Here is part two of our ‘what are different types of foundation cracks and their solutions’ guide
A home’s foundation is liable to cracks as time passes. It’s not unusual to see cracks in the foundation just a year after construction. Some cracks are small and are easily patched. There is no need to worry about them. While others can lead to potential structural damage. Knowing the difference between the cracks that are a cause of concern and the cracks that do not need fixing can save your house and money. This article educates you on what different types of cracks mean and what’s causing them to appear.
- Shrinkage cracks appear when concrete begins to dry and lose moisture just like hairline cracks. These cracks occur in poured concrete foundations. Newly constructed buildings or homes are liable to shrinkage cracks in the first year. However, they are not a threat to the foundation. These are vertical cracks.
Foundation Slab Crack
Foundation slab cracks develop in poured concrete slabs. It’s important to understand the causes of these cracks before fixing them. Following are some of the main reasons:
- If the new foundation is not settled properly, the slab cracks occur. This could be due to inadequate soil conditions, improper supporting ground, or the inability of the workers.
Concrete curing poses no threat to the structure of the foundation. But the drying and settling of the concrete slab cause the cracks to develop.
- During low temperatures, when the water under the slab freezes, the concrete collapses causing the cracks to appear. Larger than hairline cracks require professional help
Structural Foundation Crack
- As the name indicates, these cracks pose a serious threat to the structural integrity of the foundation. Cracks wider than ¼ inch or those that are horizontal are structural foundation cracks. Soil shrinkage, soil pressure, and temperatures cause movements that result in the formation of structural cracks. These movements build up pressure in the foundation resulting in cracks.
Epoxy is used as a sealant to repair these cracks. But sometimes epoxy alone is unable to fix the structural cracks well enough. So carbon fiber countersunk straps are used in combination with epoxy to repair these cracks permanently.
Non-Structural Foundation Crack
- These cracks do not pose threat to the foundation. However, they result in water leaks when the snow melts and during the rainy season. Water seeping into your home is a matter that requires fixing. Because moisture can damage walls, floors, and other belongings and will most likely result in the growth of mold.
Over time the cracks get worse so they should not be left unattended for long. Non-structural cracks range between 1 to 2mm and are vertical or diagonal.
Wet Non-Structural Foundation Crack
- When the water evaporates from concrete, the foundation shrinks and results in cracks. Wet concrete mix is liable to shrinkage and therefore increase the possibility of crack formation. This usually happens in the first month after pouring the foundation.
Urethane is a sealant material usually used for cracks that leak actively. This sealant when injected into the crack, expands to fill the crack. Cracks from which water seeps inside need immediate attention.
How To Monitor Foundation Cracks?
- Monitoring the cracks can help keep an eye on the size of the cracks. The increase in the size of the cracks can be monitored by marking them with a pencil. Next time you see the crack you’ll be able to determine if it increased in size. This enables timely detection and repair of serious issues and the proper ways to fix them.
If you think you noticed any of the above-mentioned cracks in your foundation, call us today at 877-727-2259. Our experts from Crack-X will assess the damage and provide necessary repairs. Crack-X is a structural repair company located in Maine and New Hampshire.