Does Brick Cracking Indicate a Foundation Problem?
Just about every structure on the face of the earth will experience some form of cracking eventually. If the bricks of your own home have recently started showing cracks, you’ve probably asked yourself if this is due to some foundation problem.
There are a few ways to tell if the cracks on your bricks are just a natural result of your house settling, or if they are underlining a deeper issue with the integrity of your foundation.
The Causes of Cracking Bricks
Not every little brick crack you see will be caused by a foundation problem. There are many things that cause brick cracking, and many of them are harmless and no cause for worry.
Not many people know that nearby construction in your neighborhood can cause the bricks of your home to crack, and a potential foundation problem. This is because the vibration of heavy machinery can end up unsettling nearby structures.
Another cause is water, though most people already knew about that one. Storms and rainfall, interior leaks and poorly managed gutter drains can cause a foundation problem over time.
Then of course there’s shifting soil, an inevitable force of nature that no one can control. Fortunately, the brick cracking caused by moving soil is almost always harmless and does not cause a major foundation problem. Any brick cracks caused by this phenomenon are usually small and are no cause for worry.
Pay Attention to the Size of the Cracks
One great rule of thumb you can always follow to look for a foundation problem is to check the size of the brick cracking. While there are some exceptions, small cracks in bricks are normally just a result of your house settling whereas longer and deeper cracks are likely a sign of a foundation problem.
Another good rule of thumb is to see how the brick cracks are angled. Vertical brick cracks are more likely a result of house settling, but horizontal brick cracks are more likely to be caused by a foundation problem.
Is It A Foundation Problem? Understand How Your Home was Constructed
The method used to build your home will have an impact on how vulnerable it is to foundation issues. Modern houses that are 75 years old or younger are usually constructed with a foundation made out of concrete. For these types of homes, the bricks you see are exterior only and are not part of the foundation. There are many different types of foundations. Figure out which one your house has.
However, houses built prior to the 1950s often were made with the bricks included in the foundation instead. That means that if you see some concerning bricks on a home that is older than 70 or 75 years, you will have to find someone who specializes in brick foundation for these kinds of repairs.
Need Help Assessing Brick Cracks? Contact Us Anytime
While understanding the nature of brick cracking can give you some peace of mind, nothing is more certain than having a professional mason examine your home for a full check-up for a possible foundation problem in Rhode Island.
If you have a feeling that any of the cracks in your home are a sign of a serious foundation problem, or if you just want to put your home through a cosmetic makeover and remove any unsightly cracks, get in touch with us at Set In Stone and we’ll sort out any issue you have.