Everyone is well aware of the fact that a strong foundation is important for a stable structure and it holds up your house. Any damage to the foundation will affect the whole house. While that is true, not everyone knows how or where to look when there is a damage in the structure. It is one of the reasons why foundation repair has such a bad rap among people in general. While foundation cracks are a sign of damage, be assured that not all cracks are a cause for concern.
Why do foundation cracks appear?
Buildings move all the time. Every building will have a certain amount of settling down happening to it and over time, will sink a little bit. The soil your house stands on is moving, it expands, contracts and does it in accordance with the heat, moisture and other shifts that the soil naturally goes through. Old structures, especially ones with load bearing walls are built in such a way that the soil is taking the load unevenly and if left unchecked and not built right, the structure will collapse against its own weight. Modern buildings are based on frames that take weight and will not allow any collapses, even if the walls are removed.
Types of foundation cracks
If you do see cracks, it only takes a close look to reveal how bad it actually is. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
- Spiderweb cracks They are thin and wispy, and is sign of the building settling down. They can be found in every part of the house- walls, floor and ceiling. Unless the cracks are large and wide, there is no need for worry.
- Matching vertical cracks Vertical cracks are those that make your house look like someone ran a giant knife through it. The crack will run the entire length of a room and down a wall. That is normally bad news, it is common to see these after an earthquake.
- Number of cracks Cracks in the edges of the ceiling, roof or floor is normally less of an issue that those in the middle. If you see cracks running along the middle of the basement or if you have a flat bed foundation and see a crack running the length of a room, call the professionals
Like all things, the sooner you get your foundation repair done, the better it is for you, money-wise.