The Three Types Of Foundation Cracks... And Why You Should Fix Them

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Finding cracks in your basement may cause you to be concerned. Many homeowners assume cracks are a sign of serious damage, and some even assume the cracks mean the house is at risk for collapse! But while foundation cracks are not exactly a good thing, most of them are pretty normal and expected. Below, you can take a look at the three types of foundation cracks, and also learn why (and how) you should have these cracks repaired.

The Three Types of Foundation Cracks

Sometimes, you can tell what kind of crack you have simply by examining it. However, it helps to consider the history of the crack -- when it appeared in relation to the age of your house. The three types are:

Shrinkage Cracks

If all you see are tiny, hairline cracks throughout all or part of a concrete foundation, you probably have shrinkage cracks. These cracks are a result of the concrete drying too quickly. They appear within the first few weeks or months of living in the home. Shrinkage cracks are not usually a big deal and won't worsen over time. They don't typically extend all the way through the concrete.

Settling Cracks

Cracks that appear when the home is a year or two old are often settling cracks. These cracks occur because the ground underneath the foundation is compressing, causing the weight distribution on the foundation to change. You may see them along the floor of your foundation or on one side, only. Settling cracks can and should be repaired. They may widen over time, requiring additional repairs.

Movement Cracks

Cracks that appear when a house is older are usually due to movement in the ground around the home. You may notice these after your area is flooded or suffers a minor earthquake. Or they could be the result of the normal shifting of the ground over time. If the movement stops, you won't get any new cracks, but if it continues, the cracks will multiple. You should have the cracks repaired and consider a membrane to prevent leaks if your contractor expects new movement cracks to form.

Why Cracks Should Be Repaired

With the exception of small, hairline cracks from shrinkage, you should have other cracks repaired ASAP. Repairing the cracks often keeps them from widening. It also ensures your foundation continues to offer the support needed for the rest of your home. Cracks in the foundation also leak water, and they have been known to become an entry point for bugs like cockroaches and carpenter ants.

How Cracks Are Repaired

Although some homeowners repair cracks themselves, this is a risky business since applying the filler incorrectly could cause it to just crack again, leading to future issues. Your best choice is to hire a foundation repair company. Some roofing companies offer this service along with roof repair. Depending on the nature of the cracks, they may recommend one of several methods to fill the cracks.

  • Wide, large cracks are often filled with new concrete and then sealed to prevent leaks.
  • Small cracks that are not expected to grow larger can be filled with caulk or epoxy.
  • A wall with many small cracks may be filled and covered entirely with epoxy to prevent water from seeping inside.

Many times, the company you hire will be able to fix the cracks from inside the home. However, they may sometimes need to excavate and expose part of the foundation outside to effectively repair the cracks. Even when this much work is required, the repairs are worthwhile to make. Filling cracks keeps everything from water to insects outside where it belongs. 

For more information, contact companies like Seagate Roofing and Foundations about foundation repair.

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27 August 2018

Keeping Your Home Dry

Has your home recently began to leak? Perhaps, you had to put a bucket under a leak in your kitchen the last time it rained at your house. If you can relate to this uncomfortable situation, consider talking with a professional roofer in your part of the country. An experienced roofer can examine your roof. Once this individual ascertains the state of your roof, he or she might recommend you repair it or replace it. If you decide to replace your existing roof, you’ll need to figure out if you want your roofer to install something similar to what you currently have or put up something drastically different. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most popular types of roofs roofers install on homes today. Enjoy!