Got Foundation Cracks? Risks & What to Do
Your home’s foundation carries the weight of the entire building. If you notice cracks, they could require immediate attention; otherwise, the structural integrity of the house could be compromised. The sooner foundation cracks are addressed, the more cost-effective and easier it is to do basement wall repair.
FOUNDATION CRACKS AND THEIR RISKS
Not all the fractures in the foundation will necessarily affect the structure of the building. Some are caused by outside forces such as tree roots, as opposed to originating from the basement. Hairline cracks the size of sewing threads often are not a risk. They typically occur as a result of the shrinking concrete as it cures.
Even though some cracks don’t cause weaknesses in the foundation, they can still be problematic. They create openings to allow pests, moisture, and soil particles. You will often need timely basement wall repair to avoid the accumulation of mildew, mold, and rotting.
If the crack is more than an eighth of an inch wide, it may require the attention of a professional. For proper basement repair, it is necessary to seal the fractures to block moisture, soil smells, and radon gas. Homeowners in Tennessee should pay close attention to the local codes on radon for any foundation construction project.
TYPES OF CRACKS
The type of crack on the wall can indicate whether it is structural or caused by outside forces. Fractures running horizontally are often as a result of the weight on the opposite side of the building. Take note if the crack is more than half of an inch and is between the wall and the floor. In that case, you will need to call a basement wall repair professional.
Vertical cracks are generally considered to be less risky to the integrity of the building. However, you should still seek slab foundation repair services if your building has these cracks.
Diagonal cracks are also common in buildings. They run from one corner of the wall to the other in uneven widths. The fractures come from uneven forces within the building. The foundation may settle lower on one side, thereby shifting the weight of the structure.
The cause of the problem is often that the building is on a gradient, but it could also be a result of the accumulation of moisture on one side of the building. The soil becomes loose and then lowers the footing of the structure. This problem can be remedied by installing new gutters to direct the flow of water and snow away.
MULTIPLE FOUNDATION CRACKS
Multiple cracks on the floor or adjacent walls could indicate a serious structural problem: that the foundation is moving and has not settled. The cracks may come about as a result of loose soil that causes the structure to shift.
Certain soils such as clay are susceptible to significant expansion and contraction, which cause the structure to move. The issue can be prevented by proper grading of the soil during construction. Needless to say, the problem is often best handled by foundation repair consultants.
It is possible to do foundation repair at home. However, you should understand that repairing cracks is different when it comes to basement wall repair. First, you cannot use caulking and other surface treatments on foundations.
You’ll need special crack injection material that can handle the pressure exerted on that part of the building. Sometimes it may be necessary to use epoxies and polyurethanes. Also, it’s important to take time to understand your local building codes to avoid costly mistakes.
Cracks can be an indication of a serious structural problem and may require immediate basement repair. It is important to understand the different types of fractures and what they mean. Remember: even hairline fractures can let in moisture and even radioactive gases. Consider hiring a professional to examine your foundation if you have any doubts.