5 Tips for Preventing Cracks in Your Walls
No matter what type of walls you enjoy on your property, both inside and out, a number of problems can cause you to experience unsightly and potentially dangerous cracks. They could come from settling as your structure ages, the ravages of the elements, encroaching plant life, and of course, pests. And cracks can appear in all types of surfaces, including sheetrock and drywall, wooden beams or panels, or even brick and concrete. But most homeowners never consider the possibility until cracks actually start to appear, by which point costly repairs may be necessary. However, there are ways that you can attempt to prevent cracking in these surfaces. Here are just a few tips that should help you to get ahead of potential cracks and keep them at bay.
- Consider materials. The place to start when it comes to preventing both interior and exterior cracks in walls is to know what types of materials you’re working with; this will help you to find out what might cause cracks in the first place. For example, fluctuations between moisture and drying can certainly lead to cracks in drywall and wood products, while water that gets into concrete and freezes can be responsible for cracks and chips. As for cracked brickwork, settling or an unstable foundation is usually the problem. But all of these issues can be addressed. What may be more difficult to counter are natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. These cannot be predicted or prevented, but with good insurance you can salvage your home, cracked walls and all, after the fact. In any event, preparedness is key.
- Watch weather conditions. The weather can certainly play a role in the formation of cracks, even on interior surfaces. If, for example, you live in an area that has a high water table and frequent rain (like a coastal region), moisture may rise through your foundations, supposing you have an older home or one that was inadequately built for the environment. But knowing this can help you to find the right construction before you buy or to upgrade the home you have before damage occurs.
- Remove vegetation. Trees near the perimeter of your home and flower beds abutting exterior surfaces could certainly cause the type of damage that results in cracking of exterior and even interior walls. For this reason you’ll want to keep vegetation at a safe distance from your structure.
- Regular pest control. Pests like termites and other insects, as well as rats and other vermin can cause all kinds of problems within your home, the least of which are a few cracks on the wall. Termites, for example, can degrade the structure of your home to such a serious degree that it may become unsafe for habitation. And rodents are notorious for chewing through electrical wiring, potentially causing a house fire. So regular pest control (say, annually) is a good idea, as is calling exterminators at the first sign of infestation.
- Address current cracks and prevent future problems. Regardless of your best efforts, you may spot cracks in your walls. But if you catch them early, it could be a blessing in disguise since it might give you the warning you need to upgrade your structure before it becomes unstable. Whether you put in diagonal bracing and new drywall on your own or you contract with Shekinah Basements to shore up foundations, you’ll help to seal current cracks and prevent the formation of future issues.