Are Foundation Cracks Always a Serious Problem?

Foundation cracks are never a welcome sight for homeowners. After all, cracking can be a sign of significant structural damage, which can require costly repairs. 

cracked bowed sidewalk

However, many Utah, Nevada and Wyoming homes built of brick, concrete and block develop foundation cracks over time. And, fortunately, cracking doesn’t always indicate a serious problem. 

While every crack in a home’s foundation should be carefully monitored and eventually treated to head off further damage and costly repairs, some types of cracking are worse than others. If you’ve noticed a crack or two around your home and want to know what you’re up against, a foundation repair contractor can shed more light on the extent of the problem.  

Hairline Foundation Cracks

Hairline cracks in the mortar between bricks or concrete blocks are typically a result of the curing process. This type of cracking is common and, in most cases, isn’t a cause for immediate alarm. However, if one begins to expand, prompt crack repair can help prevent more extensive and costly damage.

Vertical Foundation Cracks

Vertical cracks, which often appear within a few years of home construction, are also common. Cracking of this nature isn’t likely to cause structural issues for a home, but should be addressed to ward off potential water seepage. Most vertical cracks are easy and inexpensive to repair and seal.

Stair-Step Masonry Cracks

Stair-step cracking in masonry joints are a concern, as they can signal a moisture problem in the soil around the foundation. Cracks that are wider than a quarter-inch, and those that are accompanied by bulging in the wall or foundation, pose the biggest threat to your home’s structural integrity and should be repaired as soon as possible.

Diagonal Foundation Cracks

Diagonal cracking generally appears when a fracture spreads and may mean that the soil is exerting too much pressure on the outside of the wall. To avert further spreading and structural damage, diagonal cracks need to be professionally stabilized and reinforced.

Horizontal Foundation Cracks

Horizontal cracking is caused by repeated soil expansion and contraction, and it usually indicates a serious structural problem. These cracks are symptomatic of an unstable home foundation and, left alone, can cause the walls to bulge or even snap. Repairs for horizontal cracking can be extensive and expensive, but immediate professional attention is a must to prevent the home’s structural integrity from being compromised.

Are you concerned about the cracking around your home’s foundation? If you live in Utah, Nevada or Wyoming, the professional contractors at Atlas Piers can provide a complimentary damage assessment and expert advice on your best course of action.

As a trusted local industry leader with over 25 years of experience, Atlas Piers is known for providing high-quality service at an affordable price. Contact us today for a free, no-hassle consultation and evaluation of your foundation cracks.

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