Depending on the type of foundation beneath your home, its age, and the quality of soil around your home, you’re likely to experience different types of residential foundation damage. While hiring a foundation repair expert is the best way to determine the underlying causes, you may be able to get an idea of what’s going on with your foundation by simply studying the cracks. Here are three different foundation cracks you may encounter.
Brick and Mortar Cracks
Cracks in your home’s brick exterior can take many different forms, but the most easily recognizable is the vertical crack that follows the mortar lines from the ground up. These vertical cracks, also known as stair or stepped cracks, can also be found in concrete block walls in your basement or crawlspace. These are typically caused by foundation upheaval or settlement. While small cracks are typically not a problem, cracks that continue to expand should be examined by a foundation repair expert.
Cracks that follow brick or concrete blocks horizontally across the mortar are signs of a bowing wall. These are typically found in homes with basements. Bowing occurs when pressure outside the wall pushes against the foundation, causing it to bend. Lateral foundation cracks are very serious and could indicate that your wall is in the early stages of failure.
Diagonal Window Cracks
Many homes are built with windows in the foundation for natural light in basements. In both concrete and block foundations, these windows are prime candidates for foundation cracks because of the pressure created from the expanding and shrinking window frame. Small hairline cracks can quickly expand into very long cracks that span your entire wall.
To learn more about foundation cracks, contact the foundation repair experts at United Structural Systems. Visit us online or call (615) 800-2058 for professional foundation repair, basement waterproofing, and crawlspace repair services in the Nashville area.