3 Categories of Foundation Cracks and Proven Repairs
As a homeowner, it’s important to understand that foundation cracks are not entirely abnormal occurrences. Various factors can contribute to their formation, but it’s crucial to remain vigilant and address these cracks promptly to prevent potential structural issues that could arise. This article will explore why cracks can occur in foundations and the different types of foundation cracks you should be aware of.
3 Types of Foundation Cracks
1) Horizontal Cracks:
If you notice horizontal cracks in your brick foundation, it may cause concern. These cracks typically indicate that your foundation is under excessive lateral pressure or experiencing soil movement. This can be attributed to various issues, such as expansive soil, inadequate drainage, or hydrostatic pressure from water accumulation around the foundation. Addressing these cracks promptly is vital to ensure the stability of your home’s foundation.
2) Stair Step Cracks:
Stair step cracks are another type of crack that you should keep an eye out for. These cracks appear as a series of steps or diagonal lines in the mortar joints between the bricks. These cracks typically indicate that your foundation is settling or experiencing differential movement. Variations in the soil beneath the foundation, inadequate compaction during construction, or changes in moisture content in the soil can lead to the formation of stair-step cracks. Timely detection and repair of these cracks are essential to prevent further damage to your foundation.
3) Vertical Cracks:
Vertical cracks can occur for various reasons, including normal settling of the foundation, shrinkage of the mortar or concrete, or minor thermal expansion and contraction. Generally, small vertical cracks are considered less severe unless they widen or are accompanied by other signs of foundation issues. However, it’s always wise to have a professional inspect and assess the severity of these foundation cracks to determine the appropriate course of action.
How Foundation Cracks Are Repaired
When diagnosing and repairing foundation cracks, it is strongly recommended that you consult a licensed foundation repair expert. These professionals possess the necessary expertise and specialized equipment to assess the severity of the cracks and identify the underlying cause. Let’s take a closer look at how they typically approach the process:
1) Initial Assessment:
A licensed foundation repair expert will comprehensively evaluate your foundation externally and internally. They will meticulously search for visible foundation cracks, measure their width and length, and assess any signs of structural damage in other areas of your home. This thorough examination will give them a better understanding of the condition of your foundation.
2) Assessing Soil Conditions:
The foundation repair expert will closely examine the soil conditions surrounding your foundation. They will look for excessive moisture, poor compaction, or expansive soil. Understanding the underlying causes of the cracks is crucial in formulating an appropriate and effective repair plan.
3) Foundation Repair Solutions:
Depending on the specific situation, the foundation repair expert may recommend various solutions to address the cracks. These solutions are provided by an independent licensed engineer. One common method is underpinning, which involves adding support to the foundation by installing piers or helical anchors. Other solutions include improving drainage systems, stabilizing the soil, or employing crack repair techniques such as epoxy injections. The chosen solution will be tailored to your foundation’s unique needs.
4) Professional Repair Execution:
Once a licensed engineer has finalized the repair plan, our foundation repair experts will do the necessary repairs. This process may involve excavating around the foundation, installing support systems, or implementing other targeted solutions to address the underlying issues. Rest assured that these professionals have the skills and knowledge to execute the repairs effectively and efficiently.
While it is common for a foundation to develop cracks, residential homeowners must remain attentive and proactive in identifying and addressing these issues. By consulting with a licensed foundation repair expert, you can ensure a thorough diagnosis of the problem and receive the appropriate solution to repair your foundation. Remember, the structural integrity of your home relies on a stable and sound foundation.
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