Does Cracked Paint Mean You Need Foundation Repair?

It’s probably time for foundation repair if you notice settlement cracks around the exterior of your home or damage to your basement walls. But what if you notice unusual cracks in the interior paint?

foundation repair

When you notice paint cracks inside the house, thoughts of repainting probably come to mind. And sometimes, a coat of fresh paint is all you need to solve the problem. But in some cases, cracked interior paint can be a reliable indicator of foundation settling.

So how can you tell if your cracking paint is no big deal, or a symptom of a larger, more serious settlement issue?

When Cracked Paint Signals Foundation Settlement Problems

Look closely at the cracks in your walls. Do the cracks stop with the paint?

Use a small flat-head screwdriver or utility knife to chip away loose paint. If you don’t see any damage to the wall underneath the painted surface, you probably don’t have foundation damage. In that case, you should be safe to add a new coat of paint.

If, however, the cracks extend beneath the paint, you may well have some foundation damage. Cracking that is adjacent to your doors or windows, or that originates from the corners of door or window frames is especially bad news.

Foundation-related cracks can also run diagonally (up or down) from the corners of the interior walls.

How Can Foundation Repair Fix Your Wall Cracks?

Interior cracks related to settlement occur when the structural weight of your home shifts, placing excess pressure and torque on walls, doors and windows. Foundation repair won’t repair the cracks – obviously – but it will correct the underlying structural problems that caused them.

Foundation contractors offer a variety of solutions to fix these structural issues.

For example, resistance piers or helical piers may be installed to shore up the settling foundation. Both types of piers consist of strong, heavy-duty steel tubes that are placed deep into the soil. The piers provide support and stabilize your walls, to prevent further settling and the subsequent interior cracking.

The type of piers used for your foundation repair will depend upon your soil conditions and the extent of your structural damage. Tieback anchors are another common foundation repair option, especially if you have bowed walls in the basement. Tiebacks secure cracked walls to the soil on the outside of the house, using tension to make the walls stronger and straighter.

Can You Paint Over the Cracks Instead of Having Foundation Repair?

If you’re at all in doubt as to whether or not your paint cracks are serious, contact a professional foundation contractor for an inspection.

Covering foundation cracks with a fresh coat of paint is like putting lipstick on a pig. The cosmetic fix may make it look better, but that’s merely a temporary disguise for what’s really underneath.

Foundation damage should never be ignored, as it will only get worse over time. This serious structural problem will never work itself out. And, if you repaint and put off the repairs, settling will progress unabated. Consequently, the damage will worsen and the repairs will be much more extensive –and expensive – when you do get around to it.

The professionals at Atlas Piers provide a full range of foundation restoration services to customers throughout Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Before you add that new coat of paint, contact us to schedule a free foundation repair consultation and estimate.

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