Is your foundation a cause basement waterproofing for concern?
Is your foundation a cause for concern?
Cracks in the foundation can be frightening. The foundation is the base for your house. You wonder if the cracks you see are an indication of a serious problem or if the structural integrity of your house is in danger. There are a lot of nightmare scenarios that play in your mind.
It all depends on a number of factors, such as the type of foundation you have, the way your house was constructed, and the drainage around your home.
We are here to assure you that not all cracks in your foundation are created equal. Here is an overview of the most common types of foundation cracks.
Vertical Home Foundation Cracks
Most foundation cracks are horizontal. About 30 degrees of vertical is how long vertical cracks go straight up and down. These types of cracks are caused by the foundation. Most houses, including those in Austin and San Marcos and throughout Texas, will see vertical cracks within the first couple of years after construction. Water can leak through the foundation wall during heavy rains if there are cracks in the wall.
How are the cracks fixed? If your foundation continues to settle, then a material will be injected into the cracks to seal them off.
Diagonal Foundation Cracks
Diagonal cracks run from about 30 to 75 degrees from vertical on your basement wall. Diagonal cracks can sometimes be very narrow, but they are often larger at one end than the other. They are caused by differential settling of the foundation, where one side of the foundation is lower than the other. The soil beneath the structure expands or contracts. Poor drainage, roots of maturing trees, broken water lines, and gutter downspouts that drain too close to the house’s foundation are some of the causes of this problem.
How are cracks repaired? They need an extra step to determine the cause of the differential settling, which is the same as fixing vertical cracks. The advice of an Austin foundation repair expert who has specialized training to determine the cause of the settlement and make proper recommendations on how to fix the situation is important.
Horizontal Foundation Cracks
In poured concrete foundations, horizontal cracks can also be seen. Cracks that run sideways are a sign of serious damage to the foundation and a threat to the structural integrity of the house. Damage from heavy equipment near the wall is one of the causes of foundation damage. When the force of the ground is too much, the foundation bows inward and develops a mid-height horizontal crack.
How are cracks repaired? To restore the structural integrity of your home as soon as possible and prevent further damage, a bow foundation should be evaluated by a licensed structural engineer. Foundation repair should always be done by a professional and certified repair company.
A stair-like pattern can be created by horizontal and vertical stair-step cracks. This type of crack is an indication that the footing is moving. External soil pressure can be one of the reasons. The wall will bulge into the basement if the pressure is greater than the resistance the wall has.
How are steps repaired? Stair-step cracks need further investigation by a licensed structural engineer and repair by a foundation specialist in order to keep your home safe. The problem may be more serious if the brick or block is moved in or out of the material.
Cracks in the foundation should be fixed sooner than later. Whether you notice a small crack or a large crack in your home’s foundation, it’s important to have a foundation specialist evaluate it to determine if the damage falls into one of the following categories
- Cosmetic, requires minimal or no repair;
- Monitoring is needed to watch for changes.
- Significant, requires immediate repairs
Other Signs of Foundation Cracks
It’s a good idea to routinely inspect your foundation and be aware of any cracks or bulges. In addition to the visible cracks in your foundation, be on the lookout for other areas in your home that may indicate an issue with it.
- The interior walls are leaning due to shifting foundations.
- A quick test is to place a ball on the floor and see if it will roll.
- It becomes difficult to open and close doors.
- There are cracks in walls over doorways, windows or where walls meet ceilings.
You can schedule an appointment with one of our Austin or San Marcos foundation repair specialists if you have concerns about new or old cracks. Our experienced team will help you find the best solution to the problem.