My Newly Built Home Has a Crack in the Foundation

How worried should you be about cracks showing up in your new construction home? Let’s take a look at some thoughts regarding this topic.

It is not uncommon for small cracks to appear in a newly constructed home as it settles and the materials dry. These cracks, especially hairline cracks, are usually just a cosmetic issue and can be easily fixed. However, if you notice large cracks in the foundation, walls, floors, or ceilings of your new construction home, it may be a sign of a structural problem that needs to be addressed immediately. It is important to determine the cause and severity of any cracks in your home, as they could potentially indicate a serious issue that needs to be addressed promptly.

Why Do Non-Structural Cracks Develop?

There are several reasons why cracks may appear in a newly built home. One common cause is moisture in building materials like green lumber, newly poured concrete, or fresh plaster and paint. As the moisture inside wall, floor, and ceiling systems evaporates, it can cause materials and components to shrink and develop superficial cracks known as shrinkage cracks.

Another reason for cracks in a new home is normal settling, which occurs as the house adjusts to its foundation over the first few years after construction. Properly prepared soil and a well-designed foundation can minimize soil compaction and foundation movement, but small settlement cracks may still appear. Small cracks in new concrete foundations may also be caused by soil composition and embedded items like reinforcing steel.

Thermal movement, or the expansion and contraction of building materials and components in response to temperature changes, can also lead to small cracks, particularly where two different materials meet. Expansion joints can be used to control thermal movement and the location of cracks in floors and walls.

Why Do Structural Cracks Develop?

Structural cracks in a home are often caused by differential settlement, which is the uneven settling of the foundation due to uneven movement of the soil beneath it. This can cause the foundation to bend, resulting in horizontal or diagonal cracks on the exterior. These cracks can eventually affect other parts of the home, such as the walls, floors, and ceilings. Structural cracks are usually wider than one-quarter inch and can be distinguished from other types of cracks, such as shrinkage cracks caused by the drying process or normal settling, or thermal cracks caused by temperature changes. It is important to note that vertical cracks are less likely to be related to structural problems, while horizontal, diagonal, and stair-step cracks are more likely to indicate structural damage.

Why You Should Worry About Cracks

Cracks in the foundation, walls, floors, or ceilings of a home can be dangerous, as they can provide entry points for pests and even cause parts of the home to collapse. They can also lead to water seepage and related damage. If you have noticed any cracks in your home, it is important to seek the advice of an expert.

Foundation repair may be necessary in some cases, and the driven concrete pier and pile systems are effective solutions. These systems push piers to the maximum load-bearing weight, providing maximum slab support and compensating for load. They are frequently used for repairs on all types of foundations in Houston and surrounding areas, and can stabilize foundations, stop issues like foundation sinking and differential settlement, and prevent future problems on clay soils.

It is important to understand the difference between structural and non-structural cracks, and the causes of each, in order to determine the appropriate course of action. If you are unsure whether the cracks in your newly built home are structural or non-structural, it is best to consult with specialists who can assess the condition of your home and recommend steps for repair. “

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    AAA Foundation Service

    If you live in the Houston area and are noticing signs of cracking in-and-around your home, there is only one call to make. Trust the professionals of AAA Foundation Service to provide honest information about your foundation settlement issues. Call us today and we will get you setup with an in-depth inspection, free repair estimate, and a list of solutions.

    Chris Bartlett
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