How To Identify and Repair Cracks in Your House’s Foundation

One regular maintenance item that homeowners perform as they ready their properties for changing seasons is to check for foundation cracks. Cracks, bulges and leaks are all signs that you might need to repair your foundation, but not all of these repairs can be done yourself, and some may require specialized equipment and education.

Signs and Symptoms

Hairline cracks are not usually something to worry about, but monitoring them for expansion is a good idea. One way you can do this is to hold a ruler across the crack at the broadest point and take a picture each season. When a new or existing crack is between an eighth and a quarter of an inch, you can seal it with caulk to keep moisture, smells and hazardous gasses away from your home. For wider cracks, especially those accompanied by leaks or bulges in the foundation wall, it is time to call an FEI engineer Tulsa company for an inspection and repair.

10 Dec 2010, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA — Dec. 10, 2010 – West Palm Beach, FL – Florida, USA – United States – 121010 (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post) West Palm Beach – A crack along the foundation of Milton Gaddy’s home off 11th Street in West Palm Beach Friday. After West Palm Beach lost a $3 million housing grant, 16 residents who were supposed to have their houses repaired are now unsure if it will happen. (Credit Image: © The Palm Beach Post) — Image by © Richard Graulich/ZUMA Press/Corbis

Inspections and Repairs

While homeowners are most familiar with inspections being done to determine the home’s value, a structural engineer performs a more specialized examination to assess the health of your home from the foundation to the roof. Sometimes the inspector will tell you that your building structure looks excellent and the repairs can be done by yourself, and other times you will need to hire a contractor with the right equipment. This professional can then work with you and a foundation repair company to fix any damage and divert water drainage away from trouble spots. This can involve moving dirt away from the area, lifting the house on hydraulics and underpinning the foundation walls.

Spotting cracks in your home’s foundation can be scary, but not every flaw is an emergency. You can seal and monitor more minor cracks yourself to keep moisture and seasonal temperature changes from expanding them. However, more significant fractures, bulging foundation walls and leaks should be inspected and repaired by professionals.