Splitting Wall Cracks

Cracks can appear in interior and exterior walls for a variety of reasons. Regardless of their cause, it is a problem that must be taken care of immediately before the opening gets bigger and begins to let seepage into the basement of the home. This can cause extensive damage to walls, floors, and to anything that may be stored here.

What Causes the Problem?

Splitting Wall Crack
Splitting Wall Crack

Expansive Soils

Soil that is rich in clay is known as expansive. This means that it swells up with moisture when it rains and shrinks when there is a drought. This causes the foundation to rise and fall, depending on the amount of water in the earth at the time. The constant rising and falling of the structure eventually proves to be too much for the home, and it can cause cracks to form in walls and floors.

Inadequate Drainage

If there isn't proper drainage around the outside of the home, or if there aren't adequate gutter systems and downspouts installed, water is going to build up next to the foundation walls. This can lead to seepage getting into the earth and causing soil erosion. Over time, this can cause the structure of the home to shift and cracks are a result.

Plumbing Leaks

Moisture from toilets, showers, tubs, and sinks can leak out of the home or in the basement, leading to the same problems that can come with inadequate drainage mentioned above.

Poor Foundation Construction

If the base of the home is too "thin" and doesn't offer enough support for the weight it's trying to hold up, it can contribute to sinking or settlement. Over time, this can lead to sticking windows and doors, wall cracks, bowing walls, and more.

Can I Fix it Myself?

It is not recommended for the average homeowner to attempt to take care of the problem on their own. It will involve thorough inspections of the base of the home to determine the exact cause of the issue. This is something that is better suited to a structural professional who is experienced, and who will be able to provide you with an effective plan of action for getting the issue taken care of once and for all.

Piering and Crack Sealing

To take care of the problem, the cause must first be determined. If the issue is caused from settlement, piering systems can be installed around the base of the home to shift the weight of the structure off the foundation and onto the piers. This will help to stabilize and strengthen the home to keep it level. The cracks themselves will also need to be filled in and sealed so that seepage won't be able to get into the basement and cause even more damage.

Getting Help

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If You've Got Foundation Questions, We've Got Foundation Answers!

At Foundation Maintenance, we get a lot of questions from people concerning their foundations. In this section we answer the most commonly asked questions. If we do not have the answer you are looking for, you can submit your question to an Expert in our Network.