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Is a Crack in the Basement Floor a Problem?

When you’re trying to discern whether a crack in your basement floor needs immediate attention, you have to pay attention to a variety of features that may inform your decision. It’s not necessarily as cut and dried as it looks; that’s why a JES foundation repair expert can often do this job more effectively. If you’re trying to decide whether a crack is a cause for concern, you need to pay attention to these elements. 

Size of the Crack

How wide and deep is the crack in question? Typically, “hairline” cracks, or cracks narrower than an eighth of an inch, aren’t cause for concern. These may happen because of concrete shrinking, which is normal. On the other hand, cracks larger than three-eighths of an inch require urgent attention. Anything between the two should prompt an inspection from JES. 

Location of the Crack

Where are you seeing the crack? Cracks that span both the wall and the floor are more concerning than cracks that only stay on the wall or the floor. More contained groups of cracks are also less likely to showcase serious structural problems than cracks that spread out across the entire basement floor. The location of the crack can help a JES expert pinpoint the reason for the crack rather than its severity.

New Movement or Widening

This is a hugely important component to pay attention to. An old crack widening may sometimes be more cause for alarm than a brand-new crack. If you do have hairline cracks, monitor those cracks to make sure they don’t get bigger and surpass the one-sixteenth of an inch mark. Any basement floor cracks you have that are getting wider should prompt an inspection from a JES foundation repair expert.

Age of the Home

Consider how old the home is before you decide whether you’re dealing with a serious issue. Old homes tend to have more cracks, but also tend to be able to withstand less than a new home. Existing cracks in the basement floor of an old house, for example, maybe there for many years with no worries. But if you see new cracks or worsening old ones, you might need to talk to a JES expert. As a rule of thumb, always take the new movement of basement floor cracks very seriously, whether it’s an old or new home. 

Additional New Problems

You should pay attention to any secondary problems that might start happening as a result of foundation problems. For example, are you starting to notice sinking concrete in other areas of your home? Have you started seeing leaning or bowing walls in your home? Does it seem like your home is more humid and stuffier than it used to be? These are all signs of foundation problems. Even if you don’t see any cracks you would usually consider worrisome, these signs should prompt you to call JES.

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