If you discover a crack in your foundation wall, you may be worried that it may be a sign of a major problem. This is not always the case. Your home can have foundation wall cracks for several reasons.
- Possible reasons why you have foundation wall cracks
There are several reasons why your home can end up with cracks in the foundation walls. For example:
- Settling of the surrounding soil – If the soil under the foundation is washed away due to a leak, or it shrinks, it can cause the foundation to settle. As a result, your home may have uneven floors, sticking windows, and cracked doors.
- Soil pressure on the foundation – The soil outside the foundation can push onto the wall with great force, especially if it becomes saturated with water. Over time, this can cause the wall to tilt or bow. If you leave this unchecked, the foundation can collapse.
- Defects in the construction – If the foundation was not reinforced properly, the concrete was weak, or undersized footings were used, it can increase the risk of foundation wall cracks over time.
- Shrinking of the concrete – The concrete in the foundation can shrink over time due to wear and tear. This type of foundation wall cracks generally do not cause any lasting structural damage
- Major types of foundation wall cracks
The type of wall crack you find may be an indicator of which problem you might have with your foundation. It is important to pay attention to the size and direction of the foundation wall cracks. Here are some of the major examples:
- Stairstep cracks – These occur in concrete block foundations when there is soil pressure building against the wall, or the foundation has settled. They will run through the wall and form a stairstep pattern. These are generally a sign that you need to call in a professional.
- Hairline cracks – These tiny cracks are what you will find if the concrete in the wall has shrunk. While you may want to patch these cracks to prevent water from seeping through, they often do not indicate major damage.
- Vertical cracks – The major cause of these cracks is the settlement of the soil around the foundation wall. This creates additional pressure on the wall, forming the cracks. These cracks can let in a large amount of water and should be repaired as soon as you notice them.
- Horizontal cracks – If you see these cracks, it means that there is a lot of pressure exerted on the wall. These cracks need to be taken seriously, and a professional should be called in to do the necessary repairs. Otherwise, the wall could eventually cave in.
Contact the professionals at Everdry Waterproofing of Columbus today! (614) 850-5600