It is common to have a block foundation in many areas around the country. Block foundations can, after time, experience cracking due to conditions around that foundation. Understanding what each type of crack is can lead to getting the correct fix for those crack types. Some block foundation cracks can be very serious and may require a costly fix if not taken care of right away. As a home or business owner, it is wise to inspect your foundation frequently and be on the lookout for cracks in your block foundation.
It is also important to note that block foundation repairs usually should not be handled as a do it yourself project. It is important to consult a foundation specialist or engineer to make sure that your block foundation is fixed properly. Use our foundation engineer network to find a foundation repair expert in your area to make sure these block foundation cracks are fixed right the first time.
Block Foundation Crack Types
Horizontal cracks in your block foundation mean that there is pressure being put on the walls from the outside of the foundation. This pressure can come from water that is built up around your foundation. This hydrostatic pressure is a serious sign that your block foundation walls are under strain.
Your walls may begin bowing and leaning when there is too much pressure. If left untreated, this type of crack in your block foundation can lead to collapse or foundation failure. Wall anchors or carbon fiber strips can be installed to add long-lasting support to bowing and leaning walls. These products can be installed inside or outside the walls depending on the setup of your foundation. Carbon strips are considered a green solution and you won't even really notice that they are there. Wall anchors actually pull the walls back into their original position. Contact a professional to see what solution is right for you.
Vertical block foundation cracks are a sure sign of foundation settlement or heaving. These cracks form slowly but will widen over time due to the pressure of your home or business. If left untreated, they could allow water to enter the building.
The good news is that if you contact a foundation repair expert, there are foundation supports and underpinning products such as helical piers or push piers that can add that additional support needed when settlement and sinking occur. Cracks can be filled with epoxy injections or grouting solutions to seal the water out and prevent further water damage. It is always recommended to have a waterproofing solution in place as well in case you do get water in your basement. Waterproofing solutions such as sump pumps can help with the damage that might occur from water that comes in through vertical cracks. When you are fixing your foundation, ask your foundation specialist if they offer waterproofing solutions. You might be able to prevent further problems with your foundation if you have a proper drainage system installed on the interior and exterior of your home. Many foundation specialists offer both foundation repair solutions and waterproofing solutions. When you have both installed, you can be virtually guaranteed to not have further problems with your foundation in the future.
Stair Step Cracks
Sometimes, when settlement or sinking occurs with your foundation, it doesn't occur evenly. This causes stair step cracks in your block foundation. This is a serious problem that should be looked at promptly. Underpinning and piering products add support in the right places when your foundation is shifting unevenly. Remember that grouting and epoxy injections can also be used to seal cracks to prevent water leakage in the future so you don't have any water stains or a wet basement.
Be Cautious with DIY Foundation Repair
When you search the internet or watch do it yourself shows on TV, sometimes it seems that foundation problems can be fixed simply by caulk or by mortar. We would not recommend this.
The best thing you can do as a home or business owner is to be vigilant when it comes to your foundation. Inspect it frequently. Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris so they function correctly. Make sure water flows away from your foundation. Install waterproofing systems and drainage to control the level of water in your soil. But remember, there are many other factors to the health of your foundation than just too much water! If the soil is too dry, it will shrink away from your foundation causing a lack of support for block foundation walls. Soil that was poorly compacted around the foundation can cause settlement as well. The foundation of your home or business is the most important factor in safety and health of that structure. Protect it, and make sure it is repaired the right way by a foundation expert.
Solutions for Block Foundation Repair
Each foundation is different so each solution will be different as well. Depending on the weight of the structure, helical piers or piles or slab piers, as well as other underpinning products, can be installed beneath the active layer of soil around your foundation, deep into the earth. This provides long lasting support for the structure. Some foundation repairs are cosmetic. A reputable foundation repair company will let you know this. In these cases, it may just be grout of epoxy injections that need to be performed to seal up the cracks in the foundation. Get in touch with the right foundation repair team through My Foundation Repairs, and get started on the road to a healthy foundation today. Remember that knowing what you are up against is half the battle. The other half is knowing who to turn to resolve the problem. Get started today!