Basement Foundation Repair
One of the most devastating things that can happen to a basement foundation is a collapse of the wall. This sort of catastrophe doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t mean that every crack you see on a basement wall means that collapse is imminent. However, if circumstances line up just right, collapse is a real possibility. It occurs when the lateral inward forces from the soil and water outside the wall weaken and eventually buckle the foundation.
This phenomenon often happens when a weak foundation wall is back filled with soil that retains water. When this happens, the basement wall is like a dam wall holding back the static pressure of the water plus the soil. Foundation walls made from unreinforced hollow concrete blocks are one example of weak construction that’s ill-equipped at handling this kind of pressure. However, even solid concrete walls have their limits. Some clay soils expand when wet and can exert tremendous forces.
One other factor that leads to this kind of failure is the home owner not seeing, recognizing, or appreciating the warning signs. They might see the signs and simply get used to them or may have purchased a home with a problem wall without realizing its significance. At some point the weakened wall may collapse, often after a long soaking rain.
The Signs of a Serious Foundation Problem
A long horizontal crack in your basement wall is the telltale sign that means it’s yielding to external soil and water pressure. It commonly occurs midway up the wall. The crack will end with two diagonal cracks going to the top and bottom corners of the wall. This is accompanied by an inward bulge. Don’t wait until you see this precise pattern. Any long horizontal crack in the wall is a cause for concern.
If caught in time, basement foundation repair to the wall is fairly simple. Of the different repair methods available, one possible technique is applying carbon fiber sheets to the inside of the wall. In addition to repairing the wall, proper outdoor drainage is essential to prevent water absorption into the soil next to the foundation. This will relieve the wall of the damaging pressure that contributed to the problem in the first place.
Proper outdoor drainage includes grading your property so that water naturally flows down and away from your home. Your roof must have a gutter system that’s kept clear of debris with downspouts that discharge water well away from the foundation (5 or 10 feet). Sometimes installation of drainage basins may be required.
If you are concerned about cracks in your basement walls, don’t hesitate to contact us at Everdry Basement Waterproofing.