How Serious is a Horizontal Foundation Crack?

A large horizontal crack running across your basement foundation wall is cause for concern. However, the crack doesn’t mean your foundation is doomed. Plate anchors can repair your wall.

Water Pressure Causes Cracks

White basement masonry wall with horizontal crack running across entirety of wall.
A horizontal crack in your foundation wall puts your home at risk.

Horizontal foundation cracks are signs of serious problems. The cracks are caused by hydrostatic pressure, which is water pressure pushing your foundation walls inward.

Water is a foundation’s biggest nemesis. Wet periods, which can be caused by rainfall, snowmelt, or a high water table, cause the ground to expand.

That expansion exerts pressure on your basement walls, forcing them inward. 

Water causes the soil beneath a home to move, resulting in settling, cracks, bowed walls, and other foundation issues

If there isn’t proper draining around a home, some areas of soil may swell more than others also putting pressure on foundation walls.

Masonry Walls Struggle with Lateral Force

Cutaway drawing of a concrete basement wall with three arrows pointing toward the wall from the outside to show how water pressure forces walls inward.
Water pressure pushes inward on your foundation walls, causing horizontal cracks.

Foundation walls made from concrete blocks or other masonry units are very good at handling compressive strength, which is the weight of a house above pushing down on the wall.

Where masonry walls struggle is with lateral loads. Lateral force runs parallel to the ground and perpendicular to the direction of gravitational pull. In other words, the pressure pushing inward on your basement wall is lateral force.

Exert enough lateral force on a foundation wall and the wall will crack, often at the masonry line.

Because foundation walls are load bearing, if the walls crack and lose structural integrity, the entire building can be compromised and in danger of collapse.

Plate Anchors Help Stabilize Foundation Walls

Drawing showing a basement wall being stabilized by plate anchors.
Using torque, plate anchors help stabilize your foundation wall.

To protect your home and family, it is vital that you call the professionals at My Foundation Repairs immediately to inspect your home foundation cracks.

Horizontal foundation cracks are serious problems, but plate anchors from Earth Contact Products will correct the problem.

In a plate anchor wall system, holes are dug in the soil away from the foundation wall. Rods are driven through small holes in the basement wall and connected to exterior anchors installed deep in the soil. 

On the interior of the foundation wall, a wall plate is placed and then secured to the rod.

A wall plate is placed on the interior of the foundation wall and then secured to the rod.

Using torque, the wall is then pulled back into place and stabilized. 

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