Cracks in Your Home
When talking to people about their homes and foundation repair I have encountered everything from the over concerned to the deniers. It is important to know what to be concerned about, and what isn’t that big of a deal. I’ll do my best to explain what I have found to be the top three warnings and the top three “this might not be as bad as you think it is.”
1. Cracks in the Wall
Noticing large or long cracks forming in the ceiling or drywall? If you could fit a nickle in it, then you’ve probably got some issues. If the crack extends for a bit, that too is something to look into. These kinds of cracks will be seen near doorways or sometimes around the corners of your home.
2. Cracks in the Tile (Floor)
Just as before, larger cracks (obviously) reveal larger problems. A small hairline crack in the grout or in a corner isn’t something to get to flustered over. But this one is a little more self explanatory. If you see a crack running through your floor or tile, that too can be a warning sign of foundation damage. Don’t worry about your patio; this is mainly an interior concern, but more on that in a minute.
3. Cracks in the Brick
Whether it’s straight through the brick, or snaking down through the mortar, if you start to see some cracks in the brick it might be a good idea to get it checked out. Again, hairline cracks are nothing too troubling.
Might Not Be Problem Signs
1. Cracks in the Driveway
Unless for some strange reason your driveway is connected to the slab of your home (it’s probably not), the cracks in your driveway are no big deal. The same reason the sidewalk or the street has cracks in it, cracks in your driveway are just the results of the changing of the seasons.
2. Cracks in the Garage
This is a little different from the driveway, but important to differentiate. Cracks in the garage wall, could be worth your worry, but cracks in the garage floor isn’t a sure fire sign like walls and ceilings are. Cracks in the garage floor could just be like the cracks in your driveway. They were put there by the changing of the temperature.
3. Hairline Cracks
This is a tricky one and requires more common sense than anything. Let me share an actual conversation that I have had with someone that was concerned about their foundation.
Me – “So, what was it that you were worried about?”
Them – “There was a hairline crack.”
Me – “Anything else?”
Them – “No just a hairline crack.”
If you only see one crack. One HAIRLINE crack. You probably don’t have much to worry about. Water your foundation regularly, keep an eye out for other signs, and don’t fret. One tiny crack isn’t anything to lose sleep over. Multiple cracks, longer cracks, or if the width is large enough to fit a coin in, are all things that shouldn’t be overlooked. The point here is that if you only saw one tiny crack and none of the other warning signs like sticking doors, nail pops, or sloping floors, don’t worry too much.
With all that being said, if you ever have any concerns or just want some peace of mind, getting a free evaluation will help. A skilled evaluator might notice something you missed and will be able to measure elevations and produce a detailed site map for you.