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The Difference Between Structural and Non-structural Foundation Cracks

foundation crack repairBasement cracks are a common sight, and most homeowners have probably noticed small cracks in their basements before. While some types of cracks don’t pose a major threat right away, they can lead to bigger, more expensive foundation crack repairs down the road. They can also allow water in the basement that causes all sorts of damage, from water-logged carpets, furniture and ruined electronic equipment to the growth of dangerous molds.

List of Differences for Foundation Cracks

Most small cracks in basement floors and walls are non-structural and can be repaired fairly easily. Others are structural cracks that can jeopardize a home’s well being and require expensive foundation crack repair.

So what’s the difference?

Non-structural Cracks

Non-structural cracks in foundation walls tend to appear near windows and doorways. They are typically small and are usually no bigger than 1/8 of an inch wide. Non-structural cracks are caused by pressure from soil outside the house. These cracks may not be as damaging to the structure of the foundation, but they can lead to wet basement problems. When the soil gets over-saturated with water, these cracks can leak and cause moisture in basement walls. Luckily, non-structural cracks can be fixed fairly easily with the help of a waterproofing expert.

Structural Cracks

Structural cracks can often be differentiated from non-structural cracks just by looking at them. Structural cracks tend to be either horizontal or in a pattern, and they are also usually bigger than 1/8 of an inch wide. These types of foundation cracks may not always leak water, but they can mean major structural damage to a home’s foundation. Structural cracks are caused by either pressure from soil or a sinking foundation. Regardless of what is causing structural cracks, they require foundation crack repair by a professional. If left alone, the integrity of the house’s structural base could be compromised.

Being able to distinguish between structural and non-structural cracks is helpful in determining what type of issue homeowners are looking at. Recognizing the problems and dealing with them as soon as they arise can help homeowners avoid major house foundation repair costs.

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