Seeing cracks in your home's drywall can be unsettling, but the good news is that cracks are not always a sign of foundation problems. Whether you have a newer or older home, the truth is that foundations do settle over time, so some cracks here and there are inevitable. Still, how do you know when cracks are harmless versus a sign of a more serious problem? The only way to know for sure is to contact a foundation specialist, but there are some things you can keep in mind that can help you decide if and when a professional opinion is needed.
Cracks From Normal Settling
Over time, a home's foundation will settle. This is a simple fact. And when this happens, cracks can and will form in the drywall or plaster inside your home. Typically, settling cracks will be either horizontal or vertical in nature. They also tend to be quite thin, measuring 1/8 of an inch or smaller in thickness. These cracks may show up just about anywhere throughout your home, including on walls or ceilings. Normal settling cracks are also quite common around doors and window frames, especially in climates that see colder winters and warmer summers (and thus experience more expansion and contraction throughout the year).
Potentially Problematic Cracks
When should you worry about cracks in your home? If they're forming in a diagonal or "stair-step" pattern, this could be a sign of an underlying foundation problem. The same applies if cracks are thicker than about 1/8 of an inch. Furthermore, if you're noticing that cracks continue to form even after you've patched them, this could also be a sign that your foundation is shifting more than it should be. Consider checking around the perimeter of your home for visible cracks in your foundation, as these will often coincide with problematic cracks inside.
Time to Call a Foundation Specialist?
If you have any concerns about the cracks in your home, the best thing you can do is to call a team of house foundation repair specialists to perform a foundation inspection. This will help you get a better idea as to whether the cracks inside your home are truly indicative of a foundation problem or not. If so, the good news is that foundation repair methods are more effective and less intrusive than ever before, so you can likely have your foundation issues taken care of more easily than you think.
For more information, contact a house foundation repair specialist today.