may not seem noticeable in the beginning, but they might get bigger over time. Various types of cracks necessitate specific repair methods. Understanding the nature of the crack can help you fix it before the damage becomes worse. We’ve outlined different types of cracks to assist you in identifying the best way to fix them.

Stair Step Cracks

  • They are common in block foundations and occur along mortar joints. They pose a significant risk to the stability of your basement foundation.

These cracks typically stem from two primary causes:

  • Foundation settlement or sinking in a specific area.
  • Moisture-related issues surrounding your foundation.

Horizontal Cracks

  • Horizontal cracks in a foundation are a significant concern. Typically, these cracks result from uneven soil conditions and the hydrostatic pressure against the foundation wall. Signs may include inward bowing of the foundation and water infiltration into the basement. Horizontal cracks can occur in both block and poured foundations.

Vertical Cracks

  • Vertical foundation cracks run straight up and down the wall and are less serious than horizontal cracks. They do not give rise to a structural threat. Wide foundation cracks may be caused by excess moisture in the soil.

In addition, the natural concrete curing process is one of the causes of vertical cracks. Epoxy or polyurethane crack injections are the methods used for repairing these cracks.

Hairline Cracks

  • These types of 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.

If you discover a hairline fracture in a newly purchased home, a home builder can cover the cost of repair. But it is a wise idea to take photos or mark the cracks to keep an eye on the progression of the crack.

Shrinkage Cracks

  • Similar to hairline cracks, they occur as poured concrete foundations undergo drying and moisture loss. Commonly observed in new home constructions, these cracks are typically vertical and present no structural hazard to the foundation. However, in regions with elevated Radon Gas levels, there is a potential risk of gas infiltration into the basement through these cracks.

Foundation Slab Cracks

  • Foundation slab cracks are frequently observed in poured concrete slabs over time, and understanding the underlying causes is crucial. Here are three common reasons for these cracks:

Concrete Curing

  • The natural process of drying, settling, and curing of the concrete slab often leads to cracks. These cracks are typically superficial and do not pose any structural threat.

Slab Settlement

  • Settlement issues in a new foundation slab can be concerning and may indicate poor workmanship or unfavorable soil conditions during construction. Immediate inspection by a professional is recommended in such cases.

Frost Heave

  • Crawl space slab foundations, particularly those situated at or above grade, are susceptible to frost heave. Freezing temperatures cause water underneath the slab to freeze, leading to the buckling of the concrete.

Diagonal Cracks

  • types of foundation cracksJust like vertical cracks, these cracks are not a serious threat to the foundation. They are usually caused by the natural settling of concrete with time or by the natural curing of the foundation.

They run along a 30-degree angle. Although they do not damage the structural integrity of the foundation, it’s better to get them repaired. Epoxy crack injections are used for repairing diagonal cracks.

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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