When Do Cracks Mean Structural Damage

When it comes to cracks you’ve probably been told that any cracks you see on your building, especially the foundation is bad news but this isn’t always the case. As a homeowner you are more likely to come across two types of cracks on your property, structural and non structural cracks . Even though only experts should be allowed to determine which cracks are bad or not, there are a number of ways to differentiate the two types of cracks

Structural Cracks

These are serious cracks that cause damage to the structure. These cracks are followed by unlevel floors,sticking windows and doors. The cracks are caused by a variety of reasons such as poor construction materials, expansive soils, poor drainage or poor construction sites. They have certain characteristics that differentiate them from the non structural cracks such as they tend to be wider than ⅛ inch, they form a staircase pattern of cracks and serious cracks also tend to form horizontally.  

Related: How are foundation cracks fixed ?

Non Structural

Non structural cracks are cracks that don’t pose any danger to your structure. Even though these cracks might look bad or similar to structural cracks, they are harmless to your property. These cracks are most often caused by stress that is induced internally in the concrete. They will have certain characteristics in common such as being less than ⅛ in width,they usually radiate from pipes, corners or plants. Unlike the bad cracks, these can be repaired using a sealant and should be closely monitored to prevent them from turning into bad cracks.

Related: Foundation cracks: To worry or not to worry

It’s best to call a professional whether you think the cracks on your property are structural or non structural because non structural cracks can easily turn into structural cracks if not properly dealt with. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.