If you own a home on a solid slab foundation and have ever installed new floors, you may have noticed little cracks in your foundation. In fact, some of the cracks may not be so little. This may leave you wondering if there is any cause for concern and asking, “should I worry about small cracks in my Baton Rouge foundation?
The answer to this question depends on a number of things. Concern over seeing cracks is natural, but before you allow concern to grow into worry, you should ask these questions:
How wide is the crack?
When you hear little creaks and noises in your home, they’ve probably been explained away with the expression, “the house is just settling.” But what does that mean? Well, first of all, it’s a real thing. When your slab is poured, the ground underneath it will continue to be packed down by the house. Plus, as your home goes through the different seasons of the year and experience different weather elements, this will also affect the ground under your home. As that earth expands and contracts over time, it will cause minor movements. Those minor movements will cause minor movements in the house itself. Most of them can’t be seen, but can be heard. It’s only when you get down to the slab that you can see what those little noises were doing. If you see a hairline crack, that is completely natural. The width of the crack is what will tell you if there is a reason to worry. The general rule is that is your crack is over a quarter of an inch wide, you should definitely call someone.
Is there moisture around the crack?
Aside from the width of the crack, one of the clearest ways to tell if the crack is a serious problem is if it allowing moisture into your home. Check the underside of the flooring that was pulled up around the crack. If you find mildew or mold, this tells you that moisture is being allowed in. If the problem is serious enough, you may see mold on the baseboards or sheetrock near the crack.
Is the crack isolated to one room?
If your slab is visible in more than one room, follow the crack to the wall, then look in the same spot on the other side of the wall. If the crack continues from room to room, this may be a sign that it is more serious than the average “settling” of a home. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have a full blown problem, but it is a good idea to call out a professional to take a closer look.
Are there other signs of foundation damage?
If you have cracks in your walls, doors that are either tough to open or have trouble staying closed, or you have windows that get stuck, these are all visible signs of foundation damage. These signs don’t always occur close to the crack. In fact, you may see signs outdoors as well. Cracks in your bricks are a very common outdoor symptom of foundation damage.
At the end of the day, you need to get it right when it comes to foundation repair. It is always best to err to the side of caution. As foundation damage worsens, it naturally gets more costly to repair. So, if you see cracks that leave you doubting, give us a call at WCK Foundation Repair. If there is a problem, we can help. If there is nothing to worry about, at least you’ll have the peace of mind of a professional opinion to allay your fears.