One of the proudest moments in life for every individual is to move into their own home. After buying or building you feel that your problems are gone. However, they say life is full of surprises. As a homeowner, one of the things that can drive you up the wall is of course the sight of unsightly foundation cracks. They make every homeowner’s heart race, but are all cracks cause for such worry?
What Causes Foundation Cracks?
One thing is for sure; concrete foundations will always crack. There are myriad reasons for this including tree roots, settling of the house, poor construction, water pressure from the surrounding soils, clay bowl effect, among others. Each of these problems causes a distinct crack. This makes it imperative for you to at least have an idea of the underlying cause before calling in a foundation contractor.
Types of Foundation Cracks and Causes:
- Step Cracks
These are the most ominous cracks, according to the Concrete Foundations Association(CFA). They point to structural problems with your foundation and a contractor needs to be called in immediately to diagnose the main reason behind the cracking. They can allow in water in great volumes thus ruining your basement.
- Vertical Cracks
They normally run throughout the wall and could point to a broken footer. When the footing is damaged you can expect further problems including bowing and bulging which calls for extensive repairs through excavation and steel beam supports.
- Horizontal Cracks
They are easy to ignore yet they can point to a bigger underlying issue. You must hire a contractor to assess the extent of the damage when you notice these cracks because they are mostly caused by hydrostatic pressure. A contractor will have to deal with the moisture problem in the surrounding soil before initiating any repairs.
- Basement Hairline Cracks
Experts say that such cracks start at a 90 degree offset corner. While they are not considered dangerous, they can still affect the value of your home. Indeed, a contractor will constantly assess them until they deem it fit to fill them with an appropriate epoxy to avoid water seepage.
It is important to appreciate that while online resources can help you identify the type of crack and underlying problem, you need a professional foundation contractor for efficient repair works. However innocuous a crack seems, ensure you get a professional view from your local established foundation expert.