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Crack in House Foundation: What To do

Maybe you were poking around in the basement when you found a crack in your foundation, or maybe you were doing the responsible thing and conducting your annual home maintenance checklist. In any event, now that you know the crack is there, you probably won’t be able to stop thinking about it until you figure out how serious of a problem it is—especially if you’re at all thinking about selling your home.

It can be alarming to discover a crack in the foundation of your home! Here below, we will discuss the signs that point towards minor issues versus more serious ones, how to fix house foundation cracks, the cost to fix them and when you should just abandon ship and sell the house as-is to Osborne Homes. So, if you’re wondering what to do about the crack in your home’s foundation, please read on…

Three common types of house foundations

Knowing what type of foundation you have will help in determining both the problems that are possible and the costs that might be involved for repairs. The three most common types of foundations are as follows:

Crawl space

A crawl space is an unfinished, unheated space that exists beneath a home for the purpose of housing a furnace and/or pipes and sometimes is used for storage space. The house is built upon a border of concrete blocks a few feet high, which creates the area for the crawl space. Cracks, leaks and water damage are the usual foundation issues that arise from this type of foundation.   


There is no other foundation more expensive to build than a basement, due to the required excavation and construction materials required. However, basements are useful in many ways. They expand the living space of a home and are the most suited for areas where the ground freezes in the wintertime. The walls consist of either poured concrete, block and brick or panels, each having their own unique maintenance and repair needs. Bowing walls and leaks create the need for reinforcements and waterproofing, some of the more expensive foundation repairs.

Concrete slab 

This is a layer of concrete between four and eight inches thick that sits right on top of the soil under your house. These foundations don’t have basements or crawl spaces and are typically found in warmer climates, as freezing and thawing can crack even the thickest of slabs.    

What causes a crack in a house foundation?

Foundation movement is a common phenomenon that can occur due to the shifting of soil. This shift might be caused by any number of things, including inclement weather conditions, soil that wasn’t adequately compacted before construction, tree roots, poor drainage around the home and other factors. This movement can cause the home itself to shift and settle, and eventually may affect the structural integrity of it, causing gaps and cracks in floors, walls and ceilings to form. So, are cracks in house foundations normal? Yes. And some cracks are no big deal while others can be quite serious and pricey to fix. How can you tell the difference? 

How can you tell if a foundation crack is serious or not?

There are some cracks that form in the foundation of a home that require little to no repair, while others can be indicative of much bigger problems that need to be addressed immediately. Here’s how you can tell the difference:

Minor cracks in foundation

Sometimes cracks are just unsightly and nothing to be concerned over. These are referred to as non-structural cracks and are caused by concrete shrinkage during the curing process. Hairline cracks in drywall or plaster are not the kind to be losing sleep over. These do not threaten the structural integrity of your home.

Major cracks in foundation

When there has been excessive settling beyond the limits of your structure’s stability, bigger issues may be at hand. These are what are referred to as structural cracks. They are cracks you can see in your poured concrete walls and concrete block foundation walls. Finding structural cracks like these is when you should worry, because if you have any of the following going on you likely have a problem on your hands:

  • Sloping floors
  • Sinking foundation
  • Horizontal cracks
  • Chimney buckling
  • Large diagonal cracks
  • Cracks wider at one end
  • Cracks wider than 1/10 inch
  • Bowing of foundation walls
  • Cracks that grow bigger over time
  • Stair Step cracks within brickwork
  • Many vertical cracks near each other
  • Cracks that run across a ceiling and then down a wall

If any of the above is occurring, you do not want to attempt fixing these on your own. Foundation repair companies best know how to fix house foundation cracks. You should schedule an inspection immediately so they can provide you with an estimate of repair. It’s important to act fast because the longer you delay the more damage may occur and the more expensive the repair will be.

The cost of repairing a major crack in a house foundation

There are a number of different issues that can occur with foundations, some of which are more costly and difficult to repair than others. Here is an estimation of cost for some of them, as quoted in this 2022 foundation repair cost guide.

Foundation Crack Repair$250–$800
Settling and Sinking Foundation Repair$500–$3,000
Foundation Leak Repair$2,000–$7,000
Bowing Wall Repair$4,000–$15,000
Foundation jacking$600–$1,600
Basement underpinning or piering$1,000–$3,000 per pier
Foundation wall stabilization$4,000–$12,000
Foundation sealing$2,000–$7,000

How to sell your home without repairing the cracked foundation

Are you facing a costly and time-consuming foundation project and wonder if you can just sell your house without making the repair? If so, you may be happy to hear that Osborne Homes will buy a home as-is, even WITH a major crack in house foundation. In fact, we will even give you all cash for it! We are standing by to provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. If you decide you need to sell your house the way it is because you don’t have the time or money to make the expensive repairs, then just let us know. We will take care of the entire sale process, quickly and easily. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you sell your home fast—for all cash—and without any hassles.

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