Aug 17, 2016 • Home Owner Tips • By Funnls.
If you are selling your home, you want to get the top dollar for it. Unfortunately, based on the type of home and different circumstances, the amount you get for it can be much less than what you expect. One of the biggest issues is cracks in the foundation.
The good news is that there are different types of cracks and not all of them are hard to fix or will affect the structure or stability of the house.
Below are the common types of foundation cracks and how worrisome they are.
Reading Cracks in the Foundation
As the concrete cures, it will slightly shrink. When the concrete is unable to evenly shrink, it often cracks. Block and concrete foundations generally have at least a couple of cracks. It’s important to know which of them are no big deal and the ones that are serious. Here are the cracks from the least serious to the most serious.
The cracks inside the mortar in between the concrete blocks usually aren’t anything to worry about.
2. L-shape Section Cracks
These are the cracks like where the foundation is stepping down to follow the hillside, probably are shrinkage cracks. This is particularly true if they’re meandering and tapering down to hairlines. They’re not structural problems, although it may be necessary to plug the cracks so that your crawl space or basement is dry.
3. Stair-step Cracks
These types of cracks inside masonry joints pose a larger concern, particularly when the wall’s bulging or if it’s a crack wider than ¼”. A moisture problem such as a gutter that is plug probably is exerting pressure upon that wall part.
4. Horizontal Cracks
These are the ones that are most serious. It could be you had soil that was water-saturated and froze, causing it to expand. This pushed in and broke your foundation. You also may have soil which expands when it’s wet and then shrink when it’s dry. The bad news about these types of cracks is that you likely need a brand-new foundation.
If you are selling your house and you are concerned about the cracks in your foundation, it’s always worth it to have someone inspect it. Depending on what they say, you can always fix the cracks in the foundation and negotiate that into the price of your house. But now you know what you should be worried about and what is not a big deal when it comes to foundation cracks.
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