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Crack in Foundation Wall

You’re working in the basement when you notice a crack creeping up your foundation wall. It’s not just a cosmetic concern—it’s a potential threat to your home’s stability.  

As homeowners ourselves, we know that your house isn’t just a structure; it’s your sanctuary.  

In this article, we’ll delve into foundation wall cracks, helping you understand their causes, how to identify them, and most importantly, how to safeguard your home’s foundation. 

With reliable solutions from Foundation Recovery Systems, you can confidently address foundation cracks and fortify your home’s structural integrity. 

What Are Cracks in Foundation Walls?  

Your home’s foundation walls shoulder the responsibility of supporting the structure above. Over time, a variety of pressures and soil conditions can lead to the formation of cracks in the foundation. These cracks serve as indicators that your foundation walls are under stress and susceptible to further damage if not addressed promptly. 

Cracks, although initially small, can expand and permit water entry, causing a big mess. Wider cracks also compromise structural integrity, potentially resulting in wall bowing, tilting, or buckling. Timely repair can reinforce your home’s structure and prevent costly damage in the future. 

What Causes Cracks in Foundation Walls   

Multiple factors contribute to the development of foundation wall cracks: 

Concrete Shrinkage 

As freshly poured concrete cures, it shrinks slightly, leading to the creation 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. 

Foundation Settlement 

Settlement arises 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 urgent foundation repair. 

Clay Soils 

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. 

Hydrostatic Pressure 

Following rain or snowmelt, saturated soils exert hydrostatic pressure on foundation walls, irrespective of soil type. Concrete walls are susceptible to cracking under this intense lateral force. Inadequate drainage can lead to the damaging buildup of hydrostatic pressure. 

Poor Construction 

Weak points resulting from inadequate installation, insufficient steel reinforcement, or substandard concrete can also contribute to foundation wall cracks. 

Identifying Foundation Cracks 

Detecting cracks early allows for timely repairs before major damage occurs. 

Here’s what to watch 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.  

Seek input from foundation repair experts if you have any concerns. 

Can You Fix Cracks in Foundation Walls? 

The good news is foundation cracks can be effectively repaired with the right solutions. While simple crack fillers may offer a quick fix, they are only temporary, and cracks will reappear. 

To address foundation cracks, the underlying source of damage must be addressed. Once the root causes of the cracks are identified, a customized solution to stabilize your foundation can be created. 

With our cutting-edge solutions, we can permanently stabilize foundations, putting an end to cracks and restoring structural stability. 

How to Fix Cracks in Foundation Walls 

Foundation Recovery Systems offers proven solutions for repairing existing cracks and preventing new ones from forming. 

Our tailored approach targets the underlying causes of foundation cracks and is customized to your home’s unique requirements. 

Below are some options your inspector may suggest:  

Wall Anchors 

For cracks resulting from clay soils or hydrostatic pressure, we recommend our exclusive SettleStop® Wall Anchor System. Earth anchors installed in the ground outside your home connect to steel rods running through the foundation wall. Tightening these rods counteracts external pressures that lead to cracks and bowing. 

Wall Braces 

In confined spaces where exterior access is limited, we employ our IntelliBrace® steel I-beam supports to brace walls from within. These bracing systems stabilize and have the potential to straighten walls, closing existing cracks. 

Foundation Piers 

For settlement cracks, we install foundation piers beneath the foundation to stabilize and potentially raise sinking areas, aiming to close existing cracks. Stabilization prevents uneven settling, a common cause of cracks. 

Drainage 

Enhancing interior drainage safeguards against the buildup of hydrostatic pressure, which can crack walls. Interior drains channel groundwater into a sump pump, redirecting it away from your home’s structure. 

By combining multiple solutions, we ensure a comprehensive approach to repairing existing cracks and fortifying walls against future damage. 

Why Repair Foundation Wall Cracks Now? 

Don’t overlook cracks in your home’s foundation walls.  

Here are compelling reasons to act now: 

  • Cracks allow water infiltration and soil shifting, accelerating deterioration. 
  • Expanding cracks compromise structural integrity and heighten instability. 
  • Doors and windows may become stuck and misaligned as walls shift. 
  • Uneven settling caused by cracks leads to uneven floors
  • Ignoring cracks poses the risk of severe leaning, buckling, and potential wall collapse. 
  • Cracks must be disclosed when selling your home, potentially lowering property value. 

At Foundation Recovery Systems, we restore your foundation’s structural integrity using proven methods. Our solutions come with long-term, transferable warranties. 

Contact Foundation Recovery Systems for Foundation Crack Solutions 

If you’ve discovered cracks in your foundation walls, it’s crucial to take action to prevent minor issues from turning into major repairs. 

With a strong 30-year presence in your community, Foundation Recovery Systems has been dedicated to helping homeowners. Over this time, our commitment to excellence has grown, and our expertise has improved, leading to better repairs and top-notch customer service.  

Our seasoned team specializes in foundation repair, understanding the unique challenges that homes in our region face.  

Take the first step towards safeguarding your home’s structural integrity. Reach out to us today to schedule a free inspection and benefit from our decades of experience in resolving foundation cracks.  

FAQs

Yes. Your foundation is one of the most important parts of your home. When it gets damaged, it can affect your entire property at an alarming speed. Foundation problems do not resolve themselves–they just get worse with time.  

Both! Hydrostatic pressure pushes on walls causing cracks and water intrusion— making it a cause. A crack can also be a symptom of a leaking basement.

While some foundation settlement is natural over time, you can take preventive measures. Proper drainage around your home, regular maintenance of your gutters and downspouts, and addressing any plumbing leaks promptly can help minimize settlement risks. It’s also advisable to consult with a foundation specialist for periodic inspections and maintenance. 

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