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Do Foundation Cracks Point to Underlying Foundation Problems?

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Foundation cracks, like a cracked wall, cracks in floors, or stair-step cracks are typical signs of foundation settlement.

Some people in Cincinnati, OH, believe they can troubleshoot foundation problems by looking at the cracks in their foundations. Here’s the truth. Visual inspections alone won’t reveal why your foundation is unstable or what kind of foundation repairs it needs.

Signs like sagging floors, drywall cracks, or sticking doors and windows may all point to soil settlement. But you can’t rely on these symptoms to diagnose foundational issues, some of which go beyond the foundation.

Foundation cracks don’t have to sound the death knell to your home’s foundation. Not all cracks are severe. Read on to find out when you should be worried and what kind of solutions your contractor might recommend.

Do Cracks mean Foundation Problems?

Cracks aren’t always good indicators of foundation issues. A lot of what people believe is pure myth. If there was some truth, no one would be arranging foundation repair inspections. Here is the thing. Cracks form from time to time. Some are severe while others are mild, like the hairline cracks that form when concrete cures. You don’t have to worry about benign cracks unless they widen to more than one-eighth of an inch.

Horizontal cracks can form because of many things. Tree roots, poor soil preparation before construction, and expansive soils are the common culprits. And so are floodwaters, soil erosion, faulty structural design, and excessive moisture. So, you can’t predict what’s brewing down there or what problems might arise.

When Should I Worry?

Not all types of cracks are harmful. Some cracks form naturally as your concrete walls or floors cure. It happens a lot within the first two to three years of building your home. You shouldn’t worry about these cracks as they won’t impact the structural integrity of your home. The cracks you should be concerned about are horizontal. They occur due to foundation settlement. Usually, they’re about one-quarter inch wide. Such cracks indicate that your property is undergoing significant stress. Foundation walls may bow, cave in, or crack.

Telltale signs that you have a problem include misaligned doors and windows, uneven floors, jagged cracks, drywall cracks, bowing walls, and cracks on tile or brickwork. Take action as soon as you notice them because they can lead to structural collapse.

Best Fixes for Foundation Cracks

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to your foundation problems. Your local foundation repair contractor will perform thorough checks to determine the issue and then recommend an appropriate fix. Some of the common foundation repair solutions include.

  • Helical piers — We use it to restore floors to the original level and provide permanent foundation support to homes with unstable soils. Piers have helix-shaped blades that go through the soil to the desired depth.
  • Push piers — These are heavy-duty foundation support systems that are made from steel. We usually insert them deep down the soil then connect them to the foundation using brackets. Once they’re in place, they’ll transfer the weight of your home to load-bearing soil.
  • Slab piers — We use this solution to stabilize and restore concrete slab foundations that have sunk because of unstable soil below.
  • IntelliJack™ — We use crawl space jacks to stabilize shaky foundations that might cause your floors to sag or become uneven.
  • Wall anchors — When hydrostatic pressure starts pushing your basement walls, wall anchors are what you need to counter the inward pushing forces acting on your walls.
  • IntelliBrace™ System — It’s designed to stabilize failing foundation walls and strengthen them over time.
  • Carbon Fiber wall reinforcements — They’re your answer to wall cracks and moving walls. Our experts will apply the carbon fiber to your walls to hold them in place. This way, they’ll remain in position and not bow.

A strong and healthy foundation is essential to your home’s structural integrity. Schedule a free foundation repair inspection and quote with the experts at Ohio Basement Authority. We’ve been helping homeowners uncover the source of cracks and repairing them properly and can recommend a lasting fix to your problem.

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Serving Greater Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky

Cincinnati Office

1270 Hillsmith Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45215

Columbus Office

2421 McGaw Rd.
Obetz, OH 43207

Dayton Office

70 Birch Alley, Suite 240
Beavercreek, OH, 45440