Soil sedimentation creates additional pressure on the foundation wall and can lead to cracks. Vertical cracks often admit significant amounts of water and need to be repaired. Fine cracks, and even the most substantial ones that appear to have stabilized, usually do not require immediate attention. These types of cracks are usually the result of foundation settlement, and therefore it is not uncommon for even new houses to suffer this type of foundation damage, since the foundations of a house can settle heavily in the early years.
Fortunately, this type of crack is usually the easiest and least expensive to seal. Typically, a urethane or epoxy material will be injected into the crack, making sure it is sealed and that it will reopen or grow as the base continues to settle. There are several repair options for a cracked or arched wall, depending on how significantly the wall has moved. A foundation can be considered irreparable if the investment needed to restore it does not add enough value to the home.
And to make sure that small problems don't turn into big headaches, always keep track of small cracks and repair them as soon as you notice them. For example, a crack in the upper area of the base wall may be nothing more than damage when the base was filled. The concrete experts at Airlift have professional solutions to repair cracks in your vertical foundations once and for all. The following suggestions can help you avoid the vast majority of foundation problems and can help keep your basement and access space dry.
If you have to deal with a crack like this, don't finish the basement before doing the repair. The best way to ensure that a crack isn't a sign of a major structural problem is to have it analyzed by a foundation contractor or structural engineer. Like fine cracks, shrinkage foundation cracks occur when poured concrete foundations begin to dry out and lose moisture. Crack activity in the foundation wall is difficult to determine for the same reasons as slab crack activity.
While any crack can be unsightly, diagonal and vertical foundation cracks are usually the result of normal settlement, and can be treated as indicated above. Structural cracks are caused by foundation movement and, if not repaired quickly, can threaten the structural integrity of a building. If you see any of the above, you should contact an experienced foundation repair contractor for an inspection and repair quote.