What Do Different Types of Foundation Cracks Mean?

We’ve all been there: staring at the foundation of our home trying to figure out if those cracks are serious or not. Does a vertical foundation crack mean something different than a horizontal crack? Can you just fill the foundation cracks? These questions have probably all run through your mind at some point. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the different types of cracks, their meanings, and possible solutions to the foundation cracks.

Vertical Cracks

Vertical cracks are some of the most common cracks that we see, and they are usually a sign of settlement. This means that they may be due to natural settlement of the home in the first few years after it has been built. However, they could also be a serious foundation repair issue that needs to be resolved.

How do you know? If the cracks are small and have never gotten bigger after they initially appeared after the home was built, they are likely okay to just cover with epoxy. If they have recently appeared, appear to continue to grow, and they are wide cracks, there is likely a problem with your foundation. You can monitor this yourself, or you can call a professional to get your foundation crack repair problem checked out.

Horizontal cracks

These foundation cracks are usually caused by a bowing wall. Bowing walls will usually happen due to hydrostatic pressure. When soil is backfilled beside the home that was dug out for the foundation, it is looser than the heavily compacted soil that hasn’t been dug out. Therefore, it can fill with water and get heavy. This is especially a problem if it happens to freeze.

The heavy, water-filled soil (or frozen soil) then pushes against the foundation in unexpected ways and causes foundation cracks. Eventually, these will lead to a wall bowing in or outwards. This should be taken care of immediately, as they can collapse without warning. If you think you have bowing walls, call the experts at KC Waterproofing as soon as possible.

Diagonal Cracks and Stair Step

If you see diagonal foundation cracks on your foundation walls, you likely also have a problem with bowing walls. If you see stair step cracks, it’s very likely due to frost heave (when the frozen soil pushes against your home or raises things) OR due to the settlement of the home. In either case, it could be a fairly easy fix.

Have Foundation Cracks? Call KC Waterproofing!

At KC Waterproofing, we are experts in foundation repair and waterproofing. Never leave a foundation problem to get worse. Fix the problem now and stop stressing about it! Contact KC Waterproofing now for more information and to get started.


Visit our Ultimate Guide to Waterproofing Your Kansas City Home for more articles that will help you keep the basement of you Kansas City Metro area home dry and strong.

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