Foundation cracks come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Cracks in foundations often from within the very first year of a new construction project, frequently close to windows, corners of floors or walls or in a foundation’s longer sections. Mainly they are due to a foundation settling and are generally not anything to be concerned about. If cracks allow any water to seep through or become larger, then an expert should be called right away to prevent the damage from becoming even worse.
Is The Foundation Crack Dangerous or Normal?
If you aren’t sure how serious your foundation cracks are, monitor them closely to see if they are growing in size. Use a pencil to mark them and date the ends of each of the breaks. Over a particular time frame, you will be able to determine whether the crack indicates a potentially dangerous problem or is due to the natural settling process. Tracking the cracks also can help foundation repair specialists determine how the cracks formed and what is the best approach to take to repair them. Check out the kinds of foundation cracks below to decide whether the cracks in your foundation are something to be concerned about.
Diagonal and Vertical Foundation Cracks
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A vertical or diagonal crack in a foundation wall usually is a result of settling occurring in a concrete foundation and new construction is widespread. Since concrete shrinks as it is curing, the cracks are referred to as shrinkage cracks. Usually, they run diagonally or vertically and are frequently located in the center section of walls and are under 1/8th of an inch wide.
You will often discover vertical cracks within block foundations. If a crack is wider than 1/8th of an inch and is located near a corner, most likely it is not due to shrinkage but is an indication of a foundation issue that is more serious. If the vertical crack in your foundation is larger than 1/8th of an inch, then contact a professional right away to have it inspected since it could be a potential problem that needs to be addressed.
Horizontal Foundation Cracks
Horizontal cracks frequently are an indication of a problem that is more serious. These types of cracks are caused by water (hydrostatic) pressure coming lead from outside of the walls and may result in the foundation failing. A majority of foundations have been designed to be able to handle pressure from soil and water. Additional pressure caused by flooding or heavy rains may create major horizontal cracks that must be repaired as quickly as possible.
When is a Foundation’s Condition Beyond Repair?
Fortunately, a majority of foundation problems can be repaired using hydraulic lifting and underpinning solution. A foundation might be considered to be beyond repair when the amount of money it will take to restore it doesn’t add a sufficient amount of value to the property. Although quite uncommon, it does sometimes occur when a foundation has collapsed completely, and there is irreversible damage to the property.
The following are some of the more severe foundation problems we have seen that need to be addressed right away before the foundation collapses and then fails.
- A dime can fit through the foundation crack
- Vertical foundation cracks that are wider on top compared to the bottom
- Weak and sloping floors over the foundation
- Bulging walls caused by water pressure
- Cracks that change their direction
If you detect any of the above signs on your Arkansas property, call a professional contractor right away. If you have bulging walls following recent flooding, then your foundation might be in danger of collapsing.
Repairing Diagonal or Vertical Cracks
Diagonal and vertical cracks in the foundation of your home are most often due to foundation settlement and aren’t necessarily a sign of any structural damage. If a crack appears to be even when running your finger over it, most likely it isn’t a sign that you have a significant problem.
At times lazy contractors and unknowing homeowners will attempt to repair cracks through chiseling an inverted V-groove out and then filling it up with hydraulic cement. Although the hole will be filled up by the new cement, it will not bond with the foundation’s original cement. Within a few years, usually, the concrete wall fluctuates with changes in moisture and temperature and cause your plug to leak once again.
If there is water seepage and small cracks, epoxy injections can be used for repairing a vertical or diagonal crack. After a crack is big enough for inserting a dime in, then you might have a foundation problem and might need to invest in structural foundation repair.
Repairing Horizontal Cracks
When there are horizontal cracks in your foundation walls that is frequently an indication of serious issues that might lead eventually to total foundation wall failure, if soil surrounding your house isn’t properly drained and graded, then eventually water will saturate the ground surrounding the foundation walls and hydrostatic (water) pressure is increased which might exceed the wall’s weight-bearing capacity and cause them to bow or crack. Properties that have clay soils that significantly expand and contract are especially vulnerable to lateral pressure being exerted on their walls.
Epoxy injections are one of the best ways to repair cracks according to the experts at Ramco Edmonton Foundation Repairs. Epoxy injection is a type of system that involves cracks being welded back together. This system restores the original concrete’s strength and loading. The structural quality and design of the concrete is also restored by epoxy injections.