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The Seriousness Of Foundation Cracks

Basement Moisture & Vapor Barriers in MA & RI

If you are starting to notice foundation cracks on your home, this is a cause for concern. Many cracks that appear on a foundation are typically linked to water ending up in the basement. Typically, foundation cracks appear when water runs off the roof during rainfall and lands in the soil. The soil begins to expand, putting pressure on the foundation. This pressure creates the cracking, thus making foundation crack repair a must.

You have to remember that there is a lot of pressure on the foundation and basement walls already due to the earth pressure alone. Combine it with the extra pressure from the wet soil, and you get cracking. This makes the need for foundation repair something to consider.

Many older styled basements are built using concrete blocks, and they tend to not have any kind of vertical reinforcement. These types of walls tend to crack right in the center and bow inward. You can get a bowed basement wall repaired by a specialist if this is something your home is experiencing. If you have an older styled home, it is important to remember this.

Types Of Foundation Cracks

On a foundation, there are three types of cracks it can experience, each one having their specific effects on the structure and foundation repair methods accompanying them. These cracks are:

  • Horizontal
  • Vertical/Diagonal (Shrinkage)
  • Settlement

Horizontal foundation cracks are the most common ones seen in the structure. They typically occur near the bottom of the wall from the ground, causing the wall to slide inward. These usually occur by earth pressure alone and the weakness of the wall itself. The type of foundation repair professionals use to fix this mainly consists of installing braces against the wall. They can also rebuild the wall if need be.

Vertical and Diagonal foundation cracks are the same in essence, except the direction of the cracking is different. These are called shrinkage cracks and they are formed when the new concrete of the wall shrinks. If it remains a small crack and does not let any water in, the need for foundation repair is not great. If I gets bigger, however, it may need to be considered.

A settlement crack does not usually pose a threat on its own, unless it grows to be a large crack, letting in a good amount of water. They are caused simply by the settling of the home, and most of them are not severe. If they grow too large, foundation repair will be needed.

You should always be cautious and aware of any cracking that is going on with your home. Do not neglect the need for foundation repair if you need it.