Differentiating Foundation Cracks and Discerning If the Structure Requires Repairs
When it comes to your foundation, you want it in the best condition as long as you reside in your home. Foundation problems eventually start to affect the structural integrity of your property, and you will notice symptoms such as uneven flooring, jammed doorways and so on. So how can you tell if your foundation is in jeopardy? The first telltale sign of potential issues is the onset of cracks. While some hairline cracks may merely be cosmetic flaws, other cracks should prompt you to call a contractor to asses the state of your foundation. This article will enlighten you on how to differentiate foundation cracks and discern whether the structure requires immediate repairs.
Stair-step foundation cracks
These types of foundation cracks start to develop when your house is experiencing uneven settling. Settling is a process that occurs when the land beneath the home is no longer sturdy enough to support the building. As the soil shift due to the vertical pressure, your foundation also starts to become unstable. Soil shifting can also happen when there is excessive moisture seeping into the ground. It is vital to diagnose these types of cracks as soon as possible so that your foundation is underpinned in good time.
Horizontal foundation cracks
This variety of cracks come about when the foundation walls are exposed to high amounts of pressure. The pressure is usually hydrostatic. Hydrostatic pressure comes about when the soil surrounding the foundation expands and pushes against its walls. When the pressure is continual, it starts to create weak spots on the foundation walls over time. Not only will you notice horizontal cracks, but you will also see signs of the walls bowing.
Vertical foundation cracks
When your foundation starts to develop vertical cracks, it is likely that the leading cause of this damage is shrinkage. In most cases, vertical cracks are a direct effect of improper foundation construction. Concrete foundations need time to cure sufficiently before the primary structure is erected above them. If the concrete cured at an accelerated rate, the material becomes vulnerable to premature cracking since it has not set accordingly. Vertical cracks tend to manifest within a few months of foundation construction, so you can notice them early if you keep a sharp eye on the foundation walls. It should be noted that the longer the vertical cracks are left to grow, the high the chances of a grave structural problem with your house.
For more information, contact your local foundation crack repairs company.