Tuesday Tips: Foundation Cracks

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With all this rain we have been getting and the snow coming soon, now is a great time to talk about foundation cracks: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good: There aren’t any good cracks, however, there are common cracks that are easier to fix than others. Michigan soil creates lots of settling, so it’s very common to see small cracks in the floors of your basement. Unless there is a large change in elevation, these are cracks that shouldn’t give you any issues with water, moisture, etc.

The Bad: Vertical cracks are a little more concerning.  In Michigan it is very common to see them stemming from basement windows. These vertical cracks tend to allow water or moisture through them into your basement. Vertical cracks aren’t “the ugly” because most often the are less expensive to fix than a horizontal crack repair. Contractors will drill holes on either side of the crack and pump the holes with an epoxy. This allows the epoxy to fill in all cracks and fissures, hold out water in the future, and bond the foundation together.

The Ugly: Horizontal or stepping cracks are the ugliest, and the most difficult to deal with. Horizontal cracks, most often, show up on block foundations, however can also occur with poured foundations.  You will often find these cracks when the foundation is parallel with a driveway that runs along side the home. Vehicles are constantly pushing and putting pressure on the soil, so it will start to push through the foundation, creating a horizontal/stepping crack in your foundation. These cracks are The Ugly  because if you don’t fix the problem in the beginning, you can be left with a much bigger problem: a structural problem.  The crack, or push in the foundation,  cannot be corrected. However, it can be stopped from further damage to the foundation and structural integrity.  A professional foundation or waterproofing company will install posts along the wall of where the crack is located.  This will stop it from pushing further into the home.  A good company will also dig out the soil around the outside of the home and water proof the foundation so no water will penetrate into the crack(s). As you can imagine, this is a more costly and time consuming process.

 

 

A good practice is to inspect your foundation on a yearly basis.  Schedule it on your smart phone calendar!  Remember, it’s best to  prevent a “Good Crack” from becoming an “Ugly Crack”.

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