The difference between structural and non-structural cracks

The difference between structural and non-structural cracks

Posted by Flexomeric on 6/15/2018

Any foundation crack is terrible news. Foundation cracks can start very minimally but could end up threatening the entire structural integrity of the building. Different things can cause structural and non-structural foundation cracks.

Non-structural cracks

Non-structural cracks appear in your foundation but do not at present threaten the structural integrity of the home. Weather conditions, temperature changes, and moisture content will cause your foundation to crack.

Many factors can cause non-structural cracks, such as poor conditions at original construction, poor concrete mix, rapid curing, or changes in moisture due to the cycle of seasons. Foundations shifting, hydrostatic pressure, vegetation, or trees can also cause non-structural cracks. These cracks are often very thin hairline cracks that are usually less than three millimeters in width.

A typical non-structural window crack
A typical non-structural crack found near a basement window.

It is critical to note that non-structural cracks should still be monitored and treated by a foundation repair expert. What starts as a non-structural crack can quickly turn into a structural crack as water seeps into the home and erodes the inner concrete.

Non-structural cracks are usually repaired with an injection of a polyurethane resin. This flexible resin protects your foundation from future leaks and prevents the problem from worsening.

Structural cracks

A variety of issues can cause structural cracks, like poor soil bearing, overloading, swollen soil, and poor construction sites. Structural cracks are accompanied by problems on the inside of your home. Examples include sloping floors and moving objects like doors and windows that could be difficult to close.

Structural cracks are usually easy to identify. They can take on many shapes and sizes, can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or appear like a staircase in foundation blocks.

A typical structural window crack
A bowed wall repaired with carbon fiber straps.

They can be found in foundation walls, in beams, or in foundation slabs. Structural cracks often extend to the upper floors of the home. Generally, structural cracks are wider than three millimeters in width, but you should always get an expert to diagnose the situation.

Structural cracks should be addressed immediately, while non-structural cracks should be monitored and repaired, so they don’t get worse.

What's next?

For non-structural cracks, the solution is straightforward. There are several methods available that allow you to repair them yourself in a few hours. The FLEXKIT-100 repairs most wall cracks, while the FLEXKIT-200 is for hairline cracks.

For structural cracks, you should first consult with a foundation repair expert. If you're willing to repair yourself, carbon fiber repair kits are the industry-leading method for foundation wall stabilization.

Add Comment