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Foundation cracks can occur in brick, block, or even poured concrete. They can contribute to larger problems, such as structural damage or providing an entry point for water penetration. Many homeowners believe foundation cracks are an expected part of any home, especially in newer homes where the house has not completely settled yet. Although this may be true initially, cracks in a foundation wall that are left untreated can have a devastating effect on the value of your home and the health of your family.
Types of foundation cracks
There are three basic types of cracks most foundations are known for having. They can be broken down as follows:
- shrinkage cracks
- horizontal cracks
- settlement cracks
Poured concrete foundations suffer the most from shrinkage cracks. All concrete shrinks to some degree as it cures. Concrete foundation cracks associated with shrinkage are typically vertical and will not extend into the structure. They are usually under 1/8th of an inch wide.
Horizontal cracks in the foundation below grade are likely due to one of two sources – soil pressure or water pressure. Either can create cracks in the foundation wall or even cause the foundation wall to begin to bow. This is not true for horizontal cracks above grade.
All homes have some degree of settling and the foundation cracks associated with them can indicate how much settling has occurred. Small, thin cracks are often involved with a short period of settling without any further damage done to the foundation. Cracks larger than 1/4 of an inch wide may indicate that the home has been settling over a longer period of time. The direction a settlement crack moves can also indicate larger problems if there is any shearing. One tell-tale sign of ongoing settling is when a crack has been repaired and it has re-cracked.
Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing has been in business for over 45 years with over 100,000 homes serviced. Our certified contractors provide the solid foundation needed to inspect, identify and resolve all of your waterproofing needs, including foundation and structural repairs, as well as complete basement waterproofing and crawl space encapsulations. Our certified installers have undergone specialized training to provide you with a world-class service that is always prompt, courteous and professional. Contact Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing today for a FREE home inspection that includes a written report detailing problems and viable solutions with absolutely no cost to you.