Concrete Slabs and Cracking

February 23, 2017

If you have a home built on a concrete slab, you might have noticed cracking in places where the concrete is exposed – generally in places like the laundry room, or garage. In some cases, cracks even show up in tile floors. Is this a homeowner’s insurance issue, though? Generally not.

Most experts will tell you that if such cracks are less than 1/8 of an inch wide, they’re probably normal stress cracks that happen as concrete shrinks over time, or if the soil beneath the slab expands or contracts. It happens a lot in places like Texas where the soil has a high clay content, which is why homeowners there are reminded to water the foundation of their houses during the hot, dry summer months.

Sometimes, if tile flooring is installed without a slip-sheet between the tile and the cement, tiny stress cracks from the concrete will translate into the tiles and grout lines as well. This is usually not an issue, except from an aesthetic point of view.

Even if you have tubing or piping for radiant heat running through the concrete slab, you probably don’t have to worry. Such tubing is designed to tolerate normal stress cracking around them, so unless you have evidence of a leak, you probably don’t have to contact your insurance company.

Likewise, unless there’s a leak, you probably don’t have sufficient cause for a claim with your insurance company, either, but that’s okay, because a few tiny cracks are no danger to your home.