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Everything to Know About Foundation Cracks in Georgia

large stair-step cracks in exterior brick due to foundation issues

Homes, like people, are not perfect. 

We’ve all got that one relative or friend with a strange quirk or flaw we wish didn’t exist, but we love them anyway. 

Our homes are the same way. Don’t write off your home for some flaws like foundation cracks. Give it the love and attention it deserves. 

Home foundations can succumb to wear and tear and develop problems like cracks for many reasons. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of foundation cracks, how they happen, and how they can be fixed. 

So, You’ve Got Foundation Cracks…

Depending on what type of foundation your home has, you may not be able to see the actual condition of the foundation itself. 

However, you will know there is a problem if you notice some of these common cracks

cracked basement walls in foundation
  • Vertical wall cracks 
  • Horizontal wall cracks 
  • Stair-step wall cracks 
  • Diagonal wall cracks 
  • Slab floor cracks 

These and other issues are signs that your foundation is suffering from damage, and it needs to be repaired right away. 

To learn more about what to look for around your home, check out our Guide to Foundation Repair and Home Health Checklist

Why Your Foundation is Cracking

It’s possible that your home and its foundation are experiencing problems because they were constructed with improper materials or lack of attention to detail. 

However, the causes behind most issues like cracking can be found in what lies beneath your home – the soil. The distinctive red clay soil in Georgia responds differently to different weather conditions

Scorching summer months with little to no rain cause the soil to dry up and shrink beneath your home. Gaps will form that your foundation can sink into, usually unevenly. That’s when you’ll see stair-step and diagonal wall cracks. 

Wet weather that keeps the ground saturated makes the soil expand. Not only can your foundation settle into the unstable, soft soil, but hydrostatic pressure can push walls inward. You’ll also see horizontal cracks, bowing walls, and foundation leaks. 

Is It Normal for a Foundation to Crack?

Within the first few years of a home’s life, it’s natural for the structure and its foundation to settle into place.  This can lead to the formation of various cracks on walls, the floor, and your foundation. 

Not every crack spells doom for your home. Some cracks are small, thin, hairline cracks that are dormant and not actively growing or changing. These kinds of cracks, which are too small to fit a business card into, also do not pose a serious risk to your concrete foundation walls. 

When You Should Worry

On the other hand, there are several warning signs that mean your foundation needs to be repaired sooner rather than later. Most notably, horizontal, stair-step, and other wall cracks that actively grow in length, width, and depth require immediate attention. All these cracks are highlighted as potential problems in this video. 

Other dangerous issues include: 

All these problems mean your foundation is suffering at the hands of foundation settlement and hydrostatic pressure. 

Can It Be Fixed?

Yes, foundation cracks and other problems can be fixed, should be fixed, and need to be fixed promptly and properly. 

Many homeowners are tempted to put these kinds of issues on the backburner, but they will only get worse over time. This results in an unsafe home for your family and costly repairs down the road. 

If you catch the problem in time and reach out to local professionals, you can repair your foundation and protect it for good. 

How to Fix a Cracked Foundation

There are many ways to repair a cracked foundation, such as: 

  • Temporary fixes (installed on your own or quick fixes from a contractor) 
  • Permanent fixes (installed by a foundation repair professional) 

Not all repairs are created equal, and some are more reliable than others. Watch the video from our friends at Groundworks for tips on how to fix foundation cracks, and then read on for a look at some of the most common repair methods. 

The Internet is flooded with how-to articles for do-it-yourself crack repairs, and many retailers advertise and sell DIY repairs. 

However, crack repair and foundation repair are not DIY undertakings. Errors sometimes occur, and the suitable remedy for your particular wall cracks may not have been used. 

cracked basement walls with DIY issues
Wall cracks covered with sealant

These consist of “cover ups” like: 

  • Caulk 
  • Patches 
  • Epoxy injections 
  • Sealants 

These fixes are merely temporary bandages that cover the problem; they don’t deal with the soil issues that are causing the foundation to break.  Many times with fixes like that pictured, cracks are still visible, the wall looks even worse, and the problems haven’t improved. 

For a permanent solution that you won’t have to worry about continuously purchasing or installing, trust in the expertise and products available from local foundation repair professionals. 

Repairing a cracked or otherwise damaged foundation can be complex and involve solutions specifically suited for your unique foundation. 

Different ways to fix your foundation depend on the damage it has sustained. Here are common ways to address foundation damage. 

Repairing Cracking, Bowing Walls

Wall anchor install
Crew putting finishing touches on interior wall anchor plate installation.

Walls that have succumbed to hydrostatic pressure will benefit from one of the following: 

Stabilizing Settling Foundations

Pier installation
Footing bracket of a push pier

Foundations that have settled into the ground will be permanently stabilized and potentially lifted with: 

AquaGuard Fixes Georgia’s Foundation Cracks

Our professional team at AquaGuard Foundation Solutions understands there is more to fixing a cracked foundation than slapping a temporary bandage on the problem. We want to ensure your home’s safety and structural integrity for a lifetime. 

Our long-lasting repairs do more than conceal cracks. They address the root of the problem and keep the foundation reinforced. 

We know how important your house is to you. It’s important to our team, too. That’s why thousands of homeowners throughout Georgia have trusted us to repair their foundations for more than 25 years. 

We are ready to help you, as well. If you’d like to have your foundation fixed the right way the first time, contact us today to book your free foundation inspection and repair estimate. 

Foundation Cracks FAQ

In our more than 25 years in business, we have seen a few basement walls completely collapse. When that happens, the walls on the above floor can fall, and so can the roof line. 

Cracks that go unrepaired will only get worse and threaten your home’s stability and your family’s safety. 

Wall cracks will widen, you might not be able to close or open doors or windows, and floors may be uneven. 

It’s possible the foundation could sink far enough into the ground that your house becomes unlivable. Or worse yet, walls could cave in. 

The homes we repair have either a basement, crawl space, or slab foundation. Each can last for many years with the proper maintenance and care. 

To permanently stabilize settling foundations, we use the following pier systems: 

  • Push piers 
  • Helical piers 
  • Slab piers 

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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