How do you feel when you see house foundation cracks? For many people, the sight of cracks on a building is unnerving. This is because cracks are commonly associated with structural damage of the foundation, walls, floor, and many other sections of a house.
However, not all types of cracks should make you worried. Some cracks are just a sign that the concrete is settling and shifting slightly. Even then, you should be worried if you see cracks that are deemed to be dangerous. Below are details about the common types of house foundation cracks and how to repair them.
Types of house foundation cracks
- Vertical cracks
Vertical cracks are a common occurrence in many buildings. They occur as a result of tension in concrete as it cures over time. The tension causes cracking, which is the reason why it is common to see vertical cracks in new buildings or those that are less than two years old. Vertical house foundation cracks also occur as a result of hydrostatic pressure as soil that has water exerts pressure on the foundation.
Most vertical cracks are regarded as non-threatening since they do not signify any structural damage. However, they still need to be fixed because they can allow water to seep through the foundation.
- Diagonal cracks
Diagonal cracks should make you a bit worried. This is because they are a result of differential settling of the foundation, which can lead to notable structural problems. Uneven foundation settling causes the foundation to move in two opposite directions, which results in horizontal and vertical tension that causes cracking.
- Horizontal cracks
Horizontal cracks show that there are serious structural problems in the foundation. Such cracks occur as a result of bowing of the foundation wall, which results from too much hydrostatic pressure from the surrounding soil. Horizontal cracks are also caused by the use of heavy equipment near the foundation and excessive backfilling.
How to fix house foundation cracks
Horizontal and diagonal cracks can be repaired using methods such as polyurethaneor epoxy injection. Carbon fiber products can also be used to permanently fix cracks of up to 2 inches in width. Horizontal cracks are more complicated and can be repaired using technologies such as carbon fiber sheets, rods, and beams.
When making plans to fix any house foundation crack, it is important to involve an expert who will assess the extent of damage and recommend the best repair method.
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