If you notice cracks in your basement walls, you may be wondering just how serious an issue this is. Knowing when to worry about these cracks can save you from potentially costly repairs. So what are signs you should look for when deciding whether you have cracks that should cause concern?
- Size of the crack: The first thing to consider is the size of the crack. Generally speaking, smaller cracks are less cause for concern than larger ones. If you notice hairline cracks in your walls that are less than 1/8th of an inch wide, they are generally considered common shrinkage cracks and are not typically a major concern. However, if the cracks are wider, especially if they are larger than 1/4th of an inch, it’s time to start paying attention. Larger cracks can indicate more serious issues and may require a professional inspection to determine what caused them.
- Movement: Secondly, let’s talk about movement. Have you noticed any changes in the crack over time? Are the walls shifting or is the crack getting wider? If you see any noticeable movement, that’s a red flag for potential structural problems. Even those tiny cracks that seem to be moving a bit should be monitored closely. You never know when they could become a bigger issue.
- Water infiltration: Water infiltration is a big concern when it comes to cracks in basement walls! Keep a lookout for any signs of moisture, dampness, or water seeping through the cracks. If water gets in, it can lead to mold growth and damage your stuff. Plus, it puts pressure on your home’s structure, known as hydrostatic pressure, which is not good at all. If you see any water-related problems, it’s essential to take action right away. Waterproofing solutions or getting help from a professional might be necessary to prevent further damage.
- Crack Patterns: Lastly, let’s talk about crack patterns. The way cracks form can tell us a lot about their seriousness. Generally, vertical and diagonal cracks are more concerning than horizontal ones. Vertical cracks might indicate that your foundation is settling, while diagonal ones could be related to soil pressure or uneven weight distribution. Keep an eye out for those stair-step cracks or multiple cracks intersecting at one point – that’s definitely a sign to call in a pro.
So when it comes to cracks in your basement walls, keep an eye on the size, movement, water infiltration, and crack patterns. If you have any doubts or concerns, it’s always best to reach out to a qualified professional. Remember, these issues never fix themselves, so catching them early can save you from costly repairs down the line. If you have any doubts about the cracks in your basement or foundation, feel free to call us at 704-538-4535. We offer free, no-obligation assessments.