Foundation cracks may still occur despite proper maintenance and other preventive measures. Nevertheless, knowing the usual culprits behind these cracks would be helpful in addressing them early and avoiding more serious damage.
In this post, basement waterproofing expert Stratum Structural Systems discusses the common causes of foundation cracks. We also share tips on how to determine when a crack is serious or not.
Causes of Foundation Cracks
Many factors can result in a shift in your slab or basement, but foundation cracks are generally caused by the condition of the surrounding soil. For example, if the soil has high clay content, it can expand significantly when it’s wet and contract when it dries. This tends to create a changing pressure against your foundation, which then causes the bricks or concrete to crack. In other cases, leaky plumbing or insufficient drainage produces excess moisture, which causes the earth to expand.
Foundation cracks usually come with potential hazards. But by monitoring them closely, you can avoid major repair works and determine whether they should be a cause for concern or not. As a rule of thumb, you should call a professional if the cracks are 1/2 inch or wider in size. Furthermore, if the crack is horizontal and appears in the bed joint of a concrete block or brick wall, this could eventually result in a breakdown. Vertical cracks can also be just as bad as horizontal cracks, so call a brick foundation repair expert ASAP.
When Not to Worry About Cracks
Take note that there are also foundation cracks, which do not not necessarily pose structural dangers. For example, angular cracks that typically occur in the top 12-16 inches of a brick wall laid directly on a concrete foundation are simply aesthetic issues. These cracks are common in the summer, and they are often due to brick expansion.
Stratum Structural Systems specializes in foundation cracks, foundation piering, concrete leveling and much more. With our expertise and experience in the field, you can expect top-notch services from us. Call us at (314) 620-8153 or fill out our contact form to request a free consultation.