If you discover cracks in your concrete basement walls, this can mean several things. Although all houses settle as they age, too much movement can lead to damage if not addressed immediately. Cracks in basement walls can be categorized into two groups: a) Short, Horizontal and Vertical cracks 1/16” or less in width; and b) Diagonal and Horizontal cracks greater than 1/16” wide. It’s hard to determine which basement wall cracks are structural, cosmetic, or just normal. That’s why it’s important to hire a trusted professional to assess the cracks to determine the seriousness.
What causes a concrete wall to crack?
Smaller concrete wall cracks can be in result of the concrete drying too fast due to weather conditions when poured. It can also be as simple as the wall bearing too much weight. Another common cause is the changing weather conditions.
Foundation settlement can cause wider diagonal and horizontal cracks. This occurs when the home starts to sink within unstable soil and then settle. This causes cracks in walls, specifically near ceilings and door frames.
Do I Need to Fix This?
Wider cracks indicate a more serious issue caused by foundation settlement and/or hydrostatic pressure. These cracks indicate a potentially compromised foundation that can lead to additional foundation damage and severe problems. Always monitor your walls often to ensure a minor crack doesn’t become major. When you do notice a crack- we always recommend bringing in a foundation specialist to assess the situation and recommend the proper solution.
Depending on the wall crack type and size, we offer multiple services to ensure we get your home back in shape the right way.
Our repair specialists can treat and permanently repair narrow cracks with our epoxy compounds. These various epoxy compounds we utilize are designed for the specific sized crack in your wall to seal off the potential entry point.
The more serious wider cracks or horizontal cracks in the wall can be stabilized and possibly reversed using one of two solutions. The Grip-Tite Push Pier System or Grip-Tite Helical Pile System. These solutions will provide a strong, stable support system resting upon a strong soil stratum far below the problem area. The horizontal, shear-type cracks can be stabilized and sometimes corrected utilizing the Grip-Tite Wall Anchor System. The Grip-Tite Wall Anchor System provides an anchor that can withstand the forces against the wall by anchoring far away from the affected area and creating a stable, soil wedge with a soil anchor.
Another solution is a complete wall replacement. There are cases where the cracks in the wall have caused damage to the point that the wall cannot be repaired. When too much of the wall’s integrity has been lost, the wall will need to be replaced. In those cases, we will replace the compromised wall completely. We will excavate the soil around the compromised wall, brace the above and surrounding structure to prevent additional damage, remove the existing wall, and replace with a robust wall to carry the above and surrounding structure load. Contact IWP Foundation Repair for more information on how to resolve cracks in your concrete walls!