Foundation Wall Cracks
Have you noticed a crack creeping up your foundation wall? It’s more than just an aesthetic concern; it poses a potential risk to the structural integrity of your home.
In this article, we will delve into the topic of foundation wall cracks, helping you grasp their underlying causes, effective detection methods, and most importantly, how to protect your home’s foundation.
With innovative solutions from Innovative Basement Authority, you can confidently address foundation cracks and reinforce the structural stability of your home.
What Are Cracks in Foundation Walls?
Your home’s foundation walls bear the immense responsibility of supporting the structure above. Over time, a range of pressures and soil conditions can lead to cracks in the foundation. These cracks serve as indicators that your foundation walls are under stress and susceptible to further damage if left unattended.
Cracks, even when initially small, have the potential to expand and allow water entry, resulting in additional problems. Wider cracks can compromise the structural integrity, potentially leading to wall bowing, tilting, or buckling. Timely repairs can strengthen your home’s structure and prevent costly future damage.
What Causes Cracks in Foundation Walls
Several factors contribute to the formation of foundation wall cracks, a professional can determine the cause for your specific cracks.
Below are some common reasons:
As new concrete cures, it undergoes slight shrinkage, which can lead to the development of small cracks in walls. These shrinkage cracks are typically less than 1/8″ wide and do not significantly widen from top to bottom. They pose minimal structural risk.
Settlement occurs when the soil beneath the foundation compacts or shifts, causing uneven sinking. Settlement cracks often originate in a corner and follow a stair-step pattern down a cinder block wall or run diagonally on a poured wall. Such cracks indicate ongoing movement, necessitating immediate foundation repair.
Expansive clay soils expand when wet and contract when dry, exerting substantial pressure on foundation walls. Cracks develop as walls bow or lean in response to clay’s force. If left unattended, clay soil can lead to wall buckling or inward tilting.
After rainfall or snowmelt, wet soil exerts hydrostatic pressure on foundation walls, regardless of soil type. Concrete walls are susceptible to cracking under this intense lateral force.
Weak points resulting from substandard installation, inadequate steel reinforcement, or low-quality concrete can also contribute to foundation wall cracks.
Identifying Foundation Cracks
Early detection of cracks allows for timely repairs, preventing major damage. Keep an eye out for:
- Vertical cracks
- Horizontal cracks or stair-step patterns
- Cracks exceeding 1/4 inch
- Cracks displaying rust stains from exposed rebar
- Cracks accompanied by other signs such as sticking doors and windows, floor gaps, or sloping floors
- Changes over time, such as new cracking or widening of existing cracks
Conduct a thorough examination of both interior and exterior foundation walls, making note of crack locations and measuring their widths.
If you have any concerns, seek advice from foundation repair experts.
Can You Repair Foundation Wall Cracks?
Absolutely! It is possible to fix those cracks in your foundation walls. But here’s the deal: while basic crack fillers might provide a quick fix, they’re not a long-term solution, and those cracks will return.
To tackle those foundation cracks properly, we need to get to the root of the issue. Once we figure out why those cracks showed up in the first place, we can create a personalized plan to make your foundation rock solid.
With our advanced solutions, we can permanently strengthen your foundation, putting an end to those cracks and restoring your home’s stability.
How to Fix Cracks in Foundation Walls
At Innovative Basement Authority, we’ve got proven solutions to repair existing cracks and stop new ones from occurring.
Our approach solves the root causes of foundation cracks, and we tailor our solutions to fit your home’s unique needs.
Here are some options your inspector might suggest:
If those cracks are a result of clay soils or hydrostatic pressure, our SettleStop® Wall Anchor System is the way to go. We install earth anchors in the ground outside your home, and they connect to steel rods running through your foundation wall. By tightening these rods, we counteract the external forces causing those cracks and bowing.
In those tight spots where getting outside isn’t an option, we bring in our IntelliBrace® steel I-beam supports. These braces work from the inside to stabilize your walls and even have the potential to straighten them, closing existing cracks.
For settlement cracks, we install foundation piers under your foundation. Piers not only stabilize but also potentially lift those sinking areas, working to close those cracks. Stabilization is the key to preventing more cracks from forming due settlement.
Installing interior drainage is crucial to prevent the buildup of hydrostatic pressure that can lead to wall cracks. Our interior drains guide groundwater into a sump pump, redirecting it away from your home’s structure.
By combining these solutions, we make sure your existing cracks get repaired, and your walls are fortified against future damage.
Why Repair Foundation Wall Cracks Now?
Don’t ignore those cracks in your foundation walls—they’re not just cosmetic issues.
Here’s why you should to act now:
- Cracks let water seep in and make your soil shift, causing more damage.
- As cracks expand, they weaken your home’s structure and make it less stable.
- You might find doors and windows getting stuck or misaligned due to shifting walls.
- Uneven settling caused by cracks can lead to uneven floors.
- Ignoring cracks can result in severe leaning, buckling, or even wall collapse.
- When selling your home, you have to disclose the cracks, which can lower your property’s value.
At Innovative Basement Authority, we’re all about restoring your foundation’s strength using tried-and-true methods. And guess what? Our solutions come with long-lasting, transferable warranties.
Contact IBA for Foundation Crack Solutions
If you’ve noticed cracks in your foundation walls, it’s crucial to act now and prevent minor problems from turning into major headaches.
With a nearly two-decade history in your community, Innovative Basement Authority is all about helping homeowners like you. Over the years, our commitment to excellence has grown, ensuring top-notch repairs and outstanding customer service.
Our team knows all about foundation repair and understands the unique challenges our region’s homes face.
So, take the first step in securing your home’s structural integrity. Reach out to us today to schedule a free inspection and tap into our decades of experience in resolving foundation cracks.
Unfortunately, foundation cracks or leaks do not resolve themselves over time. It’s best to take action as soon as you suspect something may be wrong with your home, especially if you want to prevent your home from losing some of its value.
At first glance, it can appear cheaper or easier to fill in the foundation cracks yourself. However, repair jobs that lack the experience of a foundation repair expert (like those at Innovative Basement Authority) can merely disguise the problem rather than fix it.
Absolutely. Your foundation is like the backbone of your home. When it gets damaged, it can affect your entire property, and the issues won’t magically disappear—they’ll only get worse over time.