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Are Foundation Cracks Normal?: Types, Causes, & Repairs

White concrete block foundation with large stair step crack.

So, you’ve noticed damage on your home’s foundation. You’re likely wondering, are foundation cracks normal?

The short answer is no, they aren’t.

But what makes them dangerous? And why did they appear in the first place? To answer, we wrote this expert guide.

Do All Foundation Cracks Spell Trouble?

Brick wall with cracks forming under a window.

Some foundation cracks look worse than others, but let’s make one thing clear: foundation cracks of any kind have the potential to cause serious damage.

Small foundation cracks are likely to arise as your house settles, and while they are a common occurrence, you should still inspect them regularly. Large cracks, especially those wider than a quarter-inch, or cracks that continue to expand, are clear signs of a serious foundation issue.

If a house’s foundation is severely cracking, the house won’t be able to stand straight. So, while tiny cracks might just be the house “stretching,” it’s good to keep an eye on them. If they grow or if you see other foundation problem signs (like uneven floors or sticking windows and doors), call an expert to check it out.

What Causes Foundation Cracks?

Foundation cracks arise for a number of reasons. In Florida, the most common cause is soil washout—when soil is washed away by water, such as heavy rain.

During a storm, water is absorbed by the soil in your yard. Many places in Florida have sandy soil, which erodes easily and becomes too weak to effectively support your foundation. Eventually, after a few cycles of heavy rain, your foundation sinks into the weak soil and cracks as it moves.

While this is the main cause of foundation cracks, they can also appear due to the following reasons:

  • Tree roots growing too close to your foundation
  • Poorly compacted soil during the construction of your home
  • Flooding (especially in homes near the coast)
  • Hurricanes and other natural disasters

As you can see, there are many ways foundation cracks can arise. Taking the proper precautions with foundation repair tools is the best way to fix cracks and prevent more from appearing in the future.

How to Repair Foundation Cracks

Thanks to modern advancements, foundation repair is more effective than ever. Various tools exist to repair and prevent foundation cracks from appearing. We’ll outline the repair methods used for the two most common foundation types in Florida: concrete slabs and crawl spaces.

Concrete Slab Foundation Repair

Alpha Foundations installer placing a foundation pier into soil next to wall.

For homes with a concrete slab foundation, the best repair option is a foundation pier system.

Professional repair companies, including Alpha Foundations, generally offer three types of foundation piers—push piers, slab piers, and helical piers. Each pier system is designed to stabilize and strengthen a building’s foundation, but they differ in their design and situational use.

For instance, push piers can be installed on most structures, while helical piers are designed for lighter buildings and slab piers work best in yards with little space or in situations where the concrete slab damage is difficult to fix from the outside. With a free inspection from Alpha Foundations, our team can show you which foundation pier system is best for your home.

Crawl Space Foundation Repair

For homes with a crawl space foundation, the best repair option is a crawl space support jack system. These steel support beams attach to the floor joists in your crawl space, strengthening the entire structure.

Most crawl space jacks can be adjusted to fit the specific dimensions of your crawl space. As they strengthen your crawl space, they make it harder for foundation cracks to appear in the future.

Three crawl space support jacks attached to a wooden beam in a crawl space.


Generally, homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage caused by “settling, cracking, or shrinking” of the foundation. However, if the foundation cracks were caused by a covered issue like a natural disaster, you might be eligible for coverage. It’s crucial to read your insurance policy carefully and consult with your insurance agent for specifics.

The duration of the repair process can vary depending on the extent of the damage, the methods used for repair, and weather conditions. Generally, foundation repair can be completed in a day or two, but more extensive damage might require a week or more. It’s best to consult with our specialists for an accurate timeline for your specific case. 

While it might be tempting to handle minor cracks on your own, foundation repair is generally not a DIY-friendly task. Improper repairs will actually make the problem worse. Given Florida’s unique climate and soil conditions, it’s strongly recommended to consult professionals like Alpha Foundations for a thorough evaluation and repair. 

Schedule a Free Foundation Inspection With Alpha Foundations

Alpha Foundations installer holding a helical pier over his shoulder and smiling.

If you have concerns about the cracks in your foundation, don’t hesitate to contact Alpha Foundations. We’ve been helping homeowners across the state of Florida protect their foundations since 2002, and we’re ready to do the same for you.

With industry leading solutions and an experienced team, we’re committed to taking care of your home. Don’t let foundation cracks ruin the safety and comfortability of your home—schedule a free inspection with Alpha Foundations today!

Related Resources

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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