Cracks in concrete are a fact of life. Even the newest poured concrete can develop cracks as it settles and temperatures change. Monitoring any cracks your walls or floors develop can head off any serious issues before they get out of hand.
Cracks in foundation walls have the possibility of getting much worse. Cracks can lead to basement flooding and other serious issues.
It is important to monitor cracks in your walls. If you suspect that any cracks are spreading, or widening, stay on top of them. Mark off the ends of the crack with a pencil to see if the crack is spreading. Also mark several alignment lines along the crack at various points. If the alignment lines show up crooked in the future the crack is shifting unevenly and can be a serious problem. Mark the date next to any lines to see how quickly the cracks are spreading.
Cracks will not fix themselves, and if the crack is leaking it is extremely important to repair it immediately to avoid further damage.
Vertical or Diagonal Cracks
Vertical or diagonal cracks are not necessarily signs of serious foundation issues, but are usually a sign of a foundation settling. Vertical cracks often occur when concrete shrinks when it cures. If you run your finger along the crack and the sides are smooth, concrete shrinkage is the likely culprit. It is always a good idea to have a professional look at any cracks in your walls to make sure it is not a major issue.
Horizontal cracks are often caused by pressure against the walls. These are more serious than vertical cracks and can be an indication of serious structural issues in your foundation. Poor drainage around the house can cause water to saturate the ground around the foundation and push against the walls. If the pressure from groundwater is too great the walls can fail and crack.
If you notice any cracks growing or shifting, or can fit a dime in the crack, contact us for a consultation.