No homeowner wants to deal with foundation problems, so when a crack appears, it’s frightening. Fortunately, not every crack is a big deal. Here’s how to know when to worry and when to let it go.
If your home is new construction, you can expect to see small cracks in various places. These cracks are formed by minor settling and not a major concern. For instance, a hairline crack along a sheetrock seam just means that the sheetrock has slightly pulled apart as the house settled. You might also notice small cracks in the stucco covering of the foundation slab. This is typically just cosmetic because the builder puts on a superficial coating to make the concrete look better and this coating can crack. As long as it doesn’t spread, there’s no need to worry.
So, when do you need to worry? There are seven signs of foundation issues that are cause for alarm.
- Large cracks on the slab, rather than the concrete veneer
- A bulge in the side of the house foundation
- A zig-zagging crack going up the outside wall of the house
- Cracks on the interior walls or ceiling veering across the sheetrock
- Doors and windows that drag, stick or are hard to open or close, cracked window glass, or a gap between the door and frame when the door is closed
- Tilted floors
- An inexplicable and significant increase in water usage
If you notice any of these signs, you must take action immediately. Research foundation repair contractors until you find one with experience and a solid reputation. Make sure the company you hire is licensed and insured, and try to find one that’s been in business for many years. You want to find a team experienced in foundation crack repair and with enough time working on foundations to become experts. Experience should be the primary concern, with foundation repair cost coming in somewhere after that. Fixing your foundation won’t be cheap, and the cost will vary depending on the type and severity of your issues, as well as your type of soil.
Note: even if a crack is not a major cause for concern, you should still have it repaired. Even small cracks can let in pests and water, and that can lead to bigger problems. Small cracks that are purely cosmetic can often be repaired just by filling them with caulk, cement, or epoxy.
If you need help with your basement or foundation, Reliable Basement Services is here for you. A family-owned and operated company, we’ve served the greater Chicagoland area for over a decade. We offer a full spectrum of basement services, charging reasonable rates for work that includes crack repairs, sump pump systems, basement waterproofing, basement windows, and floor repair. Our consistently high standards have made us an award-winning Chicago basement waterproofing contractor with thousands of satisfied customers. Call (630) 318-4888 or visit our website for a free quote.