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Types of Foundation Cracks
Foundation cracks can occur in block and concrete foundations, and usually in the corners of buildings and houses. Here are the different types and some tips for you to control the damage they can do to your home.
Stair Steps on Concrete or Brick
Stepped foundation cracks in concrete or brick walls may be caused by a possible upheaval or settlement. Although the upheaval can be minor, cracks can grow to half an inch or more.
On Doors, Windows and Archways
Usually, these are not caused by upheavals or movement and may simply be relief joints which move due to changes in humidity. They get smaller when humidity outside gets higher.
Crown Moldings on Ceilings
These foundation cracks are found on ceilings that are adjacent to the bottom of your attic trusses. They occur in winter and will usually close by mid-summer. If you have crown moldings, there will be a bow in the ceilings near the center of the attic trusses. To solve this problem, insert special clips between the bottom of trusses and interior walls.
Vertical or Nearly Vertical on Concrete
Those foundation cracks found in poured concrete and block concrete spell trouble. If they are wide at the top, one or both ends of the building are dropping or the middle of the structure is rising. If wide at the top, then the opposite may be happening.
Foundations on clay soils or plumbing leaks commonly experience these. Wait for a year for them to reach their full size then caulk with grey urethane or fill them with hydraulic cement.
On Horizontal Bed Joints of Brick or Concrete Walls
These are serious signs that the wall is starting to break down.
These foundation cracks are usually found on brick in contact with concrete. You do not need to worry if they are small. If the gaps are very wide and angular, then these are a sign of serious trouble.
To monitor cracks, mark them and measure with a ruler. If they get wider, then it is time to do a little housekeeping. For serious problems, call a structural engineer for an evaluation.