When you notice wall cracks in your foundation, you’ll also notice that there are three major wall crack types. These three types of wall cracks all require different types of fixes because they’re usually caused by different things.
You should try your best to determine the types of wall cracks you have. That way, you’ll have a better idea of what a JES expert will be looking for.
If you see a horizontal crack in a foundation wall, it means there’s too much pressure happening on the outside of your wall. That pressure can come most commonly from either expansive soils or hydrostatic pressure caused by flooding.
Unfortunately, a horizontal crack in a foundation wall almost always indicates a serious structural problem. That horizontal crack may come along with bowed walls, which can eventually result in an entire wall falling inward.
These cracks require a skilled JES foundation repair expert. The pressure typically requires a more invasive fix, and just trying to bandage over the problem with plaster won’t fix the actual problem you’re having.
There are a few different reasons for vertical cracks in the foundation. If your foundation is poured concrete, these cracks may be due to shrinkage. This often means the concrete was poured or mixed incorrectly, and as the concrete cured, it pulled in on itself.
Typically, these cracks only show up within about the first year after the foundation was poured, and they’re often only hairline fractures. If you notice that the crack is uneven, it’s coming up many years after you’ve had any work done, or it’s wider than one-sixteenth of an inch, it could instead be a structural problem.
It’s extremely important to get in touch with a JES foundation repair expert if you notice vertical cracks in a brick foundation. Repairing cracks in a concrete block foundation can be a bit easier, but brick or stone definitely shouldn’t have these types of issues.
Stair Step Cracks
What about stair-step cracks? It’s most common to see these types of cracks in brick walls, as well as concrete block walls. Most commonly, it means that one side of your home is settling more quickly than the other.
When your home is settling on one side more than the other, it wants to crack along the path of least resistance. For brick walls, which use an offset pattern for maximum stability, that path typically runs along a stair-step pattern.
Regardless of where you’re seeing these stair-step cracks, it’s almost certainly a sign of house settling. That can turn into a serious structural problem very quickly. It’s important that you schedule an inspection with a JES foundation repair expert to see whether you’re having these structural problems.