As you look around your home, you might notice a few cracks in the walls. Instantly, you start worrying, assuming that this is the end. Your house is going to collapse on you as you read this, and there’s no way of saving it.
Thankfully, the chances of this happening are basically zero. In fact, there are many reasons cracks form in your walls, and the majority of them are nothing to be concerned about. So, when should you worry about cracks, and what causes them?
New home settling
Have you recently moved into a new home? If so, you’re bound to see a few hairline cracks over doors and windows. These are normal, and it’s down to the new home settling into place. The technical reason for this is that the lumber that’s used to make your home is new and full of moisture, so it can move and shrink as it dries out. You can see cracks form for up to a year or so after you move, and they’re easy to repair without any need to worry at all.
Taping is used when installing drywall panels, and bad taping can lead to cracks. These cracks will typically be quite thin – and it may seem like the wall is slightly raised or swollen. If this is the case, a spot of retaping should handle the problem. It’s not serious, and again, this is a common issue in new-build homes.
Time to worry: Leaks
The previous two cracks shouldn’t be a major cause for concern, but this one should begin to make you worry. Look at any cracks in your walls and pay attention to the color of the wall around them. Are they slightly yellow or stained? If so, this indicates that there’s a leak in your home that’s probably caused the crack. Something is leaking and making the wooden frame expand, causing cracks to occur in the walls.
You should be concerned about this as leaks can cause major structural damage to your property that’s expensive to repair. If you spot cracks like these, call a plumber to help you find and fix the leak.
Time to worry: Large diagonal cracks
Have you noticed some very big cracks that run diagonally and are extremely jagged? If so, this is a sign that there’s a problem with the foundation of your home. Typically, it will have sunk slightly or shifted out of place, which is a big worry.
Don’t waste time when spotting these cracks; call a concrete foundation repair company to assess the situation. They can sort out your foundation to ensure the cracks don’t get any bigger, stopping your home from facing more structural problems.
The main takeaway from this post is that most wall cracks aren’t a big concern. The first two are the most common ones you’ll see, and they can easily be patched up and fixed as they’re just hairline cracks. If you notice any cracks in your walls that fall into the bottom two categories, then it’s time to worry. Still, you can get professional help to seal the cracks and tackle the causes.