Oh no! You’ve discovered a crack or two inside your home. Should you be concerned? We always recommend you air on the side of caution and never ignore a discovered crack. However, it’s important to note that the presence of a crack doesn’t always mean that the structural integrity of your home is compromised. Before you panic, let’s ask a few questions and determine whether you have a potential problem on your hands.
Was your home built in the last year?
In recently built homes, cracks can appear due to “new home’ settling. New lumber used during the construction process contains high levels of moisture, and cracks can appear as it begins to move and dry out. Give yourself about a year to let the lumber dry out before you repair and re-tape the seams where drywall panels meet.
Are the cracks vertical, horizontal or diagonal?
Vertical or horizontal hairline cracks in drywall are rarely cause for worry. While vertical cracks are the most common and are often caused by home settling or humidity, diagonal cracks are also fairly common. The direction of the seam can be due to the home’s foundation settling lower on one side compared to the other. The size of a diagonal crack plays a role in how serious the issue is. If your home has a large horizontal crack, cause for concern is much greater as there could likely be a structural issue at play.
Do you have floor cracks?
Loose tiles or cracks between tiles on upper levels of the home are another possible indicator of structural problems. This often can occur when the foundation of the home has shifted or the soil below and around the home has moved and caused expansion. Again, the size and severity of the crack will help you determine how serious of a problem you may have, but it is always a good idea to call a professional for assurance.
If you see cracks anywhere in your home, don’t ignore them—have a professional home inspector check your foundation walls, basement floors, posts, and beams. An inspector can give you a better idea of whether there is cause for serious alarm. If you’re in the Calgary area, contact Accurate Home Inspections at 403-826-6111 to make your appointment today.