Understandably so, noticing foundation cracks can cause a lot of stress. Upon seeing this, a homeowner’s first thought is that their house will fall apart. Secondly, they might think they’ll spend a lot of money trying to fix this issue. However, the first thought should be, “What caused these cracks in the first place?” Observing the cracks’ characteristics and where they happened will help you gauge what caused them. Furthermore, you’ll be closer to determining the next steps you should take to protect your home’s base. Here are a few factors that cause foundation cracks.
Expanded Soil Causes Foundation Cracks
Some soils expand when wet and can push against the sides of your foundation. The added pressure might result in horizontal cracks, causing basement walls to bend and bow.
Tree roots cause damage by withdrawing moisture from the soil underneath the foundation, creating an uneven and cracked base. Tree roots alone can expand and push cracks into a basement wall. However, tree root transpiration is more likely to happen.
Loose, Unsettled Soil
Loam is a reliable soil consisting of clay, silt, and sand. It supports foundations efficiently because it maintains water at a balanced rate. However, when there is loose soil under a home, it moves and adjusts to the weight above it. This setting results from poor engineering and causes vertical or stair-step cracks. The uneven settlement needs foundation repair because it can cause severe structural issues.
The Freezing and Thawing Cycle and Natural Disasters
In cold climates, wet soil expands and shrinks when it freezes and thaws. As a result, the soil can upheave and crack a foundation from underneath. Additionally, massive flooding, landslides, earthquakes, or natural disasters can impact a foundation. In the worst-case scenario, foundation repair might not be enough to save a home, depending on the disaster’s severity.
Poor Reinforcement and Concrete Mix
Concrete walls that don’t have enough rebar are more likely to crack and crumble. Additionally, bad-quality or poorly mixed concrete creates structural issues over time.
It takes many careful calculations and measurements to build a proper foundation. A foundation cannot support its structure if there are any mistakes. Foundation repair only puts a dent in repairing a home with engineering failures.
Basement water leaks from old or burst pipes cause moisture to develop around and beneath foundation walls, leading to cracks.
Thin, hairline cracks are not a cause for distress because they are common in older homes. However, other types of cracks require a professional inspection. Splits wider than 1/4 of an inch and stair-step cracks need an evaluation. Call All Aspects Waterproofing today if you discover foundation cracks in your walls.
Contact All Aspects Waterproofing Today for Basement Waterproofing!
When it comes to finding the best solution for your crawl space encapsulation and waterproofing needs, contact All Aspect Waterproofing, a Better Business Bureau A+ rated company with over 30 years of experience in the Washington, DC./Maryland/Virginia area. We have a great deal of experience in waterproofing, mold testing, and mold remediation, and we want to make you feel at home again. Contact us online or by calling 1-866-999-3110 or 301-766-4420. To see what we’re up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Houzz.