Foundation cracking can occur for a variety of reasons, and can happen sooner and more often than you might think. Depending on the type of your foundation, you may notice certain warning signs that may point to a larger structural issue. In many cases, cracks occur normally, and generally don’t mean your foundation is falling apart. It’s in those more severe cases however, that it’s best to try to notice warning signs early and be mindful of what could be causing them, as well as how to fix them.
Four Places to Look for Warning Signs of Foundation Cracking
1. Cinder block foundations
In cinder block foundations, it’s common that the blocks will start the crack and separate, generally in a stair-step pattern. This indicates a strong lateral pressure, whether from water or shifting soil, against your foundation wall. In advanced cases of structural failure, you may notice a large, horizontal crack right in the middle of the wall. If this is the case in your home, we recommend immediate inspection by a structural engineer and/or foundation professional.
2. Poured concrete foundations
Poured concrete foundations can crack more easily, sometimes within 30 days of the concrete curing process. This type of cracking is generally known as hairline cracking, and can be repaired with relative ease. This generally does not point to a larger structural issue, but can be a source of water and mold intrusion.
3. Brick and brick facing
Cracks in your home’s brick and brick facing are generally a sign of a shifting foundation. Additional stress on the foundation, whether it be shifting, sinking, or water pressure, can cause mortar joints in the brick to crack. It’s common to see brick cracking on chimneys as well, as they are often built on independent footers and generally more delicate.
4. Drywall cracks
A less popular yet effective place to look for potential structural warning signs is for cracks on your drywall. Foundation shifting can cause windows, door frames, and drywall framing to shift out of square/jamb, often taking your drywall with it. You may also be noticing windows and doors are a bit harder to open than they used to be.
Contact us for a FREE Estimate on foundation repair.