Tips for Homeowners.

What you need to know about Wall Cracks and Foundation Repair

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Foundation walls are the basis of any structure. If the foundation is unsound for any reason at your home, you should have a foundation expert coming to your place to check! Give us a call to book your free appointment today with one of our specialists @416-400-2685.
Wall cracks and foundation issues are considered unimportant by some, but they can be signs of some major issues with your home or building. Let us now talk about some of the different types of wall cracks and do they indicate.

  1. Vertical cracks: Vertical cracks go straight up and down the wall and they are caused by settling or basement foundation issues. So you need to think about calling a foundation expert. If you do not do so, these cracks might start increasing and cause major issues in the future. If the crack is wider at the top than the bottom, it could indicate serious foundation problems.
  2. Horizontal cracks: These are cracks that run parallel to the ground and can be a sign of structural problems or water damage. However, there is a possibility that they may be caused by hydrostatic pressure from groundwater, poor drainage, or excessive moisture.
  3. Diagonal cracks: Diagonal cracks are at an angle and are often caused by foundation movement or settlement. Such cracked walls are a sign that you have some serious foundation issues and you need to call a foundation repair company right away.
  4. Stair-step cracks: These are cracks that resemble a set of stairs and are usually indicative of foundation issues or water damage. They may be caused by settlement or shifting of the foundation.
  5. Cracks around windows and doors: such cracks are often caused by settling or movement in the foundation and can indicate a need for structural foundation repair. However, they may also be caused by the normal settling of the home over time.
  6. Hairline cracks: These are very thin cracks that may not necessarily be a sign of structural problems and might not need structural repair, but can still indicate settling or minor foundation issues. They are a result of the normal contraction and expansion of building materials due to temperature and humidity changes.
The following are some ways you should follow to deal with cracks in your walls:

  1. Determine the cause: Before you can start fixing the cracks you should first find out the cause of the cracks. If the crack leaks and what is caused by settlement or foundation issues, you may need to hire a foundation specialist to assess the situation.
  2. Repair minor cracks: If you have very small cracks, you can use a joint compound or spackling paste to fill in the crack. The compound can be applied with a putty knife. The next thing you should do is sand the area smoothly once it has dried.
  3. Fix larger cracks: For larger cracks, you may need to use a patching compound or a joint compound mixed with plaster of Paris. Apply the mixture to the crack with a putty knife, and smooth it out. Once the compound has dried, sand the area smoothly.
  4. Address underlying issues: If the cracks are caused by underlying issues such as water damage, poor drainage, or foundation problems, you will need to address those issues before fixing the cracks. It may involve fixing leaky pipes, installing a sump pump, or repairing the foundation.
  5. Consider professional repair: For more serious cracks, it may be necessary to hire a professional to repair the damage. This may involve injecting epoxy into the crack or installing carbon fiber strips to reinforce the wall.
What are some reasons that lead to foundation issues in your home or building?

  1. Soil movement: Most might say it is not a valid reason, but the soil has everything to do with the foundation of your home. The soil beneath a home can move due to many factors, including expansive soils, shrinking soils, and soil erosion. The foundation can be affected by this movement, and it can cause cracks in your walls. It may lead to a sagging wall or a cracked wall.
  2. Poor drainage: If the drainage system in your house is weak and the water is not properly drained away from the home, it can accumulate around the foundation and cause the soil to become saturated. It can lead to soil movement and foundation damage. As a result, you might need to call a structural repair company.
  3. Plumbing leaks: Leaking pipes or fixtures can cause water to seep into the soil beneath the home, leading to soil movement and foundation damage.
  4. Tree roots: The roots of trees and other vegetation can grow into the soil beneath the home, causing it to shift or settle.
  5. Poor construction: If a home is not constructed properly, or if the foundation is not designed to handle the weight of the home, it can lead to foundation problems.
  6. Natural disasters: Earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters can cause foundation damage by shifting or settling the soil beneath the home.
  7. Poor maintenance: Failure to maintain the home's foundation, such as not repairing cracks or keeping the gutters clean, can lead to foundation problems over time.
What are some ways the foundation repair is done?

  1. Piering: In this procedure, you will install steel piers or concrete pilings beneath the foundation to stabilize it and prevent further settling. This method is typically used for homes with foundation settlement issues, such as structural foundation cracks.
  2. Underpinning: The underpinning process includes reinforcing the existing foundation by excavating beneath it and installing additional support, such as concrete or steel piers, to distribute the weight of the home more evenly.
  3. Slabjacking: It includes injecting a cement slurry beneath the foundation to lift it back into place. The method is typically used for homes with foundation settlement issues.
  4. Carbon fiber reinforcement: This involves installing carbon fiber strips on the interior or exterior walls to reinforce the foundation and prevent further cracking or movement. The method is used for homes with foundation cracking issues.
  5. Grading and drainage: This involves correcting any grading or drainage issues around the home to prevent water from accumulating around the foundation and causing damage. This method is used for homes with foundation damage caused by poor drainage.