The Most Common Cause of Foundation Cracks

Are you starting to notice a few random cracking sounds on your kitchen floor? Do you see a few faint cracks appearing on your basement walls? It’s time to think about your home’s foundation. But what’s the main cause of these fractures?

Most foundation damage originates from a nearby seismic event. These events can begin with mild cracks and grow into major fractures. More often, you’ll see these cracks appearing due to water damage.

This can cause your foundation cracks to crumble. How can you counter this collapse? Here’s what you should do to avoid damaged foundations and protect your home.

Uneven House Settling

Over time, the weight of a house gets distributed unevenly. This is as the soil below shifts and settles due to moisture. Also, temperature and other environmental changes.

If the settling happens, this can result in one corner of the house sinking faster than the other. This creates an uneven weight distribution and results in cracks in the foundation.

This is why it’s important always to keep an eye on the signs of foundation cracks. Contact a professional if they start to appear. By sealing foundation cracks soon, larger problems can be avoided or minimized.

Soil Expansion

It can press against the foundation walls when soil absorbs moisture and swells. This causes them to crack or bow out. These cracks are especially common in areas with clay-rich soil. This is prone to expansion when exposed to water.

Other causes of soil expansion can include heavy rainfall or seasonal temperature fluctuations. This causes the soil to contract and expand. Signs of foundation cracks due to soil expansion include vertical or horizontal cracks in the walls or gaps around window frames.

Foundation services from help with regular foundation inspection and maintenance and can help to prevent soil expansion from causing costly damage to the home’s foundation.

Poor Foundation Design

When the foundation is constructed using flawed engineering, the structure cannot withstand the pressure of the weight. Often, a finished structure will swing beyond its design limits, causing hairline cracks to appear.

Other common cause of weak foundations and resulting cracks is inadequate footing depth and width, lack of steel reinforcement, lack of vapor barriers, inadequate drainage, and settling of foundational soil.

If a proper foundation design is not made at the onset, a shift in the underlying soil can cause the foundation to settle and shift, leading to larger and more severe cracks.

Increase in Hydrostatic Pressure

As hydrostatic pressure builds against the foundation, it causes the soil to expand and creates excess pressure that can cause structural damage to the foundation.

Cracks can occur when the pressure is too great, and the foundation cannot handle the additional pressure.

To repair these cracks, it is necessary to reduce the hydrostatic pressure around the foundation by relieving the water table through drainage or increasing the foundation’s waterproofing to contain the pressure better.

Find Out the Most Common Cause of Foundation Cracks Today

Foundation cracks can be caused by various factors, with soil settlement and inadequate drainage being the most common causes. If you’re experiencing any foundation issues, contact a trustworthy professional as soon as possible to assess the cause.

Don’t wait — take action now!

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