6 Likely Reasons For Cracks in The Walls of Your Home
Walls, whether they are concrete, brick, or drywall, don’t usually get their fair share of the credit. We only start noticing them if there is something wrong – be it damaged paint, a strange mark that wasn’t there yesterday, or if there are cracks in the walls.
Thankfully, most cracks in the walls (especially in concrete walls) are normal, suggesting that the home is settling. Different weather patterns, moisture, and UV rays cause stress and strain on your walls. These cracks become more evident as they expand and contract or as the concrete dries up.
However, these cracks aren’t always benign. Sometimes, these cracks can be symptoms of a much more pressing issue, such as foundation damage in Rhode Island, water leakage, and more. In this article, we will discuss the likely reasons there are cracks in the interior and exterior brick walls of your home and whether they are dangerous.
1. The House Is Settling
This is the most common reason for cracks in walls, especially if your home in Rhode Island is new or if you live in an area with expansive soils. When the soil around your foundation expands and contracts due to changes in moisture and temperature, it puts pressure on your foundation. This can cause cracks to form in your walls as your foundation settles.
A setting house means that the weight of your property is being distributed in the soil, i.e., some parts of your property may be sinking ever-so-slightly. This is not dangerous unless the cracks don’t stop or become too wide.
For a newly built house, it may take up to two years for the house to stabilize, after which you can simply fill the cracks and paint over them to remove them entirely.
2. Poorly Compacted Fill Dirt
Another common reason for cracks in the walls is poorly compacted fill dirt. When your home is being built, the foundation is excavated and then backfilled with dirt. If this dirt is not properly compacted, it can settle over time and put pressure on your foundation, causing cracks to form in your walls.
A telltale sign of this issue is if the cracks in the walls are horizontal or stair-stepped. These types of cracks are usually caused by soil Settlement and are not a structural concern. However, you should still have them evaluated by a professional to be sure.
3. Temperature Changes
Temperature changes can also cause cracks in the walls. When the temperature outside fluctuates, it causes the materials in your walls (concrete, brick, etc.) to expand and contract. This can lead to small hairline cracks forming over time. With the climate changes in Rhode Island and constant different temperatures over the years, you must keep an eye on the possible problems it could cause for your home’s foundation.
These types of cracks are usually not serious and can be fixed with a little caulking or spackling compound. However, if you see large or multiple cracks, it could be a sign of a more serious issue, such as a foundation problem.
4. Plumbing Leaks
Plumbing leaks are another common cause of cracks in walls. If you have a leak in your pipes, it can cause the surrounding soil to erode and settle. This can put pressure on your foundation and cause cracks to form in your walls.
Plumbing leaks can also cause moisture to build up in your walls, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. If you suspect a plumbing leak, it’s important to have it fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
5. Improperly Installed Windows Or Doors
Improperly installed windows and doors can also cause cracks in your walls. If these fixtures are not installed correctly, they can put stress on the surrounding structure and cause cracks to form.
It’s important to ensure that any windows or doors installed in your home are done so by a professional. This will help to avoid any issues down the road.
6. Foundation Problems in Rhode Island
Lastly, foundation problems can also cause cracks in your walls. If your foundation is not level or if it has shifted, it can put stress on your walls and cause them to crack. Foundation problems can be rather serious as they may increase the risk of a cave-in.
It is important to note that your foundation may have been leveled when the builder was finished, but as the property settled, it may have turned crooked. The soil underneath one end may not have been compacted well enough than the other, or there may have been water underneath the foundation.
Water damage to your foundation can also lead to cracks, which in turn may impact the integrity of your walls. As your foundation weakens, the structure above starts to experience even more stress and strain. The first symptom of a poor foundation is usually a crack in the walls of your home.
Cracks In The Walls – Time For a Foundation Contractor
If you see any cracks in your walls, it’s important to have them evaluated by a professional to determine the cause, as it can be a potentially life-threatening issue. If you’d like to have your walls, foundation repair, or other masonry work inspected or repaired please contact Set In Stone masonry contractors in Rhode Island.