Experts reveal different types of foundation cracks and the best way to fix them
Foundational cracks can sabotage the strength and stability of the wall and whole structure for that matter. Cracks may not seem noticeable in the beginning but they might get bigger over time. There is a possibility of water leaking inside the foundation if the cracks get bigger. Cracks of different sizes and shapes usually appear near the longer sections of the foundation including windows, walls, or floors. Different types of cracks require different repair techniques. Knowing what you are dealing with can help you fix it before the damage becomes worse. We have listed different types of cracks to help you determine the best way to fix them.
- Vertical foundation cracks run straight up and down the wall and are less serious than horizontal cracks. They do not give rise to a structural threat. These cracks are pretty normal and do not necessarily need repairs. Vertical cracks are found commonly in basements and poured foundations.
Wide foundation cracks may be caused by excess moisture in the soil. This hydrostatic pressure pushes up against the foundation and causes it to crack. The natural concrete curing process is also one of the causes of vertical cracks. Epoxy or polyurethane crack injections are the methods used for repairing these cracks.
- Horizontal cracks in the foundation are a serious issue. They are located around the frost line and are caused by pressure exerted by water-saturated soil against the wall. The freezing and thawing cycle creates unbalanced pressure which is also responsible for creating a horizontal crack in the wall.
Horizontal cracks can cause the foundation to bow inwards and water leaks. These cracks need immediate repairs and can also be permanently repaired. They can occur in the block, poured, or cement foundations. Poor drainage systems during the rainy season are a threat to the foundation cracks and cause the wall to cave in.
- Unevenly settled support foundation can cause the stair-step cracks to appear. These cracks are common in block foundations and usually appear along the mortar joints. They run throughout the wall and are similar to stair-step patterns. Thus the name, stair-step crack. They are identical to diagonal cracks and need prompt repair.
The following two factors are responsible for stair-step cracks:
- Unbalanced or sinking foundation settlement
- Presence of water or moisture around the foundation
It is wise to get these cracks repaired otherwise they can become large and pose a danger to the foundation
- These types of cracks are more common in newly constructed foundations. Settling and drying of the new foundation can cause the hairline fractures to appear within just one year of construction. These cracks can be repaired at home and cost about 200 dollars. However, professional repairs can cost up to 400 or 600 dollars.
If you discover a hairline fracture in a newly purchased home, a home builder can cover the cost of repair. But it is a wise idea to take photos or mark the cracks to keep an eye on the progression of the crack.
- Just like vertical cracks, these cracks are not a serious threat to the foundation. They are usually caused by the natural settling of concrete with time or by the natural curing of the foundation.
They run along a 30-degree angle. Although they do not damage the structural integrity of the foundation it’s better to get them repaired. Epoxy crack injections are used for repairing diagonal cracks.
Let our experts from Crack-X take a look at your cracked foundation. We include a 10 year, transferrable warranty on most wall crack repairs. Crack-X is a structural repair company located in Maine and New Hampshire. Call us at 877-727-2259 to get started.