If you want to know how serious a foundation crack is, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll learn what causes foundation cracks, different types of cracks, how to repair them, and more. Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll have everything you need to call your local foundation crack repair expert.
What Causes A Foundation Crack?
Most foundation cracks are usually caused by settlement, exterior pressure, or aging. Serious cracks that require immediate attention and repair are called structural cracks since they put your home’s structural integrity at risk. These cracks can form when sections of your home settle into the soil below at different rates. This movement, also called differential settlement, throws your home off its alignment and leaves foundation cracks as a visible sign of movement.
Some structural cracks can also form if pressure is building up outside your basement foundation. Frost, water, and clay-rich soil can heave against your basement walls, causing them to shift or bow inward. Once your wall starts to bow or move inward, cracks begin to form at the major stress points.
Less serious foundation cracks, also called non-structural cracks, are usually caused by aging or a bad concrete mix. Non-structural cracks form when a concrete foundation dries too quickly after it’s poured, leaving behind hairline cracks.
Types Of Foundation Cracks
There are two types of foundation cracks: structural and non-structural.
Structural cracks – Structural cracks include cracks that are wider than 1/10 of an inch, stair-step cracks in concrete block walls or brick fascia, vertical cracks running side by side, large diagonal cracks near wall corners, horizontal cracks, and cracks running across ceilings and walls.
Non-structural cracks – These cracks include: cracks smaller than 1/10 of an inch, isolated vertical cracks, cracks that don’t change in size, and cracks isolated to a single concrete block or brick
How To Repair A Foundation Crack
The best way to repair a foundation crack is with epoxy, carbon fiber staples, or elastomeric waterproofing tar. Even if the foundation crack is non-structural, experts always recommend sealing it to prevent water from seeping into your basement or crawl space.
Epoxy injection – Experts can inject foundation cracks with a 2-part epoxy that fills the void and seals the opening. These injections can also be used to seal and fill honeycombing concrete.
Carbon fiber staples – These high-strength carbon fiber staples are fused into the concrete perpendicular to the cracks like surgical staples. This keeps the cracks from growing wider and turning into a larger issue.
Elastomeric waterproofing tar – If the foundation crack can only be fixed from the outside, experts can repair it using hydraulic cement and elastomeric waterproofing tar. The area around the crack is exposed and cleaned before filling it with hydraulic cement. Once the crack is filled, they’ll apply the elastomeric waterproofing tar across the crack, sealing it and preventing water from seeping through. Lastly, they attach a vapor barrier or insulation board to protect the tar as they refill the pit.
What If The Foundation Crack Is Caused By Something Else?
If a foundation crack is caused by differential settlement or bowing, experts must first repair those issues before they seal the crack. If your home is settling into the soil below, contractors can lift and level your home using underpinning. This is when long steel piers are driven or screwed into the soil below your home until they reach soil strong enough to hold your home’s weight. Once the settlement is corrected, experts can repair the cracks.
If the cracks result from bowing, contractors can pull your wall back outward using wall plate anchors and carbon fiber straps. Once your wall is back to its original position, the cracks can be repaired, hiding any signs that your wall bowed in the first place.
Can You Fix A Foundation Crack Yourself?
Yes, you can fix a foundation crack yourself. But there are a few important things you should know before buying a foundation crack repair kit online or visiting your local building supply store. Experts always recommend filling the crack, as well as sealing it. An epoxy injection from inside your foundation will fill the crack and prevent water from building up inside and breaking the seal.
The same process works for exterior foundation crack repair. When the crack is filled with hydraulic cement from the outside, experts also apply the waterproofing tar to prevent water from getting through. Hydraulic cement and “waterproofing paint” applied from the inside will not repair a foundation crack for long.
Who Can Repair A Foundation Crack Near You?
If you live in the Southeastern United States and need foundation crack repair, call Foundation Professionals Of Florida. We are an award-winning and top-performing company based in Lake City, Florida, serving our service area for over 40 years. We’ll inspect the foundation crack concerning you, find out what’s causing it, and choose the best solution. We also provide basement waterproofing, concrete leveling, grouting, and more. Call today for your free inspection and estimate.