Wall Cracks: 3 Different Types and What Action to Take
The appearance of cracks in the walls of your house can upset you. Often, the first thought that comes to the minds of many people when they see cracks is that their building has some severe damage. But this is not always true; wall cracks vary and mean different things. So there are some cracks that you don’t need to worry about and others that you should be concerned about.
Learn more about the three types of wall cracks and what you should do about them.
1. Vertical cracks Vertical wall cracks run perpendicularly up-down or down-up on a wall. In some cases, vertical cracks may be slightly inclined. These cracks often form as the concrete shrinks, hence they are also referred to as shrinkage cracks.
Narrow vertical cracks are usually no cause for concern because they simply indicate that the concrete is shrinking, hence some form of cracking is inevitable. However, you should get worried if vertical cracks are expanding to be more than 3 mm (1/8 inch) wide. If this happens, you have to call a professional repair company to inspect your house.
2. Horizontal cracks are not a good sign on your house. They are structural cracks that often occur when the foundation of your house is subjected to a lot of lateral pressure from the surrounding soil.
The increased lateral pressure from the soil can be due to a number of things. For instance, when it rains, the soil can become saturated with water and exert more hydrostatic pressure on the foundation wall of your house. The same can happen where there are notable plumbing leaks near the foundation. Large roots and frost heave can also increase the pressure that the soil exerts on your foundation.
Increased lateral pressure on the foundation walls can cause the walls to curve inwards, thus creating an opportunity for horizontal cracking. Since horizontal wall cracks indicate serious structural issues, you should call a dependable wall repair company as soon as you see signs of these cracks
3. Diagonal cracks run in a sloping manner on walls. You may find these cracks in corners where two walls meet. Diagonal wall cracks also appear above or below the corners of doors and windows.
Diagonal cracking is an indication of some damage in the foundation since it means that the foundation is settling or sinking in an uneven manner, which causes two sides of the walls to pull in opposite directions. You need to hire a skilled technician to repair any diagonal cracks on your walls and fix their causes to prevent further damage.