A home’s foundation has an important job. It must support the structure’s weight, along with anyone or anything inside it. It also needs to keep out elements that could undermine the home.
If your house is built on a concrete slab and you see a few cracks, that can be unsettling. Fortunately, these cracks rarely indicate a serious settling problem — and you can do something about them.
Why Concrete Cracks
Building materials expand and contract at different rates based on extreme changes in temperature and humidity. As a result, concrete often cracks as seasons change.
Concrete foundations, in particular, have unique “pressures” that cause cracks. Force from surrounding building materials, like siding walls, can cause an unsightly wedge called a corner pop.
Corner pops are usually purely cosmetic and you can repair them with convenient products from the home center.
How to Fix a Cracked Foundation
Repairing a cracked foundation couldn’t be easier. Just use a quality caulk like Quikrete Concrete Repair to fill in the gap.
However, if the crack is too wide and deep for caulk, you’ll need Quikrete Quick-Setting Cement. Mix it according to the directions, and then apply as directed, adding another coat as needed.
Either way, both products are designed for vertical applications, so rest assured you’ve got the right solution for this common problem!
After you fill the crack completely, give it time to dry. Then you can paint over the entire concrete piece for a finished look.
When to Call in a Pro
While concrete cracks often are cosmetic, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Here’s a rule of thumb: Cracks are usually nothing to worry about if they’re less than ⅛-inch wide and surfaces on either side of the crack are level. Use a straight edge to make sure it rests flat on both sides of the crack.
Finally, know your home. Keep your eyes on all concrete cracks and take note of major changes.
If a gap continues to widen or one side of the crack becomes higher than the other, you need to call in a structural engineer or home inspector for professional advice.