Concrete homes are often considered as unconventional as it is different from the timber-brick construction model. When it comes to foundation, basement or partition walls, concrete blocks are the preferred choice for most house owners.
Concrete blocks offer an advantage as it is durable, strong, cost-effective and most importantly, sound-proof. It provides insulation against cold and heat as well.
While concrete blocks are strong, they are not infallible against cracks. Even a small leak in the basement could be a sign of deep structural damage. Therefore, it is one of the biggest concerns during buying or selling a house.
The only solution to this problem is fixing foundation cracks. And if implemented properly, it can ensure the safety of a house.
In this blog, we are going to discuss various aspects of cracks in the foundation and its remedy!
Common Signs of Foundation Cracks
As most of us already know, foundation cracks should be repaired as early as possible and failing to do so can prove disastrous. But what causes a foundation to crack?
Listed below are a few common symptoms for cracks in the foundation:
1. Uneven Floors
If you feel patchiness on the floor while you walk, it could be a sign of a cracked foundation. There are many other reasons for unevenness on the floor. Hence, you need to get it inspected by a professional home inspector and find out the cause of the uneven floor.
2. Unusual Smells
A musty odor or an earthy smell inside the room is something that you should not take lightly. It could be either a sign of mold infestation or a crack in the foundation.
The takeaway is if you sense an unusual smell in the room and its cause is unknown, you should conduct a house mold inspection & testing and take further steps to prevent it. If it is a crack, make sure you get it repaired soon.
3. Widening Gap
Another sign of foundation issue is the crack between the façade and door or windows. This could be due to a shift in the foundation. If you overlook the importance of widening gaps between the façade and your front door and windows, it may lead to further structural damage.
Termites, mold, and other microorganisms may flourish in these gaps. And it may cause damage to the property and create an allergic reaction to the inmates of the house.
4. Mold Presence
As we know, molds grow when there is moisture in the house. And this moisture can get inside your house through the cracks in the foundation. Moreover, this moisture, and even molds, may stay unnoticed for a long time.
So, if you see any indications of mold in the house, it is important to find the source. By hiring a professional company, you can carry out the proper mold remediation activities and prevent its growth in the future.
5. Sagging of the Floor
The foundation of your house stands parallel to the floors and the ceiling. Therefore, if you see the sagging floor, it is a hint that there is a crack or damage to the foundation. Another telltale sign of foundation cracks is warped ceilings. A gap between the ceiling and the walls should also be checked by professionals and resolved soon.
Types of Foundation Crack
Soil movement, improper or unscientific construction, age of the building, etc. are all reasons for cracks in the foundation. Each type of crack needs a different type of foundation repair.
So, here we have listed out the major types of cracks in the foundation.
1. Shrinkage Cracks:
It is a typical hairline crack that may appear randomly throughout the concrete. This type of cracks forms when the foundation is not mixed properly. You will see shrinkage cracks mostly when it is fresh.
It may appear on both the exterior and interior of the foundation. Generally, shrinkage cracks do not require costly repair and you can fix it using sealants.
2. Vertical Cracks:
This type of crack is very common. It runs up the foundation and may continue to the floor or ceiling of the basement. It forms due to tension on the concrete when soil shifts or settles unevenly.
If there is overpressure exerted on the foundation, vertical cracks may form. Also, hydrostatic pressure is a common reason for vertically-formed cracks. You should think of foundation crack repair only if vertical cracks are larger than ¼ inch.
Otherwise, it should not be a concern. In fact, you can take it as a DIY project and fix the cracks using any sealant available in the market.
3. Diagonal Foundation Cracks:
It takes a stair-step pattern in concrete block and brick foundation. Similar to vertical cracks, diagonal cracks usually form as a result of differential foundation settlement. It is also found near the corner of the foundation.
You should be concerned about diagonal cracks only if the cracks are wider. If the cracks are wider, it may allow water penetration and lead to mold infestation. Therefore, the foundation needs to be re-leveled and the cracks should be sealed.
4. Horizontal Cracks:
If you see horizontally-shaped cracks, you should not take it lightly. Those are very serious types of crack formed due to high pressure from the soil. You should get it inspected by a professional agency and carry out foundation crack repair activity without delay.
There are different ways of fixing horizontal cracks like installing helical anchors or wall plate anchor systems, etc. However, it should be done professionally only.
5. Spider-Web Pattern:
Cracks can form in the shape of the spider web as well. It normally occurs in older homes when the foundation loses strength. It is a sign of aging in older homes which should not be a serious concern. Contact an expert to know the cause of spider-web cracks if it is wider and bigger.
Tips for Fixing Foundation Cracks
Over time, foundation cracks are common in concrete. If it is minor cracks, you don’t have to be alerted. However, if the cracks are bigger or deeper or if there are signs of mold infestation or moisture presence, it needs to be fixed without fail.
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Your choice of foundation crack repair depends on the type of crack hence you need to get it analyzed with the help of a professional.
Here we have a few expert tips to share with you if you are worried about foundation crack repair.
1. Monitor the Cracks:
As mentioned above, you can ignore hairline cracks as they are very common and less dangerous. But make sure you monitor and ensure that it is not widening or getting bigger. You can mark the size of the crack for the ease of monitoring the expansion.
If there is no moisture presence or no major expansion, you can fix it yourself. You can fill it with sealants or fix it using grout repair products.
2. Use Sealants:
If you see cracks in a newly-built house, you do not have to worry much about it. It is common after construction and is normally never a threat to the structure. However, it is better to seal it using a sealant as a mold remediation measure. It is a simple DIY project which involves mixing the sealant and filling the gaps.
3. Fixing Horizontal Cracks
Sometimes the basement floors do not attach well with the foundation walls. This spot is a common sight for horizontal cracks. It does not pose any serious threat to the structure.
Related Post – How to Stop Water from Seeping Into My Basement?
However, these cracks are commonly accumulation grounds for molds and microorganisms. It may also cause a musty smell in the basement. So, it is always better to fix it by injecting an expanding epoxy. You should not ignore horizontal cracks if it is more than ½ inch.
4. Get Professional Support
If you see a crack, be it big or small, it is always a good idea to get the house inspected by a professional foundation expert. Most of the cracks are harmless. But it may lead to water leakage and moisture problems.
With the help of professional servicemen, you can get the right foundation crack repair.
Choosing the Right Company to Fix Foundation Cracks
Ignoring cracks in the foundation is never a wise idea. As it can lead to structural damage, mold infestation, growth of microorganisms, etc. When you hire a professional company for crack repair or basement waterproofing, there are numerous contractors in the town. Do not go with a blind choice as it may lead to structural damage and extra expense.
Here are a few questions to ask while you hire an expert for house inspection.
1. What is the Reputation of the Company?
The main factor to be considered when you hire a foundation expert is the reputation of the company. Start by checking the reviews, both offline and online, to confirm whether the company has a solid reputation in the field.
You can take recommendations from friends or relatives who already have experience in working with the company.
2. How Experienced They Are?
Foundation is something that affects the comfort and safety of your home. Hence you need a company that has experience, knowledge, and commitment towards the service they provide. Make sure you check the years of experience and expertise in fixing different cracks and mold remediation before hiring them.
3. What About the Quality of the Products?
Many companies sell cheap foundation crack repair products with no guarantee of its durability. It may not last for long and lead to extra expenses in the future. When you talk to the company representative, make sure you ask about the techniques and products they prefer and be ensured of the guarantee period.
4. Are the Employees Trained?
A reputed company will give relevant training to its employees and they will have the expertise to give you the right solution. They may have the right tools but the fact is tools are of no use if the technician is not knowledgeable enough. Try not to fall into the trap after viewing the toolkit or techniques used by the company.
5. Are the Employees Insured?
When you do foundation crack repair or mold remediation works, you should hire companies with insurance for employees. Any unfortunate incident may happen during the repair process which leads to damage to your home and for the technician, although it is a worst-case scenario.
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Make sure you understand the company’s insurance terms before you fix the deal.
6. Do They Provide the Required Documentation?
A reputable company involved in foundation repair will put the processes on a document. They will give a clear, detailed and well-presented document with company signature on how they are fixing the issue along with the conditions.
This documentation will turn helpful in the future if there are any issues.
7. What is the Pricing Strategy?
Not to mention, pricing is also a major factor to be considered. Make sure you get a clear estimate before they commence the work. Also, check the cost and durability of materials used so that homeowners need not have to worry about frequent maintenance and spend money on it year after year.
Let Us Help You!
Wondering whom to hire for foundation crack repair in Cincinnati? Dry Effect is here to assist you in foundation crack repair, basement waterproofing, mold removal and more. We are one of the most-recommended names when it comes to basement waterproofing and cracks repair.
With us, you can be assured of quality services at competitive rates. Our knowledgeable technicians are updated about the latest methods to repair foundation cracks. After a thorough inspection of the site, we can suggest the right solution that is affordable, effective and durable.
Contact us or give us a call right away! We are happy to respond to your queries and ready to clear your doubts on foundation crack repair.