Foundation Cracks: What You Need to Know
You may have heard that settling can cause cracks in your foundation. You may have also heard that not all foundation cracks are major causes for concern. So, how can you determine which type of crack can lead to problems down the road? First, it helps to understand what settling is.
Settling & Foundation Cracks
Settling describes the natural and gradual changes that take place in a foundation. Depending on the soil composition and the climate, a new home will gradually sink a few inches into the ground over time. Settlement often takes place in two stages: the initial settlement and the ongoing settlement. The initial stages occur during the first few years after a foundation’s construction. In fact, it’s not uncommon for cracks to appear in a new foundation in as little as a year. Here are the different types of foundation cracks that may develop:
- Vertical cracks – The most common type, these foundation cracks are typically caused by normal house settlement and may appear after just a couple of years. They are not a real structural concern.
- Diagonal cracks – These cracks run diagonally and develop when sections of your home settle faster than others. Diagonal cracks are common in homes built on a hillside.
- Stair-step cracks – Similar to diagonal cracks, stair-step cracks may indicate a shift in the foundation. Stair-stepping occurs when bricks or blocks in the foundation separate.
- Horizontal cracks – Horizontal cracks are more common in cement-block or brick foundations and can be a sign of a serious structural issue. These cracks occur when water pressure and unstable soil put a strain on the foundation walls, causing them to bow inward.
Foundation Repair Services From Geotechnical Experts
If the cracks in your foundation are more than a quarter-inch wide, it’s best to consult a professional foundation repair company. At Engineered Solutions of Georgia, we have served homeowners throughout the Southeast for more than a decade. We can visit your home to closely inspect your foundation cracks. If your home doesn’t have a problem that needs foundation repair, we have no problem telling you that. Contact ESOG today for more details.