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Recognizing Vertical Foundation Cracks in Your Masonry Building

del prete masonry vertical foundation cracks

Vertical foundation cracks are prevalent and not a real structural concern.

A building’s foundation will crack eventually. Determining the difference between which cracks are acceptable and which you must address can save your structure and your bank account. For instance, vertical foundation cracks are prevalent and not a real structural concern. Also, these cracks are determined by the material type (brick, concrete, stone), the reason for the crack, and your foundation type.

Reasons for Vertical Foundation Cracks

Vertical foundation cracks are caused by

  • Footing settlement
  • Earthquakes or other significant impact damage
  • Soil characteristics – soils have various load-bearing capacities
  • Settlement of supporting soils beneath the footings or foundation walls
  • Frost heave or frost lensing

In most cases, this foundation-type movement relates to the footings or a downward movement of the wall. For example, when soft soil allows the wall to sink. So, the first thing you must uncover is the movement of the foundation type and the reason for this movement. Once you determine the cause, a masonry professional can repair the damage and prevent the cause from happening again.

Assessing the Damage

Furthermore, you should have Del Prete Masonry assess the damage if your foundation cracks are high or low risk. Here are some guidelines to look out for:

Low Risk

Vertical foundation cracks occur in between two structures, like an add-on garage built on than the full foundation. Also, vertical cracks in poured concrete are relatively straight and even in width. The only problem these tiny cracks might cause relates to excess moisture entering and causing damage.

Low to Moderate Risk

Moreover, vertical foundation cracks are noticeable in mortar joints, masonry block walls, or through a concrete block.

High Risk

Your building can possibly collapse if there are vertical foundation cracks near the end of a wall. Also, watch out for wider cracks at the bottom than at the top!

Several Cracks

Although it’s normal to notice several cracks along a building’s foundation. It’s not uncommon for multiple cracks to be close to one another or on various parts of the building.


Whether you are ready to start your next masonry project or are still hesitant and have questions, Del Prete Masonry is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to get it right the first time. Questions? Want to visit some of our residential or commercial projects? Ready to set up a consultation? Feel free to give us a call at 410-683-0650 or visit us online. We are happy to serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and to keep up with our new and exciting projects, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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