No matter what the situation in subject may be, structural cracks are never welcome. Cracks in sheetrock, brick, floors, drywall and basement walls are all things that cause concern. This is even more true of cracks in foundations. However, when it comes to hairline foundation cracks, homeowners often wonder whether or not they should be concerned. In order to protect the stability of your home, it’s important to be able to recognize and fix possible threats.
So, should you be concerned about a hairline foundation crack?
First Step: Finding the Cause
Before you can determine whether or not hairline foundation cracks are threatening, it helps to understand why foundations crack. In most cases, foundations generally crack because of two main reasons: age and settlement.
Foundations consist of concrete poured over steel because concrete will naturally crack if given enough time. Even the strongest and most supported concrete foundation will eventually crack to some degree.
Foundations can also crack when settlement occurs. This is often due to soils beneath foundations sinking and shifting. Serious foundation cracks will often be accompanied by other cracking throughout a structure, such as in interior walls or floors.
Second Step: Determining the Seriousness
If you want to find out if that hairline foundation crack is a sign of settlement or not, take a look around the rest of your house. Look on both the inside and outside. If you notice any problems such as cracked sheetrock or brick, sloping or cracked floors, or misaligned doors and windows, your foundation is most likely suffering from settlement. If you do not notice any of these problems, that hairline crack could very well be a sign of aging concrete.
Third Step: What to Do Next
If you determine that the foundation crack is not a sign of settlement, take a note of its size. Check it every once in a while to see if it gets larger or deeper. If, however, you are seeing some or all of the signs of foundation failure, you may need to have your foundation repaired.