Where you live may put you at risk for foundation issues. If you live in Dallas, your soil is mostly clay and rock formation. In fact, because this soil is prone to shifting and sinking, Dallas is one of the top 10 worst cities in the state based on online searches for foundation repair.
At our foundation repair company located in Dallas, TX, we want to make sure that your home’s foundation is safe and structurally sound for years to come. The intricacies of soil foundation and structural components can be overwhelming even to people who have experience in the foundation repair industry.
This is why we take the time to talk to you and explain the type of damage your foundation has and discuss the steps needed to repair it. Visit our website for more resources at www.dallasfoundationrepairspecialists.com.
Types of Foundation Cracks
As a homeowner in Dallas, it’s essential to know when your home needs foundation repair so you can have it
taken care of quickly. However, with all of the different types of cracks and what implications they have on your home, as well as the best way to have them repaired.
It’s impossible to know how to deal with them correctly if you don’t even know the type they are. In this guide, we’ve taken the guesswork out of it, so you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with.
Vertical Foundation Cracks
Out of all of the foundation cracks, you’ll run into vertical ones that are the most common and generally aren’t a big deal. Vertical cracks that go straight up and down or have a slight diagonal curve of less than 30 degrees can be repaired by the homeowner if they are less than ⅛ or an inch wide.
Cracks between ⅛ and ¼ of an inch usually happen during the settling process that occurs within the first 2-3 years after the home is built. But they should still be sealed, so they keep out moisture, soil smells, or even radon gas. Foundation repair companies in Dallas recommend you hire a professional to repair cracks of this size.
Diagonal cracks are extremely common in Dallas and are typically caused by differential settling, which is when one side of the home’s foundation settles lower than the rest of the foundation. This type of uneven tension then causes diagonal cracking.
This type of settling can result from being built on a hill or expanding or contracting soil. This crack may be more costly to repair than a vertical one since the underlying cause must be inspected and repaired if needed. However, there are times the solution can be as easy as adding new gutters or extending your current ones to direct rainwater away from your foundation.
Horizontal Foundation Cracks
This type of crack is normally the most serious and homeowner’s worst nightmare; they usually indicate there is excess pressure against the foundation wall. Occasionally you’ll find these in homes with poured concrete foundations, but they are most common in homes with concrete blocks or brick foundations.
Horizontal crack can be caused by various things, including soil pressure outside your foundation or hydrostatic pressure. If you do find this in your home in Dallas, call a foundation repair company to have your foundation inspected as soon as possible.
Stair Step Cracks
Like diagonal cracks, these are frequently caused by differential settlement in a block or brick wall. You’ll see these start at the end of a wall and then progress upwards in a stair-step-like pattern.
If the cracks only appear in the mortar joints between the brick or block, it isn’t severe and can be repaired by reapplying the mortar. However, if it displaces blocks or the cracking extends through them, the problem is more serious and may threaten your home’s structure. If you see displaced bricks or blocks, you should never ignore them but instead, immediately call a foundation repair expert.
Structural vs. Non-Structural Cracks
Cracks in your home’s foundation are placed into two categories – structural and non-structural, and there’s a big difference between them. One is potentially dangerous, while the other is superficial and much less severe.
These are also known as cosmetic cracks and don’t threaten your home’s structural integrity. They occur over time due to regular changes due to weather, thermal movement, hydrostatic pressure, exposure to moisture, and even age. Some signs of non-structural cracks in the foundation include:
- Cracks in plaster
- Vertical or diagonal cracks
- Narrow cracks less than ⅛ an inch
- Cracks near a door or the edge of windows
Cosmetic cracks are generally thin and not aggressive, and easy to repair. The two things to keep in mind are if water starts seeping or if they grow in width or length, you need to call to schedule an appointment to have a foundation repair expert inspect your foundation.
Structural cracks directly affect your home’s integrity and may pose a risk to you and your loved ones and should be addressed immediately by a company specializing in foundation repair within the Dallas area.
Various issues can cause structural cracks, like poor soil, voids under the foundation, soil that doesn’t properly support the structure, soil that wasn’t adequately compacted before construction, and improper grading that causes water to pool near the foundation. Signs of structural cracks in your foundation include:
- Stair-step cracks
- Cracks in foundation slabs or beams
- Vertical cracks that are wider at the bottom or the top
- Cracks measuring ⅛ of an inch or larger in width
When To Worry
Many signs should warn you that you’re dealing with something that’s not a simple fix. When you notice that doors or windows are starting to stick or not opening, it could indicate a problem. Cracked windows could mean an issue with the home’s structure. When you notice your floor is bouncy or squeaky, this means your foundation may not be level and needs to be inspected.
If you are a resident in Dallas and notice any of these problems, you need to call a foundation repair expert today to schedule an appointment to have someone come out.