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Do All Foundation Cracks Spell Trouble?

Crack running through a brick foundation wall.

Foundation cracks can be deceiving. Small cracks can turn into big problems, and large cracks don’t get bigger for many years.

Still, you should never ignore them. If a foundation crack is going to lead to serious damage, it requires the eyes of a professional. If you notice a foundation crack, contact Groundworks right away and read this post to learn more.

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Will All Foundation Cracks Require Foundation Repair?

It’s hard to tell if a crack will cause foundation damage just by looking at it, so it’s important to get a professional’s opinion. Foundation repair experts, like our teams at Groundworks, will use benchmarking to assess the severity of foundation cracks and determine whether or not they are at risk of causing damage.

There are some basic ideas to keep in mind when it comes to foundation cracks:

  1. Hairline cracks are small, tiny cracks that usually occur naturally as part of the concrete drying process. Generally, they won’t cause issues, but you still need to monitor them. If hairline cracks get bigger they can get worse.
  2. Soil movement leads to foundation settlement, which leads to foundation cracks. As a result, cracks that occur because of soil movement are likely going to require foundation repair.

Remember, even if you see the smallest of cracks on your foundation, you should still call a professional just to be safe. Foundation cracks can be unpredictable, and what happens at one home may not happen the exact same way at another.

When Should You Worry About Foundation Cracks?

Cracked bricks at the base of a foundation wall.

Some sinking of the foundation is normal, especially after a home is newly built. Despite the construction crew’s efforts, the soil will settle a bit under the structure’s weight and small, hairline cracks are likely to form.

In the first three years, hairline cracks are normal. However, you should worry about foundation cracks if they are wider than a quarter inch, appear in concrete block walls, or are visible on the exterior of your home.

Horizontal cracks are especially concerning, as they indicate uneven settling and significant stress. If you notice these types of cracks, it’s important to call a professional immediately. The following are some telltale signs of foundation damage caused by cracks:

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Which Foundation Repair Solution Is Best for Me?

Groundworks crew installing foundation piers.

The best solution for the foundation cracks affecting your home depends on a variety of factors. The decision on which solution to implement should be left to the professionals. However, we wanted to acquaint you with some of the options that are available.

A foundation repair professional will recommend one of the following solutions in line with the severity of the cracks in your basement or crawl space:

Push Piers

This nearly universal solution works with most types of soil, but they are most often recommended for homes built on questionable soil. Push piers are driven deep into the terrain until they reach bedrock. They will stabilize and can level your home.

Helical Piers

Helical piers are a good solution for lighter sunken foundations, such as porches and chimneys. Like push piers, helical piers are installed into the ground, except these are “screwed” into the earth. Helical piers also permanently stabilize and can lift the foundation back toward its original position.

Slab Piers

This solution is meant strictly for homes built on a slab foundation. If a home with a slab foundation starts to sink, foundation repair professionals will use slab piers to stabilize and potentially lift your home back to its original position. This protects the interior walls and ensures the longevity of the structure.

Crawl Space Jacks

Sagging and uneven floors call for a sturdy solution. Our crawl space support jacks help permanently reinforce problematic floor joists and can help lift floors back to level. They also are designed to prevent further sagging and settlement and can be easily adjusted.

Wall Anchors

If you have noticed the walls in your basement are starting to bulge or bow as a result of hydrostatic pressure, our wall anchor solution could ensure your home’s safety by stabilizing the structure. These anchors also can be tightened to help restore the wall’s original position over time.

Steel I-Beams

This foundation repair solution is patented and one of the most effective in use today. Our specially designed wall brace system will stabilize foundation walls and can even straighten bowing walls.

Carbon Fiber Wall Reinforcements

This is a great solution for homes with little space around the perimeter for other foundation repair options. Carbon fiber wall reinforcements will hold your walls in place and prevent any further bowing. However, they will not straighten the walls back to their original position.


At Groundworks, we have extensive experience helping homeowners in your area. Reach out to your local foundation repair experts for a free inspection and repair quote today to find out what you can do to ensure the health of your home.

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FAQs

Homeowners insurance usually does not cover foundation repair. We recommend contacting your insurance provider to learn the details of your policy. Factors such as the age, type, and location of the foundation will influence whether your home is eligible for coverage. Groundworks offers affordable financing options. Contact us to learn more. 

Ignoring foundation cracks can lead to a multitude of problems that can become costly both in terms of money and health. 

The cracks can become larger and more extensive, jeopardizing the structural integrity of the entire foundation. Other risks include water infiltration, mold growth, and pest intrusion. 

All these issues can put your family’s safety in danger, as well as decrease the overall value of your home. 

If there is a hairline crack – also known as dormant or shrinkage cracks – in your foundation wall or concrete, it usually is harmless. These cracks typically form within the first two years after your house is built and it naturally settles into place. 

However, when you see significant cracking like large, spreading cracks, this is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed by foundation repair professionals. 

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.