Reasons for Foundation Wall Crack Issues

The first thing you should know is that there are nearly endless reasons you may experience a cracked foundation. Determining how to fix a crack in the foundation requires that you understand the actual reason for it, which can be one of many things.

Although there are outlier cases where you can get foundation cracks for seemingly unrelated reasons, these are the most common reasons you’re going to be experiencing foundation wall cracks.

Settlement

This is a very common reason for cracks. Quite simply, one side of your home may be settling more quickly than the other side, putting more pressure on one end of the wall than the other. The uneven pressure leads the wall to crack.

A settling foundation has many problems past just aesthetic cracks in the wall. Your foundation forms the basis for your home, and it’s very important to maintain your safety when you’re trying to deal with these foundation problems. Only an expert can really help you unravel these problems.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Don’t be confused by the big words; this just refers to the pressure that water exerts when it’s at rest. If your foundation has a lot of water around it, whether due to flooding, poor drainage or even just naturally wet soil, it’s going to feel the effects of hydrostatic pressure.

When caused by hydrostatic pressure, a crack in the foundation can very easily lead to crawl space and basement moisture, which can seriously damage the inside of your home and even cause health concerns for the people living inside. You have to fix the hydrostatic pressure before you can decide how to repair cracks in foundation walls.

Clogged Footing Drains 

The intention of a footing drain is to keep your basement dry. The drain helps water collect inside a basement and runoff, making it easier to avoid wet basement complaints. However, these drains are notorious for clogging, which of course makes it completely useless.

If you have a clogged footing drain, you may not even know that’s the problem you’re dealing with. However, you will start to see the water building up in your foundation. This can lead to another type of hydrostatic pressure, which can cause the foundation to crack.

Expansive Soils

“Expansive” soil naturally expands more in rain. All soils expand and contract from rain to a certain extent. However, some types of soils expand much more drastically, which can put significant pressure on your foundation.

It’s important to note that this type of crack simply won’t go away if you try to patch it up. The soil pressure will continue to press on your foundation, causing serious damage over time. The only way to fix it is to contact a JES expert and get advice on how to avoid excessive expansion.

Poor Drainage

The drainage system around your home needs to work properly. You won’t just deal with muddy waters around your home if it’s not working correctly. You can also deal with serious foundation issues, including a build-up of water.

Essentially, poor drainage creates an unnecessary flooding situation around your home. If drainage doesn’t work or the pipes don’t direct water away from the foundation, you can experience a buildup of hydrostatic pressure that you may be able to stop just by setting up a more efficient drainage scenario.

Poor Soil Preparation 

When the construction team was crafting your home, one of the first steps was soil preparation. The team needs to make sure it’s building on a suitable type of soil and that the soil is packed down around and under the home. That makes sure the soil doesn’t rise during or after the construction process.

What if the construction team didn’t do these things correctly? Unfortunately, you can end up with serious foundation problems. If the soil around your home is starting to expand unnecessarily, it can exert serious pressure on the foundation, leading to wall cracks.

Poor Concrete Mixing and Preparation

A construction company that’s creating a home needs to mix the concrete before pouring it and letting it set. That means making sure the ratio of mix and water is correct, pouring it on a correctly-prepared surface, letting it set for the right amount of time, and pouring it at the right thickness.

During any of these steps, the company can make some mistakes. Unfortunately, those mistakes can be very costly. If the company mixed, poured or set the concrete incorrectly, it can have problems holding up to the immense weight set on it every day, leading to basement wall cracks. Alternately, it may also crack if the concrete shrinks too much as it dries.

Poor Construction 

Overall, the construction of the house needs to be solid. Of course, many homes do have solid construction. The thing is, too many companies try to cut corners to make sure the profit margins are as high as possible. If you cut too many corners, you’re going to end up with a poorly crafted home.

For example, a wall that’s bearing too much weight won’t be ready to deal with that weight. Instead, it’ll crack, showcasing the pressure it’s holding. If you wait for too long to deal with it, you could end up having your entire home fall down. That’s why it’s vital to deal with it as soon as possible.

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