One of the most frustrating and costly defects that can occur in a home is a crack in the foundation of your home and foundation repair is the most complicated type of repair your home will ever need. It is for this reason that, prior to purchasing a home, most potential home buyers have a home inspection completed prior to signing on the dotted line. These inspections not only give the homeowner a sense of comfort in the fact that there are no catastrophic defects in the home, but also that there are no issues in the home that may hurt the chances at a resale in the future.
What Should You Do If You Find A Crack in Your Foundation?
Don’t worry! The first and most important thing that you should realize is that, at some point, all concrete will crack. For instance, think about the poured concrete steps that lead up to your front door, or for that matter, the sidewalk in front of your home – there are cracks. The point that we need to make here is that there needs to be an understanding of what constitutes a minor issue, as opposed to a significant concern.
After five to ten years of being built, a home has most likely finished settling. This is to say that the footings and poured slab will have settled into the ground below. As a consequence, horizontal, vertical, or diagonal foundation cracks may appear in the foundation walls.
When Should I Worry About The Size of The Cracks in The Foundation?
As was stated earlier, at some point all homeowners will experience foundation cracks in their homes. When a crack is spotted, taking note of the size of the crack will give you a good indication not only of how much your home has moved, but also what kind of treatment may be required to fix the situation. If a crack which is diagonal or vertical has stretched wider than ¼ of an inch, your home has moved significantly in during its settling process. If the crack is not greater than ¼ of an inch wide, then have the gap sealed and keep an eye on it for further movement in the future.
Horizontal cracks usually form in a block foundation wall. If you notice that you have a horizontal crack in your foundation wall, it can be checked by using a holding a four-foot level against the wall where the crack appears in order to determine how far off square the wall has shifted. If the wall has shifted more than one inch, then it is within the best interests of the homeowner to contact a professional and have the foundation repaired.
For the most part, foundation cracks are usually within tolerable limits and should be merely monitored to ensure that nothing catastrophic is in the works. If however, you notice that you have a crack that is larger than the suggested maximum size, it is within your best interests to contact a professional.
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