Understanding Foundation Cracks
Visible cracks in the interior and/or the exterior of the home are often an indication of foundation damage. When cracking occurs in a structure, this is typically due to movement beneath the surface from foundation shrinkage, soil expansion, or settlement. Natural disasters, like earthquakes, can cause cracking as well.
Not all cracks are created equal, though – and it’s important to be able to spot the differences. For example, minor cracking in concrete foundations is common and easy to repair. This is because as the concrete cures, it shrinks. How much cracking occurs depends on a number of factors such as the type of concrete that was used, the temperature at the time it was poured, and how much water was used. These types of cracks tend to appear vertically throughout the foundation and can range from a couple of inches to the entire length of a wall. When cracking occurs in concrete due to shrinkage, this will typically stop once the concrete has cured. Other times, cracking can be due to a lack of steel reinforcements in the foundation.
Any time you’re dealing with an older property, it’s especially important to pay attention to any and all types of foundation cracks. While some cracking may be the result of settlement, it can also be an indicator of more serious foundation problems at play.
Vertical wall cracks that become noticeably bigger in a short period of time can be especially damaging, while cracks that appear wider at the bottom are more likely caused by settlement. Both need to be assessed and repaired by a foundation specialist, but the type of damage will determine the cost. Cracks that zigzag or that have a step like pattern are also typically caused by foundation settlement.
The most serious types of cracking tend to appear horizontally. In most cases they can only be seen in crawl areas or a basement. Sometimes the cause of this type of cracking is expansive soil or improper backfilling. Either way, if you find horizontal cracks in either of those areas, immediately contact a foundation contractor, especially if the cracks are increasing in size over time.
If you’ve noticed any areas of foundation damage around your home, in the form of large cracks on the interior and/or the exterior of the property, uneven or sloping floors, and doors and windows that stick, it’s important to schedule an inspection with a foundation specialist (like Julian Construction) as soon as possible.
We have extensive experience serving our Los Angeles community and nearby regions. In fact, Julian Construction has inspected over 30,000 structures in the area!
Julian Construction was formed in 1994 and our focus has always been on building and maintaining foundations, doing foundation repair and replacement, earthquake retrofitting, and house leveling.
When you work with Julian Construction, you get the principles of the company and the workers of Julian Construction under your home.
And in order to keep foundation repair affordable for our customers, we offer a price guarantee — because we know our quote for repair will represent your very best value.
Give us a call at (323) 733-3377 to schedule your free inspection or complete the inspection request form.