When to Worry About Foundation Cracks

Foundation CrackFinding a crack in your building’s foundation can be scary, and immediately makes you worry about the safety of your structure and the people inside of it – not to mention the potentially huge expense of fixing a foundation.

Some cracks, though, are nothing to worry about, while others do need immediate attention. How do you know what to look for? Follow some of these simple guidelines and you can begin to understand what you’re seeing.

Cracks occur for three main reasons: shrinkage of concrete, pressure from soil or water or the building simply settling. Some of the key things to look for include drywell cracks in the main walls of the structure or ceilings, misaligned doors and windows, cracks in ceramic tiling or brickwork, sloping floors and bowing walls.

The first thing to check when it comes to cracks is their width. Make a spot along the crack and accurately measure the width with a ruler or tape measure and return on a regular schedule to remeasure it. If a crack gets wider on one end, then it may be time to call in a professional, especially if the cracks spread to more than half an inch in width.

Horizontal cracks, especially those in a brick or concrete blocks, can be signs of a major problem. In these situations, it’s often pressure from soil or water and the situation must be addressed quickly to avoid a structural collapse. Vertical cracks, on the other hand, can be a sign of movement up or down. If vertical cracks are wider at the top, it can be a sign that the foundation is dropping or heaving. Either way, you’ll want to call an engineer to take a look.

Most cracks do not require work and can be ignored, but when they become wider or show up in odd places, they can be systematic of a larger problem. Make sure you consistently check your foundation to check these cracks before they cost you a fortune in repairs.

If you spot trouble, call the team at R.G. Smith Company and let us take a look. Our experts have worked with clients all throughout the state and can quickly let you know the source of your issue and the extent of the work that might be needed to repair it. To learn more, call us today at either the Canton office at 330-456-3415 or in Mansfield at 419-524-4778.

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