How Wall Cracks Signal Foundational Issues

At Atlas Piers, we’re proud to provide foundation repair services for settled foundations. Many homes and buildings experience major structural changes as they age, including soil levels in the foundation that may cause shifts or sinking – which in turn will affect the quality of the structure.

One of the most common signs that foundational issues might be present in your building? Cracks in several areas of the structure, including in your indoor walls. Not only are these unsightly to occupants of the space, they also may be signaling that you need foundation repair services as soon as possible. Let’s go over some basics to know on the connection between wall cracks and foundational issues.

wall cracks signal foundational issues

Horizontal Cracks

While wall cracks of any kind are concerning and should be addressed right away, those that are horizontal or angled are the ones that most commonly signal foundational settling issues. This is because most settling takes place due to soil sinking in the foundation, causing the foundation to pull the home itself downward forcefully.

This creates something of a structural tug-of-war. The foundation is pulling the home downward, but the home wants to stay in place. The result you often see first is walls cracking at the seams of where this pressure begins to slowly pull them apart.

Door Frames

The most common area to check for these kinds of cracks will be around your door frames, which will often show damage before other areas of the home. These areas have distinct structural shapes, but these will be impacted and lose their shape during foundation settling.

In addition, your doors and frames could signal foundational issues even if they aren’t visibly cracking. Test for this by opening and closing the door a few times, checking for it sticking or jamming – if so, the frame has been impacted and settling may be occurring.

Crack Width

Once again, any crack you can see with the naked eye on your walls should be addressed immediately. But in terms of those that signal a risk of foundation settlement, we’re generally talking about cracks of greater than a quarter of an inch – these are far outside some of the smaller natural cracks that might appear in some structures, and should be examined by our professionals for structural and foundational damage.

Construction or Foundation?

If you’re noticing a plethora of cracks throughout your home’s walls, including longer cracks that span entire walls or areas, there’s a chance this is due to poor construction of your space. It’s also possible for these to signal the same foundational issues we’ve been discussing here – in either case, this kind of large issue clearly needs a professional inspection ASAP to diagnose the true cause of the issue and address it before it worsens.

For more on what wall cracks are saying about your foundation, or to learn about any of our foundation restoration services, speak to the staff at Atlas Piers today.

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