How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about House Wall Cracks

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Cracks are scary omens. They might be caused by harmless flexing due to seasonal temperature and moisture changes or could be the first signal of big structural problems building in a wall. It doesn’t take an expert to recognize that the house shown above has foundation failure, due in this case to sinkhole activity, but the early symptoms are usually subtle and easy to miss unless you know how to look for them.

    We suggest you start with the first two articles about recognizing structural problems and places to look for cracks, then choose the more specific articles about the types of cracks you have found.

How do I recognize serious structural problems in a house?

Where are the places to look to find structural cracks in a house?

Why is my stucco cracking?

What causes vertical cracks in fiber cement siding planks?

What causes raised white lines of residue on a block wall that are crusty and crumbling? 

 What causes stair-step cracks in a block or brick wall? 

Why is the concrete window sill cracking?

What causes a horizontal crack in a block or brick wall? 

How can I tell if a diagonal crack in drywall at the corner of a window or door indicates a structural problem?


There's cracks running along the home's concrete tie beam. What's wrong? 

What would cause long horizontal lines of brick mortar to fall out? 

How do I recognize structural problems in a retaining wall?     

Why did so many concrete block homes collapse in Mexico Beach during Hurricane Michael? 

• What is concrete spalling? 

• What causes a vertical crack in an exterior concrete block or brick wall?

What causes a vertical crack in drywall? 

• What causes drywall cracks in the ceilings and walls of a house? 

How can I tell if a crack in a stucco wall is a structural problem and what is causing it? 

• What causes cracks to open along the line between the ceiling and walls?

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