Finding and Addressing Foundation Cracks

A concrete foundation will settle over time and develop small cracks and fractures. Le-Squeegee has a few tips in this blog on when a foundation crack can be issue and need a professional solution.

The three common types of foundation cracks are vertical, diagonal and horizontal – A vertical crack is the most common type and most often occurs from the foundation settling after it is constructed. A crack that runs between 30 to 75 degrees from vertical on a foundation is considered a diagonal crack. If it runs across a large wall, a diagonal crack is concerning. Most often, diagonal cracks come from the corner of a window. A horizontal foundation crack runs from 75 to 90 degrees from vertical. This is always a major concern as it points to structural issues with the foundation.

Foundation cracks wider than ⅛ of an inch or foundation cracks that run horizontally are an immediate concern – If a foundation crack with any of these characteristics is found, it needs immediate attention. Cracks that run vertically or diagonally that are wider than ⅛ of an inch can most often be fixed with an injection. However, horizontal cracks often need a structural repair. The most common options for a structural repair are piering, bracing and reinforcing.

How to spot a foundation crack – If a basement level is unfinished, a foundation crack can be spotted with a visual inspection. It gets more difficult when a basement is finished and the foundation walls are not exposed. Common signs of a foundation issue in a finished basement include doors and windows not closing properly, bowing or warping in drywall or damp drywall and carpet. Another common sign is a musty smell in the basement. This occurs from water settling inside the walls from a foundation crack leak.

Foundation cracks most often leak in the spring – As the snow melts and the ground becomes saturated, water will push up against the foundation and leak through large cracks. This is a common source of water damage in a home during the spring. If you suspect a foundation crack is leaking, get a restoration company involved immediately. Ask them to inspect using a thermal camera and a moisture meter to find if any water is leaking through a crack.

Ask about warranties when picking a foundation crack solution – Most professional companies will offer a warranty with their foundation crack solution. Make sure to ask about any warranties as they can help you make an informed decision.