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Oct 23 2023

When Should You Worry About Foundation Cracks?

For most homeowners, their property represents the largest single investment they will ever make. So, it's no surprise that any signs of structural issues can be unsettling. Among these concerns, seeing cracks in the foundation are often the most nerve-wracking. While not all foundation cracks are cause for immediate panic, they should never be taken lightly.

In this article brought to you by Rooter Hero Plumbing, we discuss three telltale signs that it's time to worry about foundation cracks. If you suspect a slab leak, or any leak, to be the culprit, then hire a uniformed plumber by calling Rooter Hero Plumbing. We are proud to offer emergency plumbing service in the area.

Size and Location of the Cracks

The size and location of foundation cracks can be critical indicators of their seriousness. It's essential to inspect your foundation regularly, because even hairline cracks can develop into larger problems over time. Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Hairline Cracks: These thin, often less than 1/16 inch wide, are generally not a major concern. However, closely monitor them for any changes. If they begin to widen or grow longer, it's time to take action.
  • Vertical Cracks: Vertical cracks are less concerning than horizontal ones. They can be a result of normal settling. Nevertheless multiple vertical cracks in close proximity or one that extends from the foundation up into the walls is concerning.
  • Horizontal Cracks: These cracks that run horizontally along the foundation are typically more worrisome. They can indicate excessive pressure from soil, water, or even tree roots.
  • Cracks Near Load-Bearing Walls or Supports: Cracks located close to load-bearing walls or support columns are especially worrisome. These areas are critical for the structural integrity of your home. Any cracks near them should be assessed by a professional.

Changes in Doors and Windows

Foundation issues can manifest in various ways, one of which is changes in the alignment and operation of doors and windows. If your doors suddenly start sticking, or if your windows no longer open or close as smoothly as they once did, it could be due to a shifting foundation.

Gaps around doors and windows are another clear sign of foundation issues. You may notice increased drafts, moisture infiltration, or even insect infestations. These gaps can be a result of the foundation settling unevenly.

Cracks in Interior Walls and Floors

Foundation problems can extend beyond the exterior of your home and manifest as cracks in interior walls and floors too. Watch out for cracks appearing on your interior walls, especially near the corners of doors and windows. If you notice that your floors have become uneven or sag in certain areas, it's time to investigate.

In basements, foundation issues may present as bowing or buckling walls. These deformities can lead to water infiltration, structural instability, and an unsafe living environment.

When to Hire a Plumber

A common and often overlooked cause of foundation issues is a slab leak. Slab leaks occur when pipes within or under the foundation start leaking water. This excess moisture can lead to soil erosion, which compromises the foundation's stability.

If you notice your water bills are unusually high, or you simply want a professional to inspect for a slab leak, then call Rooter Hero Plumbing to hire a uniformed plumber.

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