There's no denying that foundation problems are scary. Significant issues with a home's foundation can be incredibly expensive to repair and may require large amounts of labor and disruption. Fortunately, not all foundation problems are critical emergencies that indicate imminent structural failure, and noticing an issue with your foundation doesn't always mean you need to spend thousands on repairs.
Corner pops are one such foundation issue that is usually more bark than bite. You can recognize these problems by looking at the corners of your home and checking for cracks or missing chunks. In severe cases, there may be enough of a gap to leave a small corner of your home floating above open air. While this situation looks frightening, it's not necessarily time to panic.
How Do Corner Pops Happen?
There are usually two prerequisites for a corner pop to occur:
- Brick masonry exterior walls
- Slab-on-grade foundations
Corner pops occur due to a difference in how these two materials expand during hot and cold cycles. As a result, they're more common in areas with extremely warm summers. A corner pop usually occurs when your home's brick walls expand in the heat, creating a force that pushes laterally against the top of your foundation. The brick wants to move outward while the foundation pushes against it.
These forces ultimately stress the corners of your foundation, leading to small cracks that may eventually break into chunks. This situation is more common with slab-on-grade foundations, although it can sometimes occur if you have a basement or foundation. Modern builders can also take steps to reduce the likelihood of corner pops, so they tend to be found more often in older homes.
Are Corners Pop a Significant Structural Problem?
The good news is that corner pops don't always indicate an underlying structural issue with your foundation. While it's understandably terrifying to see an inch or two of your home hovering over thin air at a corner, it's rarely a sign of an imminent structural failure. In most cases, corner pops are largely cosmetic and won't worsen over time.
However, it's important to realize that any problem with your foundation can signify deeper trouble. If you're just noticing corner pops developing on your house, it's a good idea to call in a foundation expert to evaluate them and look for other problems. An expert can confirm that your corner pop isn't a severe issue and recommend the best options for a repair to restore your foundation's appearance.
Reach out to a foundation repair contractor near you for more information.