A Wall Crack: When Is it Serious?

Are you seeing a crack in one of your home walls?We know wall cracks are something no home owner ever wants to find.In the best case, it means something that can be fixed with a little spackle and paint; a one beer home-improvement project, or at most two if you sand the spackle in between.

In the worst case, the wall crack is sign of foundation failure or settlement.

So- which is it?

Truth is- to the untrained eye it can be difficult if not impossible to tell. And while not all wall cracks are signs of foundation failure, they may be. You really should look into it, if just for your own peace of mind.

You definitely don’t want to ignore it.

What is Foundation Failure?

Simply put, foundation failure is when the ground underneath your home is no longer supporting it evenly. When it gets bad enough, the structure above it begins to crack in various places. This is why a wall crack can be serious.

The clues we look for to determine the scope of the problem are:

  1. The size of the crack
  2. Growth of cracks over time and
  3. The number of cracks occurring

Example of a wall crack at the top of a window frame


Wall crack up near the ceiling

Here are the steps to take when you see a wall crack.

  • Take a picture of the crack and note the date.
  • Walk around the inside and the outside of your house checking for other signs of cracks.
  • Look at door frames and window sills, fire places, basements and garages.
  • Take pictures of any other cracks you find. Ideally, print them out in a note book, or save them on a disk with your home records and note the dates.
  • If you find more than one crack, and especially if you find a number of them, it’s time to get a an expert opinion.
  • Call us at (919) 806-5232 or contact us online and we’ll come take a look right away. There’s no obligation, and the peace of mind will be more than worth it to know for sure. If it’s not serious we’ll let you know. If it is, we’ll take the time to make sure you understand exactly what it will take to fix the issue.

Wall crack in middle of the wall next to fireplace

We’re Brackett Foundation Repair in Durham, North Carolina. We have over 40 years of foundation repair experience. We do foundation repair throughout North Carolina and the United States. Call us at 919-806-5232 or fill out the online form right now to find out what we can do for you.

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Ben Brackett, President of Brackett