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cracks in concrete walls

Concrete Block Wall Cracks: Are They Normal Or Dangerous?

Concrete Block Wall Cracks: What types of cracks are normal, which are dangerous, and how do you fix them?

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cracks in concrete walls

Do you have cracks showing in your walls? Is so, when are they just a common sign of aging versus being urgent hazards you need to get help with?

It’s not uncommon to see cracks in a house in Virginia. However, there are very different types of cracks that can appear throughout your property. Some may warrant inspection and can be fixed over time. Others are a sign of immediate danger and can’t be ignored.

Protect your family and investment by knowing your types of concrete block wall cracks and those in other parts of your home. Understand what the real causes are, so you aren’t just putting a bandage on a fatal flaw.

Crack Patterns & What They Mean

1. Horizontal Cracks

Horizontal cracks are extremely dangerous. These are the most serious types of cracks you can have. Even worse is when these concrete block wall cracks appear in your basement or crawl space walls. This is a sign of far too much pressure on your walls, and that they are about to implode and fail. If your foundation gives out, your whole home can come down with it. Don’t ignore this. There are solutions, and the best local foundation repair teams can provide easy financing to help you get it solved right away.

2. Vertical Cracks

Vertical cracks through your foundation and the concrete walls in your basement or crawl space are also serious. This is also a sign of high-pressure levels pushing against your foundation walls. The odds are that your foundation is about to fail. They may not immediately implode like horizontal cracks, but have them inspected as quickly as possible. Until you do, water intrusion and weather changes will only compound the problem.

3. Stair Step Cracks

These are the most common types of wall cracks you’ll find in homes throughout VA, MD and DC. The stair-step pattern that runs through the mortar between your blocks or bricks is a sign of settling. These types of cracks particularly appear when a home in settling or sinking unevenly. There may be soil changes, foundation piers may have failed, or rushed and cheap building practices may have left your home on unstable ground. Until the underlying cause is fixed, any attempts to patch these cracks aren’t likely to last long. They will continue to widen, giving access to rodents, insects and more water damage. An inspection by a foundation specialist will help determine the best course of action.

Telltale Signs Of Cracking & Foundation Problems

Even if you haven’t noticed any serious cracks in your home yet, these are some of the common signs to watch out for. They indicate there may be dampness and water issues causing cracks you haven’t noticed yet, or that a newly purchased home has foundation issues and cracks in concrete block walls that have been covered up and hidden temporarily.

Musty Smells

These are a sign there is excess moisture in your home. The guts of your home could be rotting, and there could be dangerous mold lurking out of sight. This dampness also provides the perfect breeding ground for many types of insects and rodents.

Pest Infestations

Termites, fleas, cockroaches, opossums, mice, rats and bed bugs are attracted to damp spaces. Whether it is your crawl space or basement, once they are in, they can be hard to get rid of. They aren’t just going to choose to up and move out on their own unless you fix what is bringing them in. Before too long, they will begin to get into the rest of your home and can do even more serious damage.

Exterior Erosion

Erosion around the exterior perimeter of your house is likely caused by poor grading, missing gutters or gutters that need to be cleaned and repaired. Between the rain and melting snow excess water will eat away the foundation of your home and get down to accumulate next to your foundation walls. It can only be a matter of time before they start causing dangerous cracks and foundation failure.

Warping & Signs Of Water Damage

Inside your home, you may see old water stains, feel uneven floors, or see that they are starting to sink away from your baseboards. Doors may begin to stick or fail to close correctly as the doors and door frames warp from humidity and dampness.

Your Home Is Not Level

Some homes have obvious tilting or leaning. Rooflines can be uneven. There is likely an uneven settling issue or worse.

What To Do

Do not ignore potential foundation wall problems. You can’t afford it. Once they get too bad (a quarter-inch wide or more), you may not be able to refinance or sell your home.

Ask a specialist for a free inspection and estimate and for how to get the best financing for any repairs that are needed.

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