If you notice one or more cracks in the walls of your house, the first thing you might do is panic. This need not be the case, however. A little understanding of what causes this type of thing and where to turn for assistance can help you put everything in perspective. Regardless of where you live, you can find someone who can evaluate your home’s condition and let you know what it will take to fix it. For example, companies like Highlander Waterproofing can do your wall crack repair Cleveland Ohio. You can check local listings to see who is available if you live in another region.
Causes of Wall Cracks
The first thing you should do when you see a crack is determine if it is an interior or exterior wall. They can develop in both. If the crack is in an exterior wall, it could also lead to water seeping into the house through the crack, especially if it is in the portion of the wall that is underground, like a basement.
Interior wall cracks can be caused by a number of factors. One such cause is natural drywall shrinkage. Because the sheets of drywall are secured in place, they will necessarily crack as they begin to change shape.
Temperature changes can cause cracks for the same reason natural shrinkage often does. As materials go from hot to cold or vice versa, they will expand and contract, causing cracks.
If the house was built recently, it may begin to settle somewhat. This settling can sometimes cause cracks to develop. This type of settling is actually caused by contraction of the soil due to compression. Expansion and contraction of soil is another cause of cracks.
Notice the Direction of the Crack
Cracks caused by things like settling or temperature changes are often superficial and will cause no major problems. More often than not, these cracks run vertically. If the crack runs in a horizontal direction or a stair step pattern, there could be a more serious problem. These patterns are possible signs of shifts in the foundation. If you notice a crack like this, your best bet is to have it inspected by a professional who can determine how serious it is and make recommendations for repair.