A home is one of the biggest investments people make in their lifetime. Foundation problems spark anxiety in even the most vigilant homeowners. Especially, finding a crack in homes and offices unnerves home and business owners greatly. This is unsettling as a single crack may open you up for extensive damage to your worthy foundation. Leaving you to wonder can a cracked foundation be repaired?
No one wishes to live in or purchase a home having a leaky or cracked foundation. Damaged foundation walls set up trouble for homeowners and their bank accounts. Water seeping through your foundation and traveling down the basement or the crawlspace works its best to bring your home’s commercial value down (as much as 10%).
Regarding foundation damage, thoughts of repair might be jumping here and there in your head. A few questions might be pinching you harder.
- What are the probable causes of foundation damage?
- How can you spot them?
- What are the different types of cracks?
- Can foundation wall crack repair be a DIY task?
- Can a cracked foundation be repaired?
Before you worry, let us inform you that we are here to relax your mind. We’ll answer all your questions here.
Let’s start off!
What causes foundation damage?
Your home may appear susceptible to foundation damage due to:
- Oversaturated earth and soil expansion
- Plumbing leaks or broken/damaged pipes
- Earthquake, flood, or any other harsh environmental condition
- Tree roots growing near your house
How to know you have foundation issues?
Noticing any of the given below signs spells trouble for your living space.
- Crooked doors and windows
- Sagging (uneven) floors or ceilings
- Musty odors
- Damp crawl spaces
- Cracks or gaps in doors and windows
- Wide cracks in drywall
If you’re wondering can a cracked foundation be repaired, this article is a treat for you. In this article, we’ll let you know about different types of cracks. Also, we’ll cover how can you go for foundation wall crack repair.
No matter what, cracks in your house can be daunting. When it’s all about cracks, your head immediately bottles up with the thoughts of fixing them right away. Before you panic, remember that not all cracks are bad. In fact, most foundation cracks occur naturally and can be fixed easily.
Your foundation props your entire house up, so you have to ensure it is sound and stable. When you see that your house is losing its structural integrity gradually, you tend to lose hope and confidence.
Before answering can a cracked foundation be repaired, you need to know the type, severity, and size of the crack.
Types of Cracks:
Have a look at the types of cracks to know whether the crack you are having in your home shall be a cause for concern or not.
Cracks in your home show up in a diverse range of sizes and shapes. It is not unusual to have foundation cracks within a year or two in a new building. Most of them are due to foundation settlement and thus are not of worry. If you observe cracks that begin to grow, water can seep through easily. In such a case, call an expert without any delay.
Some cracks in foundation cause homeowners a deal of unnecessary botheration. Let us tell you a vertical crack in the foundation wall develops due to the settling of the concrete material. These cracks are pretty common in new construction.
- These cracks run vertically and are often detected in the mid-section of the wall.
- They are usually less than 1/8 in width.
- They form due to shrinkage of concrete.
Foundation wall crack repair is what you might want to know about at the moment. Let us get you to the repair side.
How Can You Repair Vertical Cracks?
Cracks arising as a result of foundation settlement are said to present the least structural damage to your property.
Sometimes, out of stress, for foundation wall crack repair, homeowners attempt to:
- Chisel a V-groove into the crack and then plug it with hydraulic cement. This is not a good practice as it fails to address the underlying issue. With time, the concrete wall fluctuates owing to changes in moisture and temperature. This will cause the filling to leak again.
- Some landlords also try caulking as a repair mechanism. Adding caulk in the wall crack is another easy and simple DIY fix. The caulk-based plug within quite less time peels off due to its weak adhesive property.
Essential and pro fix:
The necessary fix to patch up vertical cracks as suggested by many professionals is the use of epoxy injection.
This is an economical way of repairing cracks and gaps in concrete walls, columns, slabs, and piers. This way you can restore the concrete to its pre-cracked strength.
How to apply?
A pro will clean the crack and surrounding surface and allow the paste-over to form a strong bond with the concrete beneath. The best results will be obtained if the crack is fully dry at the time of epoxy injection.
Furthermore, other materials such as polyurethane resins can also be used to seal the unsealed.
Cracks that run diagonally along your wall usually signal differential settlement- some parts of your home settle more quickly while others remain stable, leading to uneven floors or walls. When a building you are living or working in settles differentially, you are likely to face framework issues.
If you detect diagonal cracks running about 30-75 degrees from the vertical ones, it becomes crucial to have your foundation looked at.
Due to differential settlement, your foundation may run in two different directions causing both horizontal and vertical tension.
These cracks are often noticed in homes that are built on hills or homes which experience rapidly changing soil conditions due to rainstorms, floods, or drought.
Diagonal cracks are fixed just like vertical cracks. However, you may need to apply more material to prevent further expansion of the crack.
Horizontal foundation cracks are to be taken seriously. These cracks which run sideways (horizontally) work to compromise the worth and integrity of your foundation.
Due to improper drainage and gutter systems, rainwater fails to get directed far away from your foundation. The excess water then begins to pool around your base which leads to the oversaturation of the soil. Due to great hydrostatic pressure, the foundation walls are compelled to buckle inwards or become cracked badly.
Thus, when your foundation tends to bear more strain or pressure than its built-in capacity, serious horizontal cracks can be observed upon rains or flooding.
How to Repair Horizontal Cracks?
Horizontal cracks suggest inward bowing of the foundation. These cracks that can result in your foundation failure need to be addressed as soon as possible.
This type of cracking calls for the most expensive repairs. The best fix in this regard is reinforcing and securing your foundation from further damage. But how?
A couple of different techniques can be used to cure horizontal cracks.
- Installation of high strength strapping, nails, piers, braces, or anchors on the inside of the foundation prevents it from bowing or sloping further.
- Leveling or underpinning – this suggests stabilizing your home’s footings by excavation. New concrete is poured into the site to restore the original state of the foundation.
Regardless of the solution, cracks of this nature should always be inspected and treated by a licensed structural engineer.
We hope by now you have gotten to know the answer to your question: can a cracked foundation be repaired?
How to Prevent Future Foundation Issues?
You need to protect your foundation from water seepage. If your gutters are choked, water will directly pour over onto your foundation. Moreover, short downspouts can be a source of water pooling up around your vicinity.
If your home’s foundation is not secured, it is at great risk of crumbling. The following tips will go a long way in maintaining the structural integrity of your home.
- Setting up a good drainage system will not let water to stand around your place. Rather it will be discharged a good distance from your house.
- Install downspouts and their extensions for expelling water at least five feet away from your foundation. Always make sure that your gutters are not clogged and are free of debris.
- Go for strategic grading or landscaping of your lawn to avoid water accumulation.
- Keep trees away as their roots can absorb all the water from the ground particularly during the dry periods.
A crack present anywhere- be it the wall, floor, or slab- in your home is an eyesore. Cracks in your home’s walls are usually unsightly. Not all cracks demand attention; only the ones that pose a threat to the structure are to be taken seriously. When it comes to foundation cracks, most homeowners are concerned about: can a cracked foundation be repaired? Yes, it can be repaired but fixing horizontal cracks is a real task.
Concrete walls are pressure bearing walls. A minor crack can be treated easily but major fissures represent poor structural integrity. Bowing foundations are serious and should be evaluated by a skilled individual as early as possible.