You’ve noticed cracks on your foundation walls.
- Horizontal or vertical wall cracks
- Stair-step or diagonal cracking
- Bulging, buckling foundation walls
- Pushing in at the bottom of the wall
- Sliding in at the top of the wall
How to Fix It:
Foundation wall cracks have several different causes. Each wall crack repair has its own unique method.
Concrete walls may experience small cracks as they cure. These are normal and may be no cause for alarm.
If your walls are cracking due to foundation settlement issues, foundation piers may be your solution. These cracks will usually appear in a vertical or stair-step manner.
If your foundation walls are failing due to expansive soils, a wall anchor system may solve your problem. Wall failure cracks are typically horizontal in nature and will gap, or widen, over time.
Different Types Of Foundation Wall Cracks
Foundation cracks vary in severity from a simple cosmetic issue to a major problem with your home. However, even serious foundation problems, when addressed early on, can be quickly and permanently fixed.
Cracks form in foundation walls for three main reasons:
1. Curing Concrete
As concrete cures, it is common for small cracks to appear in foundation walls. These cracks are very common, and they’re not a sign of a major foundation problem.
Shrinkage cracks tend to be very small hairline cracks that are usually 1/16″ wide or less. They generally occur near the center of a span and maintain a consistent width for the length of the crack.
A Word Of Warning: Be careful not to assume that a crack in your foundation is merely a shrinkage crack! If you see cracks in your foundation walls, monitor them regularly. If the cracks widen enough that you can fit a dime in them, or one end of the crack grows wider than the other, you should consult a foundation contractor right away.
2. Foundation Settlement
When the soils underneath your foundation fail to support the weight of your home, the foundation will begin to settle unevenly, and cracks will appear. As vertical cracks form and the wall or corner of the house begins to rotate, you will typically see cracks that are wider at the top or bottom.
Foundation cracks that are caused by settlement are very serious, and they will only get worse over time as the home continues to move. If you are concerned that your foundation may be cracking due to settlement issues, it’s best to consult a professional right away.
3. Expansive Soils
If you have clay soils around your home, they can expand and contract significantly as they become wet.
If left unrepaired, this kind of damage can worsen until the wall fails completely or is beyond repair. By addressing the problem of failing walls quickly, repairs can be completed in as little as a day.
Wet clay soils can expand enough to put literally thousands of pounds of pressure on a foundation wall. This can force the walls inwards, sometimes causing them to buckle and crack. Look also for walls pushing in at the bottom or tilting in at the top.
Repairing Foundation Wall Cracks
Whether the problem is expansive soils or unstable soils underneath your foundation, there are effective solutions that can permanently repair your structure. At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we use the following methods to restore structural integrity to compromised foundations.
Foundation Pier Systems
Push Piers stabilize foundations by transferring the weight of the home deep beneath the foundation, reaching bedrock or competent strata below.
Helical Piers are another excellent way to stabilize foundations when there is sufficient knowledge of local soil conditions. They are advanced into the soils underneath the foundation via a helical blade.
Wall Anchor Systems
Wall Anchors use the soil beyond the foundation walls to exert counter pressure on failing foundation walls. This permanently holds the bowing or buckling walls and also allows your contractor to attempt to straighten the walls back to their original position over time.
This solution requires access to the soil beyond your foundation walls. If exterior access is limited or not possible, we recommend installing the PowerBrace™ Wall Repair System or CarbonArmor Wall Stabilization System as equally-effective solutions.
Many contractors will try to earn your business by suggesting a cheap solution that they know will not permanently solve your problem. Solutions that hide your issues, such as painting over drywall cracks or tuckpointing cracks in brick are merely short-term solutions. If the cause of the problem is not addressed, the cracks will soon reappear, and more covering up and patching will be needed. Additionally, attempts to seal drywall or mortar cracks are easy to identify, due to variances in the finish or workmanship. When tuckpointing a brick veneer, it’s especially difficult to match original mortar colors. And if you decide to properly repair your foundation later, these “patches” may need to be removed before the repair can properly restore your walls. So in the end, you’re not hiding anything! Plus, you have to disclose the problem if you ever plan to sell your house. It’s far more efficient and cost-effective in the long run to fix your foundation problem right, the first time.
Can I Have A Settlement Issue If My Foundation Walls Aren’t Cracked?
There are several foundation problems that can occur even when your foundation walls themselves are not cracking.
Sagging Crawl Spaces
Crawl spaces can sag when the support beams (often shallow concrete or cinderblock pillars) sink into the ground. They can also sink when mold and rot weakens floor joists and girders.
As crawl spaces sag, the floor above will also sink. As the floor sinks, it can pull on the partition walls attached to it, leading to drywall cracks.
More about sinking crawl spaces.
Heaving Or Sinking Slab Floors
When the soils underneath slab floors settle or are washed away, the floor itself will begin to sag. Likewise, when the soils underneath a concrete floor expand, the slab will begin to lift upwards. Either way, the movement of concrete floors can lead to cracks along drywall and the floor itself. More about concrete floors that sink or heave.
We Do Foundation Wall Crack Repair In GA
No matter what kinds of problems you’re experiencing with your foundation walls, our in-house team of foundation experts are here to help. At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we repair foundations throughout Georgia every day.
We’d like to offer you a free, no obligation foundation wall repair quote to help you decide what repair solution is best for your home. Each of our free quotes comes at no obligation and includes an on-site inspection, a personal consultation, and a written estimate.
To schedule your free quote, call or e-mail us today! We serve Atlanta, Marietta, Decatur, and surrounding areas such as Lawrenceville, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, Norcross, Athens, Gainesville, Roswell, and many areas nearby.