Reality is, as a home settles, especially new construction, and the concrete shrinks after it cures, cracks are a real possibility. Not every foundation crack looks the same, they will vary in size and shape.
The good news is that not all cracks are problematic! However, those that are going to cause greater issues need to be addressed early and properly in order to prevent future problems. Quick-fixes will only cause the water creating the problem to shift to a different area of the foundation, not an ideal situation or an effective solution. For this reason, it is important to monitor the growth of the cracks as they begin to form. Understanding the type of crack you are dealing with will better help you determine how to correct the issue to prevent further damage.
Vertical cracks are the most common and least severe cracks your foundation will experience; often a result of the structure settling. These cracks can be found in most homes going straight up and down or at a slight 30-degree angle. Additionally, these cracks are easier and the least expensive to correct. Typically, urethane or epoxy will be injected into the cracks to prevent further damage and growth as the home continues to settle.
This thin, hairline crack may widen at the end and is also commonly found in homes along the foundation or basement walls. This type of settling is typically caused by what is known as differential settling. This tension happens when one side of the foundation settles unevenly due to the house having been built on a hill or slope, or the soil having contracted under one side of the foundation and not the other. Unfortunately, this type of crack may be more extensive and expensive to repair because the differential settling will also need to be addressed and corrected after the crack is sealed.
Cracks along the foundation that run horizontally are the most significant cracks to identify and are a symptom of a more serious structural problem. These cracks are a result of the hydrostatic pressure forming around the structure. While the foundation was built to withstand a certain amount of pressure when the load becomes too great the water can cause damage to the integrity of the foundation. In this case, an exterior drain tile would be a necessary step to channel the water away from the home and alleviate the pressure on the structure.
While every crack, whether it be vertical, diagonal, or horizontal, is different, it is always helpful to have a professional assess where the damage is originating from and how to eliminate further issues.
If you have found cracks in your basement and would like them looked at Midwest Waterproofing would be glad to provide a FREE consultation. Contact us at MidwestWaterproofing.com or call 815-245-6890.