Cracks in your home’s foundation can range from harmless to serious warning signs. Understanding the types of foundation cracks, structural and non-structural are critical for homeowners. This knowledge helps homeowners learn and understand more about their foundation’s repairs and maintenance needs. DuraTech Texas would like to explore these different types of foundation cracks and their implications for your home’s integrity.
Structural Cracks; A Serious Concern
Structural cracks in your foundation are a red flag. These typically arise from foundation settlement or excessive lateral pressure. Such cracks can compromise the stability of your foundation and, by extension, your entire home. If you spot these, it’s not a time for DIY solutions, these cracks call for immediate attention from a professional to prevent further structural damage.
Types of Foundation Cracks & What They Mean
Horizontal Cracks: Found in poured and blocked foundations, these are often a result of hydrostatic pressure or unbalanced soil conditions. Signs include inward bowing and water leakages. Repair techniques involve reinforcing the foundation with steel beams, carbon fiber straps, or wall anchoring.
Diagonal Cracks: Although sometimes similar to vertical cracks caused by natural curing, diagonal cracks at a 45-degree angle can be more serious. They may point to soil pressure, foundation settlement, or excessive moisture. Addressing severe diagonal cracks often requires underpinning the foundation with helical or push piers.
Non-Structural Cracks: Non-structural cracks, while not a direct threat to your home’s structural integrity, still need attention. They can be unsightly and, more importantly, allow moisture to seep in.
Vertical Cracks: Common in poured foundations, these are typically less severe. They can be managed with epoxy or polyurethane injections to prevent water intrusion.
Stair Step Cracks: Common in masonry or concrete block walls, these follow mortar joints.
Usually, they result from foundation sinking or settlement. Tuckpointing and addressing underlying foundation issues are common repairs.
Hairline & Shrinkage Cracks: Common in new constructions, these are often less than 1/16 inch wide and result from minor settling or natural concrete curing. While not structurally compromising, they can be entry points for moisture. Sealing with epoxy or polyurethane is a common solution.
Foundation Slab Cracks: Caused by soil settlement, temperature fluctuations, or improper curing. Not always indicative of serious issues but should be addressed to prevent further damage. Slab jacking is a common repair method for these types of cracks.
When Moisture Enters Cracks: Even non-structural cracks can turn into problems if they allow moisture in. Wet non-structural cracks, formed shortly after the foundation is poured, can lead to issues like mold growth or wood rot. Sealing these promptly with waterproof sealants is key to maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
Professional Insight for Peace of Mind: For immediate solutions, a Texas foundation specialist can provide both structural and non-structural foundation repairs. Often a foundation specialist will first inspect and determine the needs of your foundation.
Foundation Repair Services & More in Crosby, Cypress, Friendswood & Greater Houston, Texas
Understanding the type of foundation cracks in your home is essential. Whether it is a minor hairline crack or a serious horizontal fissure, knowing when to call in the experts is important to the longevity of your foundation. Regular inspections and prompt attention to any damage can save you from costly repairs and maintain your home’s structural integrity for years to come. For foundation inspections and repairs, contact DuraTech Texas today.