Foundation Crack Repair
Cracks in a foundation can appear in the very 1st year of a new home’s construction. For the most part, the cracks appear near windows but they can also emerge in floors, in the corner of a wall or even in the longest section of your home’s foundation.
Most cracks in the foundation will be caused by settling and are not usually anything to be concerned about. However, if water starts to make its way through the cracks or they become bigger you will need to have them repaired quickly.
Is the Crack Getting Bigger?
If you think the cracks are getting bigger you’ll need to monitor them. The good news is this is a relatively easy thing to do. Take a pencil and make a mark where the crack ends. Make sure you mark all of the ends. Write the date next to the mark so you know when you spotted it. Check back every week to see if the crack has got bigger. If it hasn’t the foundation crack could have been caused by settling. If the crack is bigger it could indicate there’s a problem. When you track the foundation cracks you allow a repair expert to work out how the cracks were formed and how they can be fixed.
Diagonal and Vertical Cracks in the Foundation
A vertical or a diagonal crack that’s located in a foundation wall is usually the result of the house settling into the foundation. This usually happens with houses that have been recently constructed. The cracks appear because when the concrete foundation is curing it starts to shrink. The cracks that appear are known as “Shrinkage cracks”. These cracks can run diagonally or they can run vertically. Typically found in the middle of a wall, cracks such as these are usually only one-eighth of an inch wide at the most.
Block foundations often have vertical cracks. However, if the crack is a lot closer to a corner and it is more than one-eighth of an inch wide it’s unlikely to be caused by shrinkage. This means you will need to get the help and advice of a repair expert as soon as you can.
Horizontal Cracks in the Foundation
If there are horizontal cracks in the foundation you should be aware that they are an indication of a serious issue. This is because horizontal cracks are caused by water pressure. This pressure comes from outside of the wall and it can ultimately lead to the foundation failing.
Foundations are laid to ensure that they can handle any pressure that soil and water may have upon them. However, any additional pressure that has been caused by flooding or heavy rain can create those unsightly horizontal cracks. Horizontal cracks will need to be repaired quickly.
Can A Foundation Ever Be Beyond Repair?
The good news is that most issues associated with foundation cracks can be adequately repaired. However, there might be times when a foundation is considered to be beyond repair. This is the case if the money it takes to repair the crack or cracks adds little to no value to the home. This can occur when a foundation has collapsed completely and the damage cannot be reversed. Fortunately, this happens very rarely.
Below are some of the more serious foundation issues that need to be repaired as soon as possible. This is because there’s always the risk that your foundation could completely collapse.
- Walls that are bulging due to the pressure of water
- Cracks that have changed direction
- Floors located above the foundation are weak and sloping
- Vertical cracks that are narrower at the bottom and wider at the top
If you can fit a dime through a crack in the foundation you will need to get the crack repaired as soon as possible. If there have been heavy rains or floods and the walls are bulging you will need to leave immediately. This is because the foundation could collapse at any moment.
Making Repairs to Diagonal or Vertical Cracks
Diagonal and vertical cracks in the foundation can be a sign of settlement and are not always caused by structural damage. Run a finger along a crack, if it is even it’s very likely there are no major issues.
Please note, some contractors and homeowners might attempt to repair a crack. They might do this by chiseling a V-groove into it before filling it with cement. The issue with this is that even though the cement fills the hole, it will not bond properly (if at all) with the cement that’s already there. What this means is that within a few years, the change in the wall’s temperature will cause the wall to fluctuate and it’s likely that moisture will make cause a leak.
A reliable contractor will use an epoxy injection to repair the crack or cracks as this is the most reliable solution.
Making Repairs to Horizontal Cracks
If there is a horizontal crack in a foundation wall there could be a serious issue. The cracks could be caused by soil located around your home that has not been graded properly or drained. What this means is that water will make the ground that surrounds the foundation walls soaking wet. This will, in turn, increase the pressure of the water which could cause the walls to bow or crack. This occurs because the weight of the water exceeds the walls’ weight-bearing capacity.
If you have a home that is surrounded by clay soil you will find that they contract and expand quite a lot. This means your home could have from lateral pressure on its walls.
If you wish to make a repair to horizontal cracks the best thing you can do is to use epoxy injections. This material welds the crack together whilst also restoring the wall’s original loading and strength. In addition to this, the epoxy works to restore the wall’s structural quality and design. It also creates a seal that water, debris, chemicals, and air cannot pass through.
If you are concerned about cracks in your foundation walls please speak to us today. We will happily assess the cracks and repair them for you. Call us today so we can help you get the peace of mind you need.
CASE STUDY: FOUNDATION CRACK REPAIR