Basement/Foundation Wall Crack
Cracks can appear inside and outside of the home for a number of reasons. They can appear in all types of foundations, including: block, brick, stone, or poured. If you have a cinder block base, it will be especially important for you to get the opening filled in and sealed as soon as possible as this material is known for quickly expanding cracks when they develop. This makes it easier for water to find the path of least resistance and get into your basement environment.
It's important to understand that sometimes these crevices develop as a result of the natural shrinking and curing process of concrete. However, if you notice the opening getting bigger, deeper, or if it is moving, then this is a warning sign of a serious structural problem.
Areas Where They Form
- Pipe penetrations
- Tie rods
- Under windows
- Around window and door frames
- Along pour lines
- Throughout long spans of open wall surface
What Can I Do?
After you first notice the problem area, be sure to keep track of measurements of how long it is and where it's location may be in reference to windows, pipes, etc. Also, monitor other wall surfaces and make note of any additional damage that you may see. This will help the foundation repair professional with pinpointing the cause of the problem.
Can I Fix it Myself?
It is not recommended for the average homeowner to take care of the problem on their own. Cracks are complex - sometimes they may be a warning sign of a serious underlying structural problem - and sometimes they may not be. Only a true structural specialist will be able to tell for sure, and they can come up with a plan for getting it taken care of.
Piers, Anchors, and Sealing
In most cases, something will need to be installed to prevent additional damage. Piers can be helical or push, and they are installed deep within the earth in stable soils. Their job is to transfer the weight of the home off of the weak foundation and onto themselves. This can prevent additional settlement, which may be the root cause of the cracking problem. If bowing walls and hydrostatic pressure from the earth are causing the issue, wall anchors can be installed with a plate inside the home on the damaged wall. The two are connected to each other with a steel rod which is tightened over time to provide enough pressure to counteract that which is being applied to the wall from the earth. Additionally, the openings are going to need to be filled and sealed so that seepage can't get inside.
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