When it comes to foundations, there can be some confusion between normal fractures and cracks that can be a real problem.
When concrete cures, it often cracks during the drying process. It is not uncommon for a new home to have a few cracks in the foundation or in the floor slab. There are ways to tell the difference between these types of cracks, and the type of cracks that indicate a real problem.
Typically there are three types of cracks horizontal, vertical, and step cracks. These cracks can be found along walls and floors. A crack wide enough to fit a coin into is something that should be checked by a professional.
In a recent interview with Business Innovators Magazine, foundation expert Rodger Clark of Christian Brothers Pier Systems explains a common cause for foundation damage.
“The short answer is water; essentially, the amount of water in the soil surrounding your foundation. When there’s lots of water, it causes the soil to swell, which puts pressure on your foundation. When the soil beneath and surrounding your home’s foundation swells and retracts as a whole, it’s less likely to cause a problem versus when only a certain area swells and retracts. This swelling and retracting can cause cracks and other damage” says Clark.
Step cracks in cinder block or brick foundations indicate a stress point. Extensive cracks that grow wider and longer over time are tell-tale signs of a foundation problem.
Clark said, “Many homeowners think that cracks in their mortar and drywall indicate where the problem is. Actually, the cracks generally indicate where a foundation problem doesn’t exist. Cracks are the bending point of the foundation and act as a type of hinge where either one side or the other near the crack is the area that has sunk.”
Clark went on to say, “Another common misconception is that simply filling the void underneath the foundation will solve the problem. There are two issues with this as a solution. First of all, the foundation has moved from its original position and simply filling underneath it won’t raise it back up to a level and firm position. Secondly, filling the area will not result in a firm support for the foundation. Packing the area with dirt isn’t enough to support the existing structure anymore as the earth surrounding and underneath the foundation has ultimately been compromised. Foundations should have thick beams around their exterior in a grid pattern, where the weight of the home is dispersed over these beams and not the concrete pad itself.”
When it comes to diagnosing your foundation, Clark recommends it is best left to the experts.”It is important for you to have an idea about the cost incurred in the repair service. Your repair team should be able to recommend cost-effective solutions for repairing and preventing foundation damage. You should also make sure that your foundation company provides a solid warranty on the repairs. Many companies will not warrant pier and beam foundation repairs but some will. It is a good idea to ask the repair company this question,” said Clark.
For more information on foundation repair, visit Christian Brothers Pier Systems at christianbrotherspiersystems.com
Company Name: Christian Brothers Pier Systems
Contact Person: Rodger Clark
Country: United States