Foundation Cracks In Your Home & What You Should Know
The foundation is the backbone of your home and supports the rest of the structure. But what if that foundation was cracked? Could it really be just a small problem or would it have serious consequences for your home’s stability?
Read on to find out more about foundation cracks, how they happen, and what steps you can take to protect against them.
Cracks in the foundation are always a call for concern for Alberta homeowners. The good news is that not all foundation cracks are detrimental to the structural stability of your home. Sometimes they are just unsightly and are caused by shrinkage during the hardening process of the concrete. When you find cracks in your foundation, it can be a frightening experience. Before you freak out, take a moment to understand what causes foundation cracks and how to fix them.
How common are foundation Cracks?
Foundation cracks can occur in both new and old homes. Often, foundation cracks in a freshly constructed home may appear as early as a year after the property was built. The good news is that minor cracks can be mended appropriately but you need to be aware of what causes them and how to fix them.
What factors contribute to foundation cracks?
Cracks in foundations can be caused by a variety of factors including,
Lack of compacted soil before and during construction. If the soil is not compacted properly before construction begins, the heavy structure placed on top of it will sink unevenly into the ground. This affects the foundation and can result in cracks. Likewise, once the foundation is in place backfilling must be completed carefully to avoid future problems.
Expansive soil contains a lot of clay. It creates difficulties in the construction industry since it expands and contracts significantly when exposed to different moisture levels within the soil. Soil movement due to this phenomenon can occur which might result in structural difficulties and cracks in the foundation.
Weather shifts. In this case, a house constructed during the dry season on top of expanding soil would be an appropriate illustration. When the rainy season approaches, the soil swells significantly, causing significant damage to the home’s foundation leading to foundation cracks.
Soil creep is a term used to describe the movement of soil, usually downhill, and usually a gradual process. A home constructed on a slope may experience lateral movement of the foundation as soil near the top of the slope starts pulling away from the home and “creeps” downhill. Proper construction processes, drainage, and grading can help to combat this issue.
Natural disasters. Earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters sometimes create a shift at the foundation level of a structure which can lead to foundation cracks.
How to avoid foundation cracks in your home
Although foundation cracks are common in our Alberta climate, there are steps you can take to avoid the problems that can cause significant damage to your home. Preventative measures such as ensuring your gutter system is clear of debris and directing water away from the foundation, adding or making sure your sump pump is working, and proper grading are the best defense to ensure your foundation many trouble-free years.
How to fix foundation cracks
Dealing with foundation cracks is best left to the hands of an expert. You want to ensure that the problem is adequately corrected to avoid further problems or damage. To fix these cracks, homeowners often benefit from custom interior and exterior solutions designed by professionals. Therefore, it is advised to obtain a specialist’s structural solutions for foundation cracks and crack repair.
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