Cracked or sheared brick and block walls are a common warning sign that your foundation is failing to support the structure and walls above. Stair-step, vertical, and horizontal cracking should not be ignored as this often leads to worse and more expensive damage due to water and pest intrusion. Cracks in your brick or block walls are not just cosmetic in nature, they indicate that a compromise in structural integrity has occurred to your home or structure and is in need of repairs. Home’s can lose significant value at the time of resale if found to have structural foundation issues.
What is causing your brick and block walls to crack? Simply put, the soil your foundation was built on isn’t stable and was poorly compacted during construction. We call this top layer of soil the “active zone”. Depending on the amount of clay, sand, and organic matter in your soil, it’s unique geologic composition can present a variety of problematic reactions to an extended period of wet, dry, hot or cold conditions. When soil stays too dry, it shrinks and creates voids where a foundation will settle. When soil stays too wet, it gets soft and cannot bear the heavy loads and a foundation will sink. When soil freezes, it will expand and heave the foundation upwards. All of these soil conditions put pressure on a foundation which then causes damage to it and the structure above.