Cracks in your home’s foundation may cause alarm. The potential consequences of these cracks depend on additional factors.
Widening cracks in an old home should raise more concern than a tiny one in a new building. Spotting early warning signs of foundation problems may ultimately save you a significant amount of money.
In this article, you will learn about foundation cracks and the steps you should take when noticing this foundation problem in your greater Dallas/Fort Worth area home.
Keep in mind that surface crazing is not a sign of foundation failure.
Even new houses may have them because during the first few years. This may indicate that the foundation is failing over a soil fill area.
The builder may warrant against failure for 10 years. Should the builder push back, hire an attorney. We repair the foundation of many houses built in the last 10 years.
Diagonal cracks run at an angle of 30–75 degrees. The typical reason for these cracks is also differential foundation settling. In other words, your home’s foundation settles lower on one side compared to the others.
As a result, your foundation experiences uneven tension. The underlying causes may include contracting and expanding soils or a building erected on a partially filled area.
This is the most serious issue you could face. Horizontal cracks could serve as red flags for serious foundation damage. The forces behind this damage may involve soil and hydrostatic pressures outside the foundation. This is more common with basements, or in interior sheetrock.
Discovering horizontal cracks in your home calls for quick intervention. Ignoring these signs may put your home’s structural integrity into jeopardy. Any delay in repairs will inevitably become more costly in the long run.
How do you repair foundation cracks?
There are many different ways to repair foundation cracks. However, the specific approach depends on the type and size of the cracks.
For most cracks, there is no need for epoxy injection. There is though a need to underpin the settling area before the cracks widen.
What other steps can you take?
One way to avoid cracks is to keep excess water away from your foundation. Clogged gutters could direct rainwater straight to your foundation. Other potential culprits are downspouts that are too short. These allow water to accumulate around the foundation. In the Dallas area, excess water causes the soil to turn to mud and all or part of the foundation will sink.
Clear the gutters from debris on a regular basis. Also, make sure that your downspouts extend at least five feet away from your home. Sometimes you may need to get landscaping done in order to effectively arrange the home and yard in a way that works against pooling water and irregular division of moisture in the surrounding soil.
Still, another problem can occur when a row of houser is built on a hillside. The upper hillside could be overwatering. This will first cause differential foundation heaving, and later differential foundation settlement.
What are the main signs of foundation damage?
Vertical, diagonal, and horizontal cracks can be accompanied by other warning signs. Take a closer look at the following list of alerting changes in your home:
- Doors that fail to latch or simply get jammed
- Cracked ceramic or vinyl tiles over a concrete floor base
- Windows that stick or will not properly close
- Suddenly appearing cracks in doorways and windows
- Chimney tilt
- Ceiling cracks
- The floor does not feel level
How to deal with foundation damage?
Your home is only as resilient as its foundation. It is very important to note small changes that could indicate deeper trouble. Foundation cracks together with other indications may serve as early warning signs.
Keep in mind that foundation issues could link to local conditions. The well-being of your foundation may be subject to the following:
- Expansive clay soils
- Poor drainage
- Corrosion of cast iron plumbing
- Extreme drought
TIP: Even during a drought, the city will usually permit soaker hose watering around all of the foundation.
Concrete foundation repair usually requires one of two techniques:
- Slabjacking: In this approach, grout is pumped beneath a beam or slab. This results in a lifting force that restores the original elevation. This technique is usually a temporary solution and is not recommended.
- Piering: This job calls for steel or concrete pilings to be driven through the soil.
The bottom line: understanding foundation cracks
Foundation cracks are some of the signs that indicate foundation issues. However, these cracks come in many shapes and sizes. The potential for these cracks to indicate serious issues is high. For example, small vertical cracks only need to get filled, but big horizontal ones indicate bigger trouble.
Whatever the particular type of foundation cracks you may have, it is important to deal with these signs without delay. Ignoring the signs or postponing the repair is a recipe for foundation failure and more expensive repairs.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at Granite Foundation Repair!