Understanding the Difference Between Structural and Non-Structural Foundation Cracks

Jun 29, 2015

Any kind of foundation crack is bad news. What can start off as a minor blemish on the foundation of your home could end up threatening the entire structural integrity of the building. While all types of foundation cracks should be addressed immediately by a foundation repair expert, did you know that structural and non-structural foundation cracks are caused by different things? Read on to find out more:

Non-Structural Cracks

Non-structural cracks appear in your foundation but do not at present threaten the structural integrity of the home. Over time, weather conditions, temperature changes, and moisture content will naturally cause your foundation to experience these types of cracks.

Non-structural cracks can be caused by a number of factors. Creep damage, settlement, shifting foundations, hydrostatic pressure, and vegetation or trees can also cause non-structural cracks. These cracks are often very thin hairline cracks that are usually less than three millimeters in width.

It is very important to note that non-structural cracks should still be monitored carefully and treated by a foundation repair expert. What starts as a non-structural crack can easily turn into a structural crack as water seeps into the home and erodes the inner concrete.

Non-structural cracks are usually repaired with an injection of a sealant resin. This resin protects your foundation from future leaks and prevents the problem from worsening.

Structural Cracks

Structural cracks are caused by a variety of issues, like poor soil bearing, overloading, swollen soil, and poor construction sites. Generally, structural cracks are accompanied by interior problems, like sloping floors and doors and windows that stick when closed.

Structural cracks usually have some tell-tale signs. These cracks can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or appear like a staircase. There can be cracks in the foundation wall, in beams, or in foundation slabs. Structural cracks often extend to the upper floors of the home. Always get a foundation repair expert to diagnose the situation, but generally structural cracks are wider than three millimeters in width.

Structural cracks can be repaired from the inside or the outside of the home. Foundation crack repair experts will choose the option that best suits your particular needs. Severe cracks or leaks can be repaired with an interior French drain or an exterior weeping tile drainage system. All cracks are injected with high-pressure fittings to create a permanent seal that carries a transferable warranty.

Structural cracks should be addressed immediately, while non-structural cracks should be monitored and taken care of so they don’t get worse.

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