Basement Wall Repair – 5 Reasons Foundation Walls Crack
Let’s face it, concrete cracks. That means your block basement walls are susceptible to cracking as well. These cracks can mean a variety of things, however, the most alarming aspect of having cracks in your foundation walls is the reality that water will seep through them, creating the need for basement wall repair.
Basement wall repair entails the installation of a basement waterproofing solution. Not only are basement wall cracks unattractive, but they spell trouble for your foundation.
Here are the 5 common reasons basement walls crack:
1. Saturated Soil & Hydrostatic Pressure
Your basement walls are supported by footings, which hold up your house. However, when the soil underneath your basement footings are over-saturated with water, the footings “settle”, causing your basement walls to crack. Over-saturated soil can also cause the ground next to your foundation to expand in size and volume. Most foundation walls aren’t built to withstand the added pressure. It is important to note, the excess weight of the soil can force your basement wall to push inward, resulting in a bowed wall (see our case study on bowed walls and basement wall repair).
2. Shrinking Concrete
Concrete is a very tricky business because it involves many variables and factors. So dealing with concrete in relation to basement wall construction and basement wall repair is even trickier. Since concrete is a porous substance and water is used in its creation, naturally the material will expand and contract, resulting in cracks.
Too much water in the soil surrounding your home can cause your basement walls to crack, but not enough rain can cause your basement walls to crack as well. During periods of drought, moisture is withdrawn from the soil, causing the soil to shrink and settle.
4. Stress Points
Anytime you drill into your basement wall for things such as the installation of sewer, electric and gas lines, it weakens the concrete, causing it to crack. Cracks are also commonly found around the corners of basement windows.
As with many things in life, timing is everything. And when it comes to basement wall repair, it is inevitable that your basement wall will crack because concrete naturally cracks over time.