How to Evaluate a Foundation Crack

Construction and Maintenance

Knowing the difference between a harmless and dangerous foundation crack is one of the biggest “back of the mind” fears shared by homeowners. Because, well, it is really hard to tell. To the untrained eye, one crack looks the same as another. How do you know whether it’s just a normal crack, or a potentially serious threat to your home and livelihood? Well, that’s what we’re here to discuss. So, if you are wondering whether you should contact someone to perform foundation crack repair in MA, here is a brief guide on how to evaluate a crack in your foundation.

Types of cracks, and which to watch out for

On average there are three different kinds of cracks that can form in your home: the step crack, the horizontal crack, and the vertical crack. These cracks will form either on your floor, walls, or on your foundation. If the crack looks like someone just drew a line on a surface with a pencil, then it’s too thin to worry about. However, if you can fit a small coin into the crack, like a dime, then you might have a problem, and you should get it checked.

The crack you most definitely do not want to find in your foundation is the first one of the three: the step crack. A step crack, for those who don’t know, is a set of horizontal and vertical cracks between the cinder blocks/bricks that make up your foundation. A step crack can allow large amounts of water to get into the underside of your house, or into your basement if you have one. And the more water that gets in, the more eroded that original crack becomes, which makes it bigger, allowing for more water. Repeat this cycle for a few weeks or months until your house’s foundation gives out on you, or your basement is flooded.

You also should watch out for any vertical cracks that go continuously from top to bottom on opposite walls from each other, as this could be evidence of your foundation’s footing being broken. Finally, there may not be one large crack, but a series of extensive, smaller cracks. These are a problem as well, as these cracks could meet with each other, get bigger, and eventually break your foundation.

Cracks in the foundation, even serious ones, are hard to spot because it’s not a place we usually look at all that closely. However, you should always be on the lookout for damage to your foundation, as finding them can be the difference between having and losing your home. And if you do find a serious crack in your foundation, call the expert repairmen at Basement Technologies, to schedule a repair. Follow us on google+.