Foundation Cracks always call for concern for many homeowners. The good news is that not all foundation cracks are detrimental to the structural stability of your home. Sometimes they are just unsightly and are caused by shrinkage during the hardening process of the concrete. When you find cracks in your foundation, it can be a frightening experience. But before you freak out, take a moment to understand what causes foundation cracks and how to fix them.
How Common Are Foundation Cracks?
Most foundation cracks are visible in both new and old homes. Often, foundation cracks of a freshly constructed home could appear as early as a year after the property was built. The good news is that minor cracks can be mended appropriately with a bit of effort. But you need to be aware of what causes them and how to fix them.
What factors contribute to foundation cracks?
Cracks in foundations are caused by a variety of factors, including (but not limited to),
Lack of compacted soil before construction. If the soil is not compacted before the construction, the heavy structure placed on top of it will sink unevenly into the ground. This affects the foundation and can result in cracks.
Expansive soil. This kind of soil contains a lot of clay. It creates difficulties in the construction industry since it expands significantly when exposed to moisture and contracts by the same amount when exposed to air. Because of this, soil movement occurs, which might result in structural difficulties and cracks in the foundation.
The weather shifts. In this case, a house constructed during the dry season on top of expanding soil would be an appropriate illustration. When the rainy season approaches, the soil swells significantly, causing significant damage to the home’s foundation leading to foundation cracks.
Soil creep. Soil creep is a term used to describe the movement of soil. Homes constructed on slopes may experience foundation problems due to soil creep over time. When the soil at the top of a hill gradually finds its way down the hill, it is sloping. The movement of a foundation caused by soil creep might lead it to foundation shift laterally.
Unavoidable Natural disasters. The fact that earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters can cause foundation problems is undoubtedly no longer a surprise to you. These disasters sometimes create a shift in the foundation level of a structure leading to the foundation cracks.
How to avoid foundation cracks in your home
Foundation cracks are widespread, but there are steps you can do to avoid fractures that cause significant damage to your home. Preventative measures such as waterproofing your yard and basement are beneficial. Water buildup around your foundation can cause pressure and crack. Thus it is crucial to ensure good drainage around your foundation.
Also, being aware of crack-prone locations and keeping an eye on the size of existing cracks can assist you in preventing your problem from becoming more severe in the future.
How to fix foundation cracks
Dealing with foundation cracks is best left to the hands of an expert. You want to ensure that the problem is adequately corrected to avoid further damage. And to fix these cracks, homeowners can benefit from custom interior and exterior solutions designed by professionals. Therefore, it is advised to obtain a specialist’s structural solutions for foundation cracks and crack repair. Also, preventative efforts, such as raising awareness, can help you avoid significant damage and costly repairs.
Cracks in the foundation are just one of many things that we check for while performing home inspections in the Wichita, KS area. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.