Your foundation is the strength of your home, and you need to take care of the foundation if you want your home to continue standing strong. It is important for you to understand how to respond to cracks in your foundation.
Hairline Cracks Are Common
As your foundation settles, it is very common for hairline cracks to develop. Hairline cracks are very thin cracks that are literally as wide as a piece of hair or thread. These types of cracks are a normal part of the process of the cement settling and are not something you need to worry about. You can paint over them and cover them up with some basic paint that is designed for cement and masonry surfaces.
Monitor Narrow Cracks
If you find a crack that is larger than a hairline crack but not thicker than the edge of a coin, all you need to do is monitor the crack. More than likely, it is just a hairline crack that expanded a little bit over time but is not a big deal.
The best way to monitor this type of crack is to take a pencil and mark the width of the crack and put a date next to it. You should also mark the ends of the crack in order to see the length of the crack. Check back every few months and make sure that the crack doesn't expand. If the crack stays the same size, you don't have anything to worry about. If you don't want the crack to remain, you can fill it with some grout to get rid of it.
Act on Larger Cracks
If you have a large crack that is bigger than half an inch, you need to call in a foundation repair professional. A crack that wide is often an indication that your foundation is experiencing a structural problem. Everything may be fine, but when you start to see one or more wide cracks in your foundation, you need to bring in an expert to assess the situation. Be aware that horizontal cracks are usually more troublesome and an indication of larger issues than diagonal and vertical cracks.
If your concrete is settling, an expert can fix your foundation by stabilizing the foundation to prevent your foundation from sinking and damaging your home. They will also fill in all the cracks in your foundation.
If you see a hairline crack in your foundation, that's completely natural. If you notice a slightly larger but still thin crack, monitor it and make sure it doesn't expand. If you spot wide cracks in your foundation, bring in an expert to make sure professional intervention is not necessary. If professional intervention is necessary, you want to act as soon as possible to prevent serious damage to your home.