foundation cracks

Everything You Must Know About Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks are not a new occurrence, but their frequency has increased in recent years. How often you have foundation cracks dependent on many factors. This blog post will answer all the questions you may want to know.

Are foundation cracks normal?
Yes, foundation cracks are normal. In fact, foundation cracks are more common than you think. There is a myth that foundation cracks happen only when the house settles, but this isn’t true. Foundation cracks occur due to many factors like shrinkage of your concrete due to weather extremes and expansive soil in areas with clay-heavy soils.

Causes of foundation cracks?
Some aspects that can cause foundation cracks are:

Shrinkage

This occurs when the soil around your house contracts in dry conditions or expands in wet conditions. When this happens, it causes pressure to build up on one side of your home’s foundation wall, and the other parts may start to tilt away from each other.

Settlement

Movement or settlement of the earth around your house can cause cracks in the foundation. This is primarily because the soil beneath the surface may get wet and change the soil’s consistency. This would cause your house to sink, which then causes a crack in the foundation wall.

Weather extremes

Weather conditions like heavy rain, snow, and ice storms are all factors that may cause a crack to form because they increase pressure on your home’s foundation walls.

Expansive Soils

Exposure to excessive wetness or dry conditions can cause cracks in your house’s foundation. Expansive soil, like clay soil, will shrink and swell with changes in the weather which causes pressure on your home’s foundation walls.

How severe are foundation cracks?
Foundation cracks are not always serious. How big the crack is and how long it’s been there will determine whether or not it is a problem for your home and foundation wall. The width and the direction of the crack also matter. The good news is that most cracks are natural and demands nothing but cosmetic repair if they appear to be a disgrace. You may come across different types of cracks, with vertical ones being less serious manageable. However, if the cracks appear horizontally or diagonally, it may be a more serious problem that demands professional attention.

Do all cracks leak?
Yes, if conditions are right, all cracks can leak. How cracks are to leak depends on the direction of the crack and whether or not it’s a vertical or horizontal one. Generally, if you have vertical foundation cracks that extend up higher than they go down, then these holes will not be very large enough for anything to get through them. However, horizontal ones will be much larger and a better opportunity for water to get through.

Best methods for fixing foundation cracks?
One of the best ways of fixing vertical foundation cracks is by filling them with polyurethane or epoxy-based sealant. You will need to find a professional for this service if you don’t want the process done wrong, but they are easy enough to do on your own. Fixing horizontal cracks is more difficult because there’s no real way of sealing it from the inside and all that can be done instead is to seal the outside.

Can I make repairs myself?
Perhaps, only if the crack is minor or you’re sure you know what you are doing. If you’re not qualified, then it may be more cost-effective to hire Gainesville Masonry and Concrete, your one-stop solution to your foundation repairs. Contact us or call us on (352) 306-0888.