Should You Panic If You See Foundation Cracks? Here’s When To Relax About It

In Los Angeles, historic houses would have likely been built with either a concrete slab or a crawlspace foundation.

As time passes, it’s important to know when you should worry about the cracks in these foundations and when you can sit back and relax.

In this blog, we’ll talk about serious vs. minor concrete floor damage, so you can decide if you need residential concrete contractors Los Angeles.

What's A Foundation Crack?

Let’s start with the basics. Foundation cracks are the concrete or masonry gaps that make up your home’s foundation. They can appear in various patterns and sizes, and several factors, such as settling, soil expansion and contraction, or natural disasters, can cause them.

cracked wall and concrete floor

Myth Busting: Are All Cracks The Same?

One of the biggest myths about foundation cracks is that all cracks mean major damage to the building.

While it’s true that some cracks can be a red flag of severe issues, such as foundation settlement or water damage, it’s also true that not all cracks require immediate attention. Some cracks may be merely cosmetic and not threaten the integrity of your home’s foundation.

How Do You Know When To Panic?

When it comes to foundation cracking, there are a few key signs that show whether it is something that should worry you. 

Watch out for these two types of concrete cracks:

  • Cosmetic cracks that are harmless
  • Hairline cracks that are common and not a cause for alarm 

When To Relax: Minor Crack Damage

One of the most common causes of cracks in concrete foundations is shrinkage due to drying after the concrete has been poured.

On the other hand, hairline cracks (less than 1/16 inch wide) and cracks that only appear on the surface of the concrete or masonry are usually only cosmetic. You can quickly repair them with simple cosmetic fixes like patching or filling.

When To Act: Major Crack Damage

Suppose you see cracks wider than 1/4 inch, vertical cracks near windows or doors, or cracks accompanied by other structural problems like uneven floors or doors that won’t close properly. In that case, you should talk to a professional foundation repair specialist as soon as possible.

hairline crack on concrete
concrete cracks

What You Can Do To Prevent Cracks

Even though you can’t stop all foundation cracks from happening, there are steps you can take to make it less likely that they will occur in the first place. It includes ensuring good drainage, installing a flawless gutter system, and not planting big trees or bushes near your house’s foundation.

When In Doubt, Call A Pro

Suppose you need to figure out how bad a crack in the foundation is. In that case, talking to a professional concrete company in Los Angeles is always best. These experts can give your foundation a thorough checkup and accurately estimate how much damage there is.

When choosing a foundation repair contractor, choose a professional with a good reputation and a history of doing excellent work and satisfying clients.

Don't Panic, But Don't Ignore It, Either

Even though cracks in the foundation can be scary, knowing when to worry and calm down is essential. By understanding the different types of cracks, common misconceptions, and signs of serious damage vs. minor cosmetic damage, you can make an informed decision about when to call a concrete repair from Los Angeles and take steps to prevent future problems.

With some knowledge and preventative maintenance, you can keep your home safe and enjoy peace of mind with a strong and stable foundation.

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