Due to their rigidity, foundations have a tendency to crack over time. Minor cracks are often not a cause for major concern; however, major cracks should be tended to as soon as possible. Major cracks indicate signs of considerable movement and may influence the structural soundness of a building.
Although minor cracks are not as foreboding as major ones, if your foundation has a large number of small cracks, or any major cracks more than ¼ inch wide, see to it that your foundation is examined by a structural or civil engineer. An engineer will help assess the extent of the damage caused by the crack, as well as identify its source. Thereafter, it may be necessary to contact a geotechnical engineer (if the damage is extensive) who will help offer solutions for foundation crack repair.
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A crack in the foundation will tend to grow over time and will, ultimately, result in water leakage. Foundation cracks can also negatively influence the value of your home. Foundation crack repair is, therefore, an important process that needs to be undertaken before too much damage has been caused.
Cracks that require the attention of a structural engineer include cracks that wrap around a corner, cracks that extend all the way from the floor of the basement to the top of the foundation wall, or that run lengthways with the wall below leaning into the basement. The aforementioned cracks indicate the movement of the soil supporting the wall and require immediate attention.
If your foundation has any major causes for concern, it is important to hire an experienced foundation company so that your foundation is properly assessed and repaired. Repair of serious foundation cracks is costly and often involves the skilled use of various building techniques. In cases where the foundation has been severely damaged, support may need to be provided from piers.
It is possible to do a DIY foundation crack repair on minor cracks, but make sure to do extensive research. As concrete is subject to shrinkage and expansion, when repairing cracks, it is important to use a material that will allow for some movement. It is possible to buy epoxy injection kits but you have to be careful as you can easily exacerbate an already bad situation. A contractor has the experience and tools necessary to fix foundation cracks once and for all.