The appearance of cracks on your building can make you nervous. This is because wall cracks and cracks that occur in other areas such as the foundation indicate some kind of damage to a building.
But it is important to point out that not all kinds of cracks signify serious damage to a building. Some types of cracks simply indicate the shifting of concrete as it settles in. Nonetheless, some types of cracks indicate serious wall damage.
Here are some facts about wall cracks and what they mean for your building:
- Vertical cracks
Vertical wall cracks are perpendicular to the ground or slightly horizontal. Most vertical cracks are small cracks that appear in many buildings, particularly newly-built houses. Vertical cracks are therefore of least concern as regards their impact on the structural integrity of a building.
The reason why most vertical cracks should be of least concern lies in the manner in which they occur. Vertical cracks occur because of the tension that concrete experiences as it cures or moves due to the settling of the foundation.
Vertical cracks do not pose a major threat to a building, but they still need to be repaired because they can cause water to seep through the wall and lead to considerable damage.
- Diagonal cracks
Diagonal cracks run at an angle of approximately 30 to 75 degrees across a wall relative to the wall’s vertical position. Such cracks can be seen in areas such as corners of doors and windows. In many cases, diagonal cracks have one end that is wider than the other.
Diagonal cracks are caused by uneven settling of the foundation regardless of the age of the house. That is, if one section of the foundation sinks a bit deeper into the ground compared to other sections, this will cause tension that results in diagonal cracks. Diagonal cracks can be repaired in the same way as vertical cracks, but they need more crack repair material.
- Horizontal cracks
Horizontal cracks indicate notable damage to a wall. As the name suggests, the cracks run horizontally, parallel to the ground. Horizontal cracks are caused by a bowing foundation due to problems such as increased hydrostatic pressure. As soil that surrounds the foundation absorbs water, it will exert pressure on the foundation and cause it to bend.
Since horizontal cracks indicate serious wall damage, they need to be inspected and repaired immediately by an expert.
Contact the professionals at Everdry Waterproofing of Greater Grand Rapids today! (800) 275-7910