It can be concerning to spot cracks in your home’s drywall. But what do these cracks signify, and what triggers them? Drywall cracks often signal foundation problems that necessitate the expertise of professional repair services.
At Bay Area Underpinning, we boast over 25 years of experience in diagnosing and rectifying foundation damage. Delve into the causes of drywall cracks, how to rectify them, and why you should get in touch with Bay Area Underpinning, the experts in foundation repair.
What Are Drywall Cracks?
Drywall cracks are fractures or breaks that develop in the drywall panels used for interior walls and ceilings. These cracks usually emerge due to the settling of the home’s foundation. Since drywall possesses minimal structural integrity, it is prone to cracking under pressure.
Some typical indicators of drywall cracks include:
- Diagonal cracks extending from door or window corners towards the ceiling.
- Cracks above doors and windows.
- Long horizontal or vertical cracks along walls and ceilings.
- Spiderweb-like crack patterns on walls and ceilings.
Even minor hairline cracks can serve as signs of foundation problems. Larger cracks raise the likelihood of substantial foundation damage.
What Leads to Drywall Cracks?
Several common factors contribute to drywall cracks:
- Settling and soil shifts: All homes naturally settle over time as the soil beneath them compacts. However, excessive or uneven settling due to soil expansion, erosion, or compression can cause foundation cracks that manifest on the drywall. This is the most frequent cause of drywall cracks.
- Foundation structural issues: Foundation problems such as sinking footings or cracked slabs can also lead to drywall cracks as the foundation moves.
- Renovations or additions: Adding weight to sections of the home, such as constructing an addition or installing heavy tile, stone, or wood flooring, can result in foundation settling and subsequent drywall cracks.
- Plumbing leaks: Water leaks and moisture infiltration from underground pipes, gutters, and other sources can erode soil and destabilize foundations.
Drywall cracks serve as your home’s way of signaling that something is amiss with the underlying structure. Disregarding them risks further foundation damage and the structural integrity of your home.
Can You Repair Drywall Cracks?
Indeed, you can repair drywall cracks, but it’s not as straightforward as patching and repainting. Although you can patch most minor cracks and repaint, they are likely to reappear if you leave the underlying foundation issues unaddressed. Hence, we do not recommend settling for temporary, DIY fixes. To effectively repair drywall cracks, you must resolve the foundation issues causing them.
Here’s what you can do:
- For minor cracks, patch and repaint them to enhance their appearance. However, bear in mind that these cracks may return if foundation problems persist.
- Major cracks may necessitate replacing damaged drywall after executing appropriate foundation repairs such as piers, footings, waterproofing, or wall reinforcements.
How Bay Area Underpinning Can Permanently Address Drywall Cracks
At Bay Area Underpinning, our seasoned foundation repair experts can identify the causes of your home’s drywall cracks and implement tailor-made solutions. Our exclusive foundation repair techniques encompass:
- Steel foundation piers (helical or push piers) are driven deep into the ground to provide reinforced support.
- Waterproofing systems, including interior drainage and sump pumps.
- If your home is built over a basement: wall anchors, steel I-beams, and/or carbon fiber straps.
- If your home is constructed over a crawl space: crawl space support jacks.
We also offer crawl space encapsulation to mitigate moisture issues that contribute to foundation and drywall damage. By elevating and re-leveling settled foundations while preventing water intrusion, our solutions definitively stabilize foundations and structures, preventing the recurrence of drywall cracks. Furthermore, we provide extensive warranties on our products.
Why Address Drywall Cracks Promptly?
There are compelling reasons to address drywall cracks as soon as possible:
- Drywall cracks worsen over time, with small cracks expanding and causing significant structural instability.
- Neglecting cracks jeopardizes more costly foundation repairs down the line.
- Cracks permit moisture infiltration, hastening foundation deterioration.
- Existing cracks affect aesthetics and home values, making it challenging to sell the property.
- Repairs become more intricate the longer they are postponed, and settling issues intensify.
Choose Bay Area Underpinning Today!
Take charge of your home’s structural stability. Reach out to Bay Area Underpinning today to schedule a complimentary inspection and receive a quote for your foundation repairs. We are here to offer swift and lasting solutions, safeguarding your home from further damage.
Securing the foundation of your home is paramount, and Bay Area Underpinning stands as your dedicated ally in this endeavor. With our seasoned expertise and commitment to excellence, we will meticulously assess the extent of the damage and tailor a repair strategy that addresses the unique needs of your home.
Surface cracks only affect the drywall’s surface and are primarily cosmetic. Structural cracks extend into or through the drywall, resulting from foundation movement and damage. Only structural cracks necessitate foundation repair. However, distinguishing between surface and structural cracks can be challenging, so it’s advisable to contact a professional promptly to assess them.
Repairing average drywall cracks through patching usually costs between $300 and $500. However, patching merely conceals the underlying foundation issues affecting your home. The cost of foundation repair varies considerably, depending on several factors. To determine the exact cost, it’s best to request a free inspection from Bay Area Underpinning (BAU), which also offers flexible financing options to accommodate your budget.
After inspection, foundation repairs generally take only 1-2 days, and you won’t have to vacate your home during the process.
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