Houses settle the first few months and often years after construction so minor cracks are common. Determining the type of crack is telling of the reason for the crack. Concrete shrinks as it cures and hairline cracks are common and usually pose no problems. However other types of cracks such as horizontal, vertical and stair step cracks should be evaluated further.
- Vertical Cracks: Large vertical cracks are typically due to soil settlement. Settling soil creates additional pressure on a foundation wall and can lead to cracking. Vertical cracks allow water and moisture to penetrate and should be corrected.
- Horizontal Cracks: Horizontal cracks are a serious issue that usually indicate heavy soil pressure. This happens when water-saturated soil is exerting pressure against the wall from the outside. Such walls may eventually bow and buckle, or possibly even cave in. Horizontal cracks require immediate repair.
- Stair Step Cracks: When a concrete block foundation wall cracks in response to soil pressure or settlement, the cracking occurs along mortar joints between individual blocks in a stair step pattern. Stair step cracks are usually the result of uneven settling and should be repaired.
A licensed professional should evaluate any foundation cracks especially if the cracks are causing the wall to heave or moisture intrusion