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Foundation Crack Repair: Structural vs Non-Structural Cracks

3d illustration of a structural foundation crack due to settlement

Discovering cracks in your home’s foundation can understandably cause concern. You might wonder if these cracks will worsen, lead to water damage, or pose a risk to your home’s safety. It’s natural to seek reassurance and answers.

However, not all cracks indicate serious problems or require immediate professional intervention. In this article, we’ll distinguish between structural and non-structural cracks, detailing how they occur and how to address them effectively.

Non-Structural Cracks: Identifying and Addressing Minor Issues

Non-structural cracks, while not indicative of a severe structural problem, can still be a nuisance and potentially lead to other minor issues if not addressed. Understanding and identifying these can help homeowners maintain their homes more effectively. Here are five common examples:

  • Hairline Cracks in Drywall or Plaster: These cracks are caused by natural settling, temperature changes, or humidity and are found around doorframes, windows, or where walls meet ceilings.
  • Crazing Cracks in Concrete: Fine, shallow cracks that appear on the surface of concrete floors or pathways, resulting from the concrete drying too quickly.
  • Shrinkage Cracks: Narrow cracks that appear in poured concrete as it dries and shrinks, typically not indicating a structural issue.
  • Stucco Cracks: Small, hairline cracks in stucco exteriors, common from thermal expansion and contraction or slight settling of the building.
  • Joint Separation: The caulk or sealant in joints around windows, doors, and trim may crack or separate due to movement or aging.

Structural Cracks: Recognizing Serious Foundation Damage

ceiling crack


Cracks wider than 1/8 inch (3mm) are considered structural, indicating serious concerns. They often appear as horizontal, diagonal, or stair-step patterns in various foundation areas.

Structural problems, signaled by bulging foundations, stem from waterlogged soil, construction errors, design flaws, or soil movement, including shrinkage during dry spells. Such issues can cause windows and doors to stick, sloping floors, and impact indoor air quality by promoting mold growth and allowing pests inside.

Effective Solutions for Foundation Crack Repair

Once you notice foundation cracks, contacting a foundation repair professional like Tar Heel Basement Systems for an inspection is crucial. Once the crack type is identified, an appropriate repair method can be decided on.

For non-structural or hairline cracks, the repair process is usually straightforward, with many professionals opting for epoxy injection to seal the cracks, preventing further damage and water seepage.

Addressing structural cracks requires more intensive solutions, tailored to the damage extent and foundation depth. Possible repair methods include:

Schedule Your Free Foundation Inspection with Tar Heel Basement Systems

Tar Heel basement Systems CFI inspecting house

Don’t let foundation cracks compromise your home’s safety or value. Whether facing minor or major foundation concerns, Tar Heel Basement Systems is here to provide a detailed, complimentary inspection – contact us today and rest assured knowing your foundation is in expert hands.

FAQs

Foundation Repair

The cost of foundation repair varies depending on the extent of the damage, the chosen repair method, and other factors. Tar Heel Basement Systems provides a complementary consultation and estimate to help you plan your financial investment in your foundation. 

Foundation repair can cause some disruption, but reputable companies like Tar Heel Basement Systems strive to minimize the inconvenience. Our team will work efficiently and ensure that your home is restored to its original condition as much as possible.

The duration of a foundation repair can vary greatly depending on the severity and complexity of the issue at hand. Generally, repairs can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. When you choose Tar Heel Basement Systems, we work diligently to complete the repair efficiently without compromising on the quality of our service. We recommend scheduling a consultation for a more precise timeframe for your specific situation. 

Phillip Mazzotta

Phillip Mazzotta

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