Cracked Paint In Your Home? Don’t Call a Painter…It May Be Foundation Damage
Noticed some cracks in your walls? Thinking it might be time to repaint? Not so fast. When you find major cracks, many times what you should be doing is calling a professional. Cracks in the wall could be signs of foundation damage. So how do you know when cracks are a small thing and when they’re a big deal? What do you do when they’re serious? Why is painting over them such a big mistake? Here are a few tips.
Warning Signs That Cracks Show Foundation Damage
If your crack bears one or more of the following characteristics, you probably have a major problem on your hands.
- Cracks adjacent to doors and windows: Random cracks don’t necessarily mean foundation problems, but when those cracks are adjacent to doors and windows, consider it a warning sign.
- Prominent cracks from doors to ceilings: When there’s a huge crack running from the top of a door to the ceiling above it, you might have foundation damage.
- Patterns of cracks: When you’re looking at poured-concrete walls, foundational cracks will usually occur in patterns. If you’re noticing cracks that run up at angles from lower corners of walls, paired with vertical cracks in the centers, you have a problem. Likewise, when you see angled cracks beginning in each of four corners of a wall and intersecting with a horizontal crack at the center, it’s serious.
- Jagged, angled cracks: When you spot a jagged wall crack running at a 45-degree angle, it’s a sign that sheetrock is splitting as the foundation shifts.
What to Do about Serious Cracks
When you identify any of the above characteristics, or any time you’re in doubt about what the wall cracks may mean in your home, contact a professional. At Foundation Repair Services, we offer a variety of solutions to help repair your foundation. The most common is called helical pier underpinning, used to raise and level the settled portion of the foundation. In some cases, we may instead install a micropile underpinning system, such as when we encounter rock in soil strata.
Why Painting over the Problem Could Put Your Home at Risk
The problem with painting over wall cracks is that you treat a potentially serious problem with a merely cosmetic solution. A fresh coat of paint might make the wall look better, but it won’t deal with the much greater situation underneath. Over time, the issue with your foundation will get worse, and when you end up repairing it later, it will be an even more expensive and lengthy project.
The bottom line with wall cracks is to treat them seriously. One small crack may be nothing serious, but a small crack around a door or a pattern of small cracks in a certain area is nothing to ignore. When you think you might have foundation damage, call professionals who are well versed in dealing with these types of concerns — at Foundation Repair Services, we’re here to help.