Is your home plagued with wall cracks? There’s so much more to repairing cracks than simply injecting them with epoxy. Different types of cracks require different approaches. They are also the result of different causes and therefore should not be treated the same. The following are some things you need to know about cracks before you repair them.
- Cracks are caused as a result of:
- Movement: This is the most common cause of wall cracks. Cracks occur when the soil around the foundation shifts. This movement causes cracks that worsen over time if movement continues unchecked.
- Settling: Cracks caused by settling usually occur shortly after the construction of a building. They occur as a result of compression of the foundation by the weight of the building.
- Shrinkage: These cracks also occur a short while after the construction of a building. They occur as the concrete used to construct the foundation dries and shrinks too quickly. They usually begin as hairline cracks.
- Wall cracks and basement floor cracks are different:
Although floor cracks can occur for the same reasons mentioned above, they shouldn’t be treated like cracks in foundation walls. Cracks in floors usually don’t leak. Their leaking is a sign that an excessive amount of water is accumulating under the foundation. This is a sign that your sump pump or drainage systems are inadequate.
- Not all crack repair methods can be applied on all foundations:
The type of foundation you’re dealing with will determine the types of repair methods you can attempt. Crack injections for example are only effective in monolithic poured concrete foundation walls. They cannot be used for block or brick walls because these walls are made up of many pieces that are joined together.
- Sealing cracks is not always the best solution:
There are times when sealing wall cracks is enough. There are other times when sealing these cracks is not adequate. This is especially when there is high hydrostatic pressure acting on the walls. The pressure will push on the walls and cause even more damage. A more permanent solution, such as the installation of a French drain would work best.
- Repair on previously repaired cracks can be challenging:
This is because additional work must be done to prepare the surface for repair. It is therefore important to select methods that provide long term solutions to avoid rework later.