Foundation Cracks: Types, Causes, and What You Can Do About Them

What causes foundation cracks, which types of cracks you might see, and what you can do about it?




During a routine inspection, seeing a foundation crack can be disconcerting and leave you asking questions like how much you should be concerned if the foundation’s structural integrity is compromised, and what you should do about it. Leaving the cracks as is and not addressing them is opening yourself up to problems in the future. This is why we are going to look at what causes these cracks, which types of cracks you might see, and what you can do about it.


Causes of Foundation Cracks

Shrinkage of the mortar or concrete is quite common. The cracks that form due to shrinkage are usually too small to cause any concern or interfere with the stability, strength, or durability of the foundation.

Next, we have cracks that are caused by soil settlement. It is common for houses to settle as the years go by. As they do, they compress the soil beneath and around them, which can lead to cracks. In many cases, you will notice these types of cracks on the foundation wall.

Soil also places a lot of inward pressure on the foundation walls, especially when the soil gets wet. If the inward pressure exceeds what the wall can safely support, diagonal or horizontal cracks will appear. In many cases, you will also notice some tilting or bowing.

The last cause of foundation cracks is poor construction. This can include things like undersized footings, poor reinforcement, or a poor concrete mix.


Types of Foundation Cracks

Soil settlement usually leads to vertical cracks that are larger than you would get due to shrinkage. Vertical cracks are dangerous because they let a lot of water seep into the foundation, which can lead to weaknesses in other parts of the foundation.

Heavier soil pressure leads to horizontal cracks, which are a very serious issue. The soil pressure is usually caused by soil that is heavy due to water saturation applying heavy pressure inwards. Horizontal cracks often lead to buckling, bowing, and, in some serious cases, collapses. These types of cracks should be repaired as soon as they are spotted.

Sometimes, cracks appear along the mortar joints. These are known as stair-step cracks. These types of cracks indicate poor construction and, as with all the other cracks, should be repaired as soon as possible.


What Can You Do About Foundation Cracks?

The good news is that no matter the type of crack or its cause, it can be repaired quickly and affordably. If you notice any cracks, you should call a foundation repair specialist. Get in touch with experts at fixing a foundation crack, like Helitech, sooner rather than later; this is the best course of action. They will inspect your house, its foundation, and surrounding area to not only repair the crack but also take care of their cause so this problem does not recur in the future.

Cracks in the foundation footing or foundation walls is a very serious issue that should be attended to as soon as possible. Getting in touch with a qualified contractor and explaining to them the types of cracks you are seeing will help them be better prepared and provide the best solution to avoid a disaster.




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