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Notice a crack in the wall of your home?
While it may have been caused by the blunt force of an object, such as a chair being accidentally pushed into the wall too hard, it could also be an indication of an even bigger problem. Here are some common causes:
The vast majority of homes today have a concrete exterior, and the improper drainage of runoff water is the most common reason contributing to the development of cracks. Even when water is directed well off the property, cracks can still develop after heavy rains and high humidity. While the damage caused by improperly drained runoff water isn’t immediately apparent, most homeowners often overlook the problem until it’s too late.
Water not directed safely away from the home can leak into the walls, weakening the concrete and other structural materials. The area of the concrete wall that is constantly exposed to water will eventually develop a crack, and if left unattended, the crack will simply grow. This allows water to freely leak into the insulation and interior walls of the home, developing more cracks. Water can also become trapped, becoming an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew.
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Shifts in the Soil
Another reason that may cause a crack to form in a wall could be a shift in the foundation caused by a minor tremor, landslide or other geographical phenomenon. The movement of the surrounding soil the foundation is set in, even when freezing or thawing, will affect the structure of a house. However, any cracks that form most often appear in the lower walls (such as the basement).
Throughout the lifetime of a home, its foundation will settle into the soil it was set. Cracks can appear as the house settles. If they are serious, it is recommended that a professional or structural engineer inspect them to ensure that they are not an indication of something serious.
The frame joints of the house can also contribute to cracks. These cracks typically appear in or near the ceiling, and is a problem best remedied by a professional or structural engineer.
Always figure out how the crack formed by inspecting it and the surrounding area before fixing. You may also want to check the exterior wall. Determining the cause of the crack and remedying the problem will help prevent further cracks from forming.