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Cracks in the foundation can be of different types. Before the start of repairs, it is essential to identify the type of the crack to do everything correctly. That is why we have made an attempt to describe different types of cracks for choosing the right method of solving the issue.
Type of the basement crack:
- Horizontal foundation cracks
- Vertical foundation cracks
- Hairline Crack
- Stair Step Cracks
- Diagonal Crack
- Shrinkage Cracks
- Foundation Slab Cracks
- Non-Structural Cracks
- Wet Non-Structural
- Structural Crack
First of all, it is important to identify the cause of the crack. It can tell you much about the possible further actions. The cause can be detected by the width and direction of the crevice.
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However, many types of fractions in the foundation are not dangerous and their look is not aesthetically unpleasant. Everything that you need to do is some cosmetic procedure to make the crack less obvious if you do not like it. Such flaws are mostly vertical. They appear as a result of the settling process in the foundation. Though, be careful if you have noticed the diagonal fraction or it runs horizontally. The cracks that are rather large (⅛ inch and more in width) are worth special attention.
They show up as a result of sme specific kind of soil settlement or pressure so they may indicate some constructional or structural problems with your foundation. They should be taken seriously and repaired immediately.
Does Every Basement Crack Result in Leaking?
The most important thing to remember here is that, if you see the crack that goes a long way across the wall, you can potentially expect it to leak. The serious attention should also be paid to multiple cracks. Some of them can be resistant to water pressure and some cannot, so they may start leaking under certain conditions. It is worth taking some preventive steps when you believe that the cracks you can see may lead to leaking.
First of all, you can extend your downspouts or try to regrade the soil around the foundation to redirect the rainwater from it. It is very important to know that if the fissure has leaked once, it will continue in this way until you repair and seal it.
Normal Foundation Cracks
You do not need to worry much if you see them. Actually, most fractions in the foundation which is made of poured concrete are natural. They appear as a result of its settlement or when the concrete shrinks during the process of curing. You can choose whether to repair them cosmetically or just leave as they are because no damage should be expected from them. Though, if you see that the fissure you have noticed once is enlarging and the water starts seeping through it into your home, be aware of the need for some serious repairs. Such cracks can signal about a more complicated structural issue.
Hairline Cracks In Your Foundation
The single crack that is noticeable from the interior part of the foundation is quite common. It is caused by some seasonal processes in the foundation such as contraction or expansion due to the temperature changes. These processes lead to the appearance of hairline cracks and it is a common phenomenon. These minor failures can be the cause of water seepage but, in most cases, they may be harmless.
Diagonal Foundation Cracks
The concrete of the foundation can cure and settle over time. The wall can display diagonal cracks that have an angle of 30 degrees from the vertical position. Such cracks are similar to vertical ones so they do not seriously threaten the structure of the house.
Horizontal Basement Cracks
The most complicated problem can emerge when you see a horizontal crack in your foundation. Such failures are mostly caused by hydrostatic pressure that appears outside the house in the soil. The excess water pressure can cause the appearance of these horizontal blow-ups, and it can increase with natural flooding or heavy rainfalls. Most modern technologies allow for making foundations more durable and withstanding hydrostatic pressure from soil and water. However, if such a crack has already appeared, you need to think how to repair it as soon as possible.
Contact us immediately if you have detected the horizontal crack in your foundation.
Cracks in Basement Walls: When to Worry
When There Is an Uneven Settlement of Your Foundation
In the previous part of this article, we have made an attempt to explain that foundation settling is a natural process and that you do not need to worry if you see some minor cracks in the basement as a result of this inevitable phenomenon. However, there are situations which can indicate that something threatening is going on.
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For instance, take much care if you see that the soil under one part of your house’s foundation is eroded or too soft. As a rule, you can notice it under the corner of the house. This corner can affect the position of the other three corners distorting the entire structure. Over time, the complete separation can happen.
There are some other signs that need your immediate attention. You may have noticed the hairline cracks on the inner walls of your basement but now, they have started to appear on its outside walls. This is a sign of the uneven settling of the foundation, so follow the process and take measures if needed. One more indicator of such uneven settlement is the changing position of your windows and doors.
If they have opened and closed flawlessly before but now you need to apply some effort to do this, something is wrong with the foundation settlement. You need to look attentively around the frames if the windows are sticking. You are likely to notice some cracks around them that have been formed in the drywall. They indicate the uneven foundation settling and need to be repaired. It is often recommended to use helical piers if you want to restore the stability of your foundation and diminish the outcomes of its settling.
When You Have Noticed Bowing or Buckling in Your Walls
Everything may depend on the structure of the foundation. If it is affected by the hard hydrostatic pressure, according to this structure, it can produce one type of cracks of the two possible ones. If the basement is made of poured concrete, it is sure to experience a horizontal crack. If it is built of concrete blocks, the crevices that appear can be either stair-step or horizontal ones.
However, if such cracks have appeared, it does not matter any more what they look like because they can threaten the integrity of your house structure so they should be repaired immediately. Otherwise, the entire wall can get ruined. We have some state-of-the-art methods of repairing this type of cracks that lead to bowing of the walls. The choice of the method depends on how badly the wall is affected and what kind of area your house is located in.
How to Fix Foundation Cracks in Basement
Basement Crack repair methods also depend on the type of foundation that’s breaking!
How We Repair Cracks That Go Vertically or Diagonally?
When you have noticed some diagonal or vertical crevice in the foundation wall, do not panic. Such failures may be a sign of the simple settlement but not of the bad damage of the entire structure. You can check the crack by putting a finger across it. If its edges are even, nothing serious threatens your house.
Some owners and contractors who are not experienced enough or just do not want to take much care of the problem make an attempt to repair such fractions by placing the V-groove in an inverted position into the crack and then filling it in with hydraulic cement. The problem here is that this cement does not necessarily stick to the material that has already been used in the construction. In some years, the wall starts fluctuating under the influence of changing temperatures and excess moisture and the crack will leak badly.
Our professionals at the Tornado Company know well how to fix the issue of vertical cracks efficiently and reliably so that it will never bother you again. We normally utilize the epoxy injections to repair vertical or diagonal crevices if they are not too big but provide the seepage of water. We can also give you some advice on how to invest properly in structural repairs if the crack is very large and cannot be exposed to simple sealing.
How We Repair Cracks That Go Horizontally?
These horizontal crevices in the foundation wall usually indicate a more complicated problem. The wall can be completely ruined if you leave them unrepaired. The cause of such a situation is the soil quality around the foundation. The soil should be properly arranged and drained to let the excess water get saturated by the ground gradually without making much hydrostatic pressure on the walls. Every wall has a certain weight-bearing capacity. If it is exceeded, the wall starts cracking, bowing, and, eventually, collapsing. The most vulnerable houses that are often exposed to these challenges are those located on the clay soil. Such soil can contract and expand very fast and to a great extent, so it increases the pressure on the foundation.
Epoxy injections make up the best way of repairing such cracks. It is an entire system that bonds the edges of the crevice together again. The strength and loading capacity of such a wall are restored effectively and the structural quality, design, and entire look of the concrete surface are reversed to their initial condition. Using the epoxy seal enhances the foundation’s ability to withstand water influences, air conditions, debris, chemicals, and other dangerous substances and contaminants.
When you try to fix only the crack that has just started leaking, it’s simply a waste of effort and costs. The problem will appear again and you will have to address it to the next technician and the situation will repeat with more and more expenses and your increasing frustration. The excess water will be seeking the places with the least resistance and if you have the numerous cracks in the foundation wall, some of them will be less resistant than others and they will obviously start leaking first. By using the method of crack sealing, you will block the water from finding the easiest path. All the cracks, even those that have never leaked, will be repaired by this method, so no new leaking places will appear. You will save your costs and effort efficiently and enjoy the result for many years.
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Basement crack repair near you: Brampton, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oakville, Oshawa, Toronto