The Problem: 

You’ve noticed cracks in your foundation walls.

Telltale Signs: 

  • Horizontal or vertical wall cracks
  • “Stair-step” or diagonal cracking
  • Bulging, buckling foundation walls
  • Pushing in at the bottom of the wall
  • Sliding in at the top of the wall

How to Fix It:

Wall cracks in your foundation can be caused by several different factors, and we offer several different solutions for repair depending on the size of the crack. It is normal for concrete walls to get small cracks as they cure, but any larger cracks may need some attention before they cause bigger issues.

If your walls are cracking due to foundation settlement issues, foundation piers may be your solution. If your foundation walls are failing due to expansive soils, a wall anchor system may solve your problem.

Foundation Recovery Systems has been dedicated to helping homeowners throughout Kansas City and Missouri solve their home repair needs since 1992. Trust in our experts to protect your home!

At Foundation Recovery Systems, we inspect your foundation at no charge and provide you with a written solution that’s warrantied to permanently stabilize your home’s structure. In many cases, we may even be able to close the cracks, straighten doors and windows, and return your foundation to its original position.

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Different Types of Foundation Wall Cracks 

Cracks in your foundation walls can vary in size. Some smaller ones might be caused from the concrete curing and may not need immediate attention. Larger cracks may be caused by bigger issues, like foundation settlement, and may need further attention to avoid more damage to your home.

The key is to get it inspected quickly before the issue becomes worse. Even bigger cracks can be fixed permanently if they’re caught early enough.

Cracks form in foundation walls for three main reasons:

Curing Concrete

As concrete cures, it is common for small cracks to appear in foundation walls. These cracks are very common, and they’re not a sign of a major foundation problem. Shrinkage cracks tend to be very small “hairline” cracks that are usually 1/16″ wide or less. They generally occur near the center of a span and maintain a consistent width for the length of the crack.
A Word Of Warning: Be careful not to assume that a crack in your foundation is merely a shrinkage crack! If you see cracks in your foundation walls, monitor them regularly. If the cracks widen enough that you can fit a dime in them, or one end of the crack grows wider than the other, you should consult a foundation contractor right away.

Foundation Settlement

When the soils underneath your foundation fail to support the weight of your home, the foundation will begin to settle unevenly, and cracks will appear. As vertical cracks form and the wall or corner of the house begins to rotate, you will typically see cracks that are wider at the top or bottom.
Foundation cracks that are caused by settlement are very serious, and they will only get worse over time as the home continues to move. If you are concerned that your foundation may be cracking due to settlement issues, it’s best to consult a professional right away.

Expansive Soils

If you have clay soils around your home, they can expand and contract significantly as they become wet.
If left unrepaired, this kind of damage can worsen until the wall fails completely or is beyond repair. By addressing the problem of failing walls quickly, repairs can be completed in as little as a day.
Wet clay soils can expand enough to put literally thousands of pounds of pressure on a foundation wall. This can force the walls inwards, sometimes causing them to buckle and crack. Look also for walls pushing in at the bottom or tilting in at the top.

Repairing Foundation Wall Cracks

Wall cracks can be caused either by expansive or unstable soils underneath your home, which causes your foundation to settle and shift, ultimately leading to cracks in your foundation walls. Luckily, there are several effective and permanent solutions to repair your home. At Foundation Recovery Systems, we use the following methods to restore structural integrity to compromised foundations.

Foundation Pier Systems

Foundation piers are an excellent way to stabilize and potentially lift a foundation that is resting on soils that cannot support the weight of the home. Foundation piers are a permanent solution for homes that are settling, and they can be installed year-round.

Push Piers stabilize foundations by transferring the weight of the home deep below the foundation, reaching to bedrock or competent strata.

Helical Piers are an excellent way to stabilize foundations when there is sufficient knowledge of local soil conditions. They are advanced into the soils underneath the foundation via a helical blade.

Wall anchor systems are ideal for stabilizing and potentially straightening foundation walls that are buckling due to pressure from expansive soils.

Temporary Fixes For Foundation Walls

Many contractors will try to earn your business by suggesting a cheap solution that they know will not permanently solve your problem. Solutions that hide your issues, such as painting over drywall cracks or tuckpointing cracks in brick are band-aids only. If the cause of the problem is not addressed, the cracks will soon reappear, and more covering up and patching will be needed.

Additionally, attempts to seal drywall or mortar cracks are easy to identify due to variances in the finish or workmanship. When tuckpointing brick veneer, it’s especially difficult to match original mortar colors. And if you decide to properly repair your foundation later, these “patches” may need to be removed before the repair can properly restore your walls.

So in the end, you’re not hiding anything! Plus, you have to disclose the problem if you ever plan to sell the house.

Other Foundation Settlement Issues 

Wall cracks are a telltale sign of foundation settlement issues, however, there are several signs other than wall cracks that could represent foundation settlement issues

Sagging Crawl Spaces 

Crawl spaces can sag when the support beams sink into the ground. They can also sink when mold and rot weaken floor joists and girders.

As crawl spaces sag, the floor above will also sink. As the floor sinks, it can pull on the partition walls attached to it, leading to drywall cracks

Do you have cracks on the drywall on the inside of your home but no cracks on the drywall? Your problem may be a sagging crawl space, and not settlement of your foundation walls. Alternatively, your floor could be sinking down or experiencing upheaval.

Heaving or Sinking Slab Floors 

When the soils underneath slab floors settle or are washed away, the floor itself will begin to sag. Likewise, when the soils underneath a concrete floor expand, the slab will begin to lift upwards.

Either way, the movement of concrete floors can lead to cracks along drywall and the floor itself.

We Can Fix Your Wall Cracks

No matter how big or small your wall cracks may be, our experienced team has the knowledge and equipment to provide permanent solutions to repair your wall cracks. At Foundation Recovery Systems, we repair foundations throughout Missouri every day.

At Foundation Recovery Systems, we are dedicated to your home and dedicated to you. We offer free inspections for wall cracks. If you think your wall cracks may be at risk for further damage, give us a call today! We serve throughout all of central Missouri and Eastern Kansas, including Kansas City, Columbia, Moberly, and Springfield.