Is this a good crack or a bad crack? We get asked that question a lot. People will send pictures like this one and ask that question – but it’s not that simple. Programs on television tend to make it look simple. You will hear them say things like “stair-step cracks are the bad ones”, or “vertical cracks are the bad ones”, and so on.

But when it comes down to it, there is no simple way to tell. It’s all situational, and the crack needs to be put into context. For instance, a stair-step crack may indicate a large structural issue, or it may indicate nothing more than just normal movement (yes, buildings move – they need to in a lot of ways). Is the foundation made of brick? Block? Monolithic (poured concrete)? Are there signs of moisture? How wide is the crack? Is it wider at the top than the bottom? Those are just some of the issues to take into consideration.

So before you judge a crack one way or the other, be sure to consult a qualified professional and make sure it is what you think it is.

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