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All About Cracks: Repairing Your Foundation

Concerned about the structural integrity of your foundation? Know what signs to look for and what steps to take to prevent crack development.

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Are you worried about the structural integrity of your home’s foundation? Do you frequently have to remove water from your home without knowing where it comes from?

When it comes to dealing with foundation cracks, it’s best to work with experts. If you want to know more about the types of cracks you may have to contend with and potential preventive measures, you’ve come to the right place.

What Kind of Cracks Are There?

Most foundations can only crack one of three ways. If you think the foundation of your home may have cracked, you’re likely dealing with one of the following kinds of cracks:

  • Vertical. You’re more likely to find vertical cracks in new homes. These cracks tend to appear when green wood, or wood that hasn’t been given enough time to harden, is exposed to standing water or dampness for an extended period of time. As this wood grows damper, it cracks. If you spot your crawl space or basement walls starting to sag, you may have a vertical crack on your hands.
  • Horizontal. If your foundation is made out of brick or concrete, you may want to be on the lookout for signs of a horizontal crack. These cracks form as a result of the contracting and expanding that your foundation’s particles endure as the weather changes. The cracks themselves are a result of excess stress as it’s placed upon your foundation.
  • Diagonal. Diagonal cracks form for the same reasons that horizontal cracks do. However, these cracks are wider on one side than the other. This is due to uneven settling in your foundation. You may fall victim to a diagonal crack if one side of your basement or crawl space floods more frequently than the other. 

Has Your Foundation Cracked? Signs to Look For

You’re not always going to be able to spot a crack in your foundation. That said, you can keep an eye out for signs of a crack. These signs are the same ones that let you know your basement or crawl space is leaking. With the help of a contractor, though, you’ll be able to trace these back and determine whether or not you need to invest in extensive home repairs.

The symptoms of a foundation crack include:

Why Do Foundations Crack?

Like you, the foundation of your home experiences stress. This stress doesn’t arise from day-to-day events but rather from the weather. As the weather warms outside of your home, the particles that make up your foundation will expand. When the weather gets cool, those particles will contract. If the weather changes rapidly – a staple in Columbus, OH – your foundation may crack in an attempt to better comply with the laws of nature.

There are other reasons your foundation may crack as well. Trees with sprawling root systems can disrupt your foundation’s structural integrity, as can natural disasters.

How Can You Prevent Your Foundation From Cracking?

The good news is that you can work in advance to keep your foundation from cracking. There are several different tricks you can use, including the following:

  • Waterproof your foundation in advance. The best way to get ahead of a foundational crack is to waterproof your foundation during the home construction phase. French drains, dehumidifiers, sump pumps, temporary sealants, and vapor barriers will all help redirect water away from your foundation. This will reduce the amount of stress your foundation endures.
  • Clean your gutters. Outdoor chores aren’t fun for anyone involved. However, if you want to preserve the structural integrity of your foundation, you’re going to need to clean your gutters. If you don’t, the water that would otherwise be redirected away from your home will come down straight onto the perimeter of your home. From there, it’ll make its way to your foundation, where it will further stress the materials there.
  • Water your lawn. Given the amount of precipitation Columbus, OH, sees, you shouldn’t need to water your lawn. However, if you start experiencing a drought, consider investing in a sprinkler system. By keeping your lawn damp, you ensure the soil is healthy and able to absorb excess rain runoff. Healthy soil will work to keep water out of your home by taking it in before it hits your foundation.

You can work with contractors in Columbus, OH, to ensure your foundation stays in one piece. Don’t wait until the cracks form!

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