Are there cracks showing in your concrete block walls? If so, how do you know if they are serious? What other problems could be lurking beneath your feet and in your walls? What should you do about it?
Cracks in your home never feel like a good thing. Some can be much more dangerous than others. Even before you see serious cracks there are other signs that could soon be showing up. Here’s what you need to know.
Know Your Patterns: The Three Main Types Of Wall Cracks
Concrete block walls cracks come in three main patterns. These tell you a lot about the potential problems causing them and how severe and urgent they are.
1. Stair Step Cracks
These are the most common cracks. They can show up through the mortar lines in your basement, crawl space and brickwork on the exterior of your house in South Carolina.
These cracks typically suggest your house is settling unevenly. They are just going to keep on getting worse over time until you stop the problem. As cracks widen and the house shifts more there can be issues with other systems too. Like your electrical and plumbing. Water intrusion can cause all types of other issues and speed up the damage. Once they are a quarter-inch wide, these cracks are considered structural flaws, which can prevent the home from being financed or purchased using a mortgage loan.
2. Vertical Walls Cracks
Vertical concrete block wall cracks are far more serious. There is a very high chance your foundation is failing. It can no longer hold up your home. Pressure against your structural walls is building up.
3. Horizontal Cracks
Call for a professional foundation expert now. These cracks are extremely hazardous. The walls could implode at any time, bringing the whole house down on top of whomever is inside. This is an urgent problem. Don’t put it off. If a repair is needed, most reputable companies will be able to connect you with very attractive financing options.
Common Types Of Cracks
There are many types of cracks that can show up in your home. Here are some others to know about and watch too.
Cracked Slabs & Floors
Whether it is in the garage, your home or basement, cracked concrete floors signal a sinking foundation or uneven settling in your home. Seasonal changes in the weather are just going to keep making these worse until the underlying problems are fixed.
Cracked and leaning chimneys commonly happen when builders haven’t correctly prepared the soil or foundation for all of the extra weight concentrated in one place.
Sidewalks & Driveway Cracks
The good news is that these cracks are among the least likely to be directly associated with serious foundation issues. They could be, but more often than not it is the weather and aging. Releveling, resurfacing or lifting them with foam can be among the fixes available to you.
Cracks In Interior Walls
You may also notice cracks throughout your home begin appearing. These can be in the drywall, across the ceiling, and around windows and doorways. In some cases, this is the natural settling of a newer home, especially when construction was rushed or there were shortcuts on the soil under your home. Uneven settling will eventually lead to much bigger problems. Again, once these cracks become too wide, they can also impact what you can do with this home and even your ability to sell it.
Other Symptoms To Watch Out For
Even if the cracks aren’t noticeable or you haven’t seen them yet, these factors can be red flags that you have a foundation that needs some help.
- Musty smells
- Warping floors and doors
- Pest and rodent infestations
- Erosion around the exterior of your home
- Poor grading
- Any tilting or leaning of your home
Potential Solutions For Your Concrete Block Walls & Other Cracks
Depending on the real issue and cause, your repair team may recommend one of the following repair solutions:
- Installing support piers to prop up your home
- Wall anchors
- Waterproofing and vapor barriers
- New drainage systems
- Installing new gutters
Concrete block wall cracks are never desirable. Not only can cracks in your home be ugly, but they can also be signs your house is in serious trouble. Rot, mold and failing walls can all be hiding under your feet. Know these different types of cracks. When in doubt, always call a foundation expert out. Request a free inspection and estimate on how they can help and solve the real problem, not just the symptoms.