January 01

When to Worry About Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can be an extremely alarming symptom of structural problems with any home, signaling potential safety and integrity risks to its integrity and structure. Understanding when foundation cracks warrant concern is paramount to safeguarding you and your home. Mr. Rooter Plumbing offers insight on identifying when they warrant attention - along with why professional assistance from plumbers or plumbing services might provide part of a solution to address them effectively.

Types of Foundation Cracks

  • Hairline Cracks: Hairline cracks often form naturally as concrete cures and usually measure less than 1/8 inch wide, posing little threat.
  • Vertical Cracks: Common in many homes, vertical cracks are usually caused by foundation settling. Although harmless, it's wise to monitor any vertical cracks to ensure they do not widen over time.
  • Horizontal Cracks: Horizontal foundation cracks may indicate more serious structural problems and can often be caused by pressure from soil or water outside the foundation, often from outside pressure such as rainfall. They should always be taken seriously to detect structural flaws.

Reasons For Foundation Cracks

  • Natural Settling: Over time, houses settle, leading to minor cracking in some places.
  • Soil Issues: Expansive soils that swell when moist but shrink when dry can also contribute to foundation movement and cracks in foundations.
  • Water Damage: An excess moisture build-up in foundations must also be addressed promptly by plumbing services for optimal foundation support.
  • Poor Construction: Failing foundation construction may result in weak structures that crack easily, leaving weak foundations vulnerable to cracking.

When to Worry

  • Size and Width: Cracks wider than 1/4 inches should raise red flags indicating potential structural issues; inspection from an experienced professional should occur shortly afterward.
  • Horizontal Cracks: Any horizontal crack is cause for alarm; they indicate that your foundation may no longer be providing enough support to hold back earth pressures.
  • Stair-Step Cracks in Masonry: Cracked brick or block walls that exhibit cracks resembling stairs could indicate serious structural problems if these cracks widen beyond 1/4 inches. 
  • Displacement: Cracked walls may indicate structural damage that necessitates repair work; when one side of a crack protrudes more than another, this could indicate severe problems within its walls and indicate that more serious damages have occurred to that portion of your structure.

Plumbing Problems

Leaks from plumbing pipes may be responsible for creating or exacerbating foundation issues, leading to excess moisture accumulation around foundation cracks that causes or exasperates them. That is why employing an expert plumbing service or contractor becomes crucial: you want a competent plumber or plumbing service to assist.

  • Leak Detection: Plumbers specialize in detecting leaks that cause moisture issues around a foundation.
  • Repairing Leaks: Professional plumbing services have the expertise to fix leaks quickly to protect against further foundation damage.
  • Drainage Solutions: Plumbers also offer solutions to improve drainage around foundations, decreasing the risk of water damage.

Preventive Measures and Maintenance

  • Regular Inspections: Regular foundation inspections for new cracks or changes.
  • Drainage Improvement: Improve drainage around your home to stop water pooling near its foundation, thus prolonging its lifespan and saving money over the long haul.
  • Seek Professional Advice: As soon as cracks appear in a home's foundation, seek professional assistance immediately - from a plumber, structural engineer, or foundation repair specialist. They are all adept in offering advice that could save time and money in repairs later.

When To Call a Professional

  • Cracked Foundation Surface: If large, wide, or horizontal cracks appear on your foundation surface, it's advisable to call in professional services immediately.
  • Signs of Water Damage Around Foundation: When signs of water damage around foundation surfaces emerge, it should also prompt professional help immediately - at this stage, any signs that suggest plumbing service involvement must also be sought immediately.
  • Rapidly Worsening Cracks: When cracks grow rapidly, a professional evaluation is essential to assess and remedy them.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing

Foundation cracks range in severity from minor to serious. Assessing these cracks requires understanding their types and causes and paying particular attention to their size, direction, and changes. Homeowners should pay particular attention when inspecting foundations that show water damage issues. A regular professional maintenance inspection by Mr. Rooter Plumbing is key in maintaining structural integrity for homes in this condition.

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