Have you spotted foundation wall cracks in your home? Cracks are one of the first signs of foundation issues. Some cracks indicate a compromise in the structural integrity of your home. Other cracks are not as serious. However, they can result in other problems such as moisture seepage.

Your foundation is the most important part of the home. Foundation problems do not remain in the foundation. They often affect the rest of the home. It is therefore important to be vigilant. Take note of any changes in your foundation and contact a repair specialist to prevent issues from becoming worse.

The following are some types of foundation wall cracks to look out for.

  1. Vertical cracks

These cracks run from the top of the wall to the bottom or vice versa. They usually do not slant to either side. If they are angled, this is not more than 30 degrees.

These cracks are often the result of tension on the foundation. Concrete foundations are strong under compression. However, they crack easily under tension.

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In many cases, these cracks aren’t a cause for concern when it comes to the structural integrity of the home. They are often the result of shrinkage. However, there are instances when they are the result of settling of the foundation.

The cracks can result in water seepage issues. They should, therefore, be sealed with epoxy or urethane. If your foundation repair contractor identified other signs of settling, this should be dealt with to prevent further cracking.

  1. Diagonal cracks

These cracks run from the top to the bottom of the wall or vice versa. However, unlike vertical cracks, they are angled from vertical at anything between 30 and 75 degrees. These cracks can be narrow hairline cracks or wide structural cracks.

Diagonal cracks are often caused by shrinkage. These appear as small hairline cracks. However, larger cracks that appear near corners of the foundation are often a sign of foundation issues. These are caused by uneven settling of the foundation. When these cracks are wider than an eighth of an inch, you may be dealing with a structural issue.

Depending on the underlying cause of the cracks, these cracks may be repaired by crack injection. Underpinning and other repair methods to straighten and support the foundation may also be used to prevent further damage.

Horizontal cracks

These cracks often appear toward the middle of the wall. They run horizontally. They are the result of increased hydrostatic pressure acting against the wall. This leads to foundation failure.

Repairing these cracks requires reinforcing the wall. Carbon fiber straps are the most common method used to do this. You will also need to relieve the hydrostatic pressure against the wall. This may be done by installing a French drain.

 

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