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Basement Wall Cracks

You’ve invested in your home, making it a sanctuary for you and your family.

But have you ever ventured downstairs to find ominous cracks creeping across your basement walls?  

Ignoring these cracks is like neglecting a check engine light on your car—they’re an early warning that something’s not quite right. 

What is a Basement Wall Crack?   

Basement wall cracks are separations that appear on the interior perimeter walls of your basement. While some may seem minor, they could be indicators of structural issues or potential water leakage. 

When you notice a crack, you might wonder how serious it is. Types of cracks can vary.  

  • Hairline cracks often appear due to the natural settling of a house and may not be immediately problematic.  
  • Diagonal or jagged cracks, usually wider at one end, can suggest issues with the soil or foundation.  
  • Horizontal cracks usually indicate significant pressure from soil or water pushing against the wall. 
     

Any visible cracks can compromise not only the integrity of your foundation but also the overall safety of your home. 

What Causes Basement Wall Cracks? 

Understanding the root causes behind basement wall cracks can help you make informed decisions about treatment and prevention.  

Here’s a breakdown:   

Natural Settling 

All structures settle to some degree. However, if your home was built on poorly compacted soil, or if the soil has an uneven density, the settling can become uneven, leading to cracks. This is often seen in newer homes or after significant renovations but can happen anytime.  

Soil Pressure 

In areas with clay-heavy soil, which is common in the regions we service, soil can expand dramatically when wet. This puts lateral pressure on your basement walls, causing them to crack over time. Proper drainage can help you alleviate this problem. 

Moisture Changes 

Uncontrolled water flow due to poor drainage can saturate the soil around your home, leading to soil instability. This can weaken the foundation and lead to cracks. Check your home’s gutter systems and landscaping to ensure water is directed away from the foundation. 

Freeze-Thaw Cycles 

Particularly relevant to our clients in the Dakotas, Minnesota, eastern Montana, and western Wisconsin, the seasonal freezing and thawing of the ground can exert enormous pressure on your home’s foundation, causing cracks. 

Can You Fix Basement Wall Cracks? 

Yes! It’s possible to repair basement wall cracks, but it’s crucial to tackle the root cause of the issue. 

Here’s why: superficial repairs like injecting epoxy into the cracks may hide the problem but the underlying problem remains. 

This is akin to treating the symptoms of an illness but ignoring the disease itself. For a permanent fix, you need to consider the entire structural system. 

How to Fix Basement Wall Cracks? 

H3: Identify the Crack Type: This is the first step in any repair plan. Is it a hairline crack, which might be due to natural settling, or is it a more serious horizontal crack that suggests structural issues?  

Consult a Professional:

This cannot be emphasized enough. Basement wall cracks could be a symptom of a larger issue, which can only be properly diagnosed by experts.  

Implement Solution:

This could range from installing better drainage systems around your house to structural work like the solutions below: 

IntelliBrace Stabilization Beams 

When your basement walls are noticeably bowing due to factors like shifting soil or water pressure, IntelliBrace stabilization beams are your go-to solution. These steel beams securely connect your basement’s floor to the overhead joists, delivering adjustable and enduring wall stabilization. Ideal for areas with limited space, the IntelliBrace system can be fine-tuned over time to potentially restore your wall to its original position. 

Wall Anchors 

If your basement walls are moderately to significantly damaged or are bowing inward two inches or more, a wall anchor will permanently stabilize and help straighten the walls over time. An earth anchor is buried in the ground approximately 10 feet away from the wall, and it is connected to an interior wall plate by a galvanized steel rod. A bolt on the interior plate can be tightened by our technicians to help restore the walls.    

Carbon Fiber Straps 

For milder issues like small cracks or minor wall bowing, carbon fiber straps wall reinforcers are an effective and sleek option. Attached to the wall via a strong epoxy adhesive, the straps work against the forces that are pushing your wall inward and are an ideal choice for walls that have minor structural issues. 
 

Why Address the Basement Wall Crack Issues Now? 

While basement wall cracks are easy to ignore, doing so can be a costly and potentially dangerous mistake.   

Here are some of the reasons why addressing cracks now is the best choice: 

  • Prevent Structural Damage: A minor crack today could widen into a serious structural issue tomorrow, which not only puts your safety at risk but also can be significantly more costly to repair. 
  • Avoid Water Damage: Cracks can become entry points for water, leading to a host of other problems like mold, wood rot, and even electrical issues if water reaches your home’s wiring. 
  • Increase Home Value: When it’s time to sell your home, a well-maintained foundation can be a significant selling point. Cracks can be a red flag to prospective buyers, affecting your home’s market value. 

IBA is your go-to service for comprehensive, permanent solutions. Our tailor-made solutions are not just about fixing a crack but about ensuring the overall health of your home’s foundation.

Contact IBA for Permanent Solutions to Basement Wall Cracks 

The phrase “better safe than sorry” couldn’t be more apt here. Ignoring a minor issue today could turn into a significant problem down the line, both in terms of safety and costs.  

IBA is committed to providing you with permanent solutions that not only treat the symptoms but also the underlying issues, ultimately enhancing the value and longevity of your home. 

By choosing IBA, you’re choosing peace of mind. Don’t wait for the problem to escalate. Let us help you secure your home’s future today. 

Contact us today for a free inspection. 

FAQs

Not every crack indicates a structural problem, but because of the potential for serious issues, it’s always best to get a professional opinion.

While there are DIY methods, they usually offer temporary solutions. For a permanent fix, professional assessment and intervention are advisable.

Costs can vary greatly depending on the severity of the cracks and any underlying issues. It’s best to consult professionals for a comprehensive evaluation and estimate.

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