Wall cracks are usually a sign of foundation movement but they don’t necessarily mean there’s structural damage.  In other words, a foundation can move slightly and cause a wall crack, but that doesn’t mean there’s any structural damage requiring a foundation repair.

If you’ve landed on this page you’re probably wondering if that wall crack you’re obsessing about is a sign of a foundation problem or, hopefully, something less serious. So, let’s start off with some good news…

What Causes Wall Cracks?

Of course, a wall crack can also be a sign of structural damage. This structural damage might have been caused by expansive soil, vibration, drainage problems, seismic activity, a severe wind storm, or something else. Cracks caused by structural damage are almost always more noticeable. Fortunately, a foundation repair professional can fix the problem that caused the crack.

Types Of Wall Cracks

Wall cracks caused by foundation movement can appear on both interior and exterior walls. The types of wall cracks include,
  • Vertical wall cracks

  • Horizontal wall cracks

  • Stairstep cracks in brick

  • Bowed wall with cracks

  • Cracks in stucco

  • Basement wall cracks

  • A crack caused by a wall that’s separating from the ceiling or floor

Vertical Crack

How To Know When A Wall Crack Is Serious

A wall crack is serious when it’s caused by structural damage. (Remember, you can have movement in a foundation that causes a wall crack, but doesn’t cause the kind of structural damage that requires a repair.)
So, here are the cracks you need to look out for:
  • A wall crack(s) that spans both the wall and the ceiling or floor. For example, a wall crack that goes across the ceiling and then down the wall. This is a sure sign of serious structural damage.

  • Any horizontal wall crack that runs the length of a wall. If the wall is also bowed, it’s even more serious.