Common Types of Foundation Cracks You Have To Worry About

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Foundation cracks are a common thing in Los Angeles homes and can occur on both new and old buildings. It’s good to know all types of foundation cracks in your mind. However, not all foundation cracks pose an alarming threat to your home. So, some can be DIY- repaired with locally available materials while others require the immediate attention of a licensed foundation cracks repair professional.

Knowing which cracks to worry about will help you take appropriate actions early enough to prevent potential foundation crumbling or home damage. Here are types of foundation cracks that homeowners should be wary about.

types of foundation cracks

Common Types of Foundation Cracks

Wide Vertical And Diagonal Cracks

vertical cracksConventionally, oblique and vertical crevices do not point to serious issues with a foundation. They are usually referred to as shrinkage cracks and are a result of foundation settlement as cement cures and harden. Nonetheless, be worried about cracks exceeding 1/8 inch.

You may have noted some homeowners patching foundation cracks with new cement. This procedure is bound to fail in the long run since the new cement may fail to bond with old cement. Fluctuations in environmental elements such as moisture and temperature may also weaken the plug due to contraction and expansion.

First, attempt fixing the crevices with epoxy injection. One good thing about epoxy is its strength. Its tensile strength after curing far exceeds that of the surrounding concrete foundation. So, regardless of the pressure from the soil or any type of thermal tension, epoxy will remain in place.

Abnormally broad vertical and diagonal cracks are indicators of precarious underlying issues that require timely intervention. Once you note a vertical or diagonal crack on your foundation—regardless of how thin it may be—consider measuring the width of the cracks daily with a ruler and establish how fast the cracks expand. Call an expert when you note the cracks are widening at a faster rate than usual.

Horizontal Cracks

horizontal cracksHorizontal cracks are the most worrisome of all and require quick action. DIY repair of horizontal crevices is not recommended and it’s important to consider calling a professional foundation repair Los Angeles has to offer to help you. The fissures are pointers to a severe condition that can lead to foundation collapse if not taken care of early. The cracks are prevalent in homes with concrete brick or block foundations and less common in poured concrete foundations. As you probably know, poured concrete foundations are structurally strong and are less prone to damage since they lack joints through which water can seep through.

Excess soil pressure pushing against a foundation wall is the main culprit for horizontal cracks, but other causes such excessive backfilling and operation of heavy machinery near the foundation cannot be ruled out. Having evaluated the damage, a professional may reinforce your foundation with materials such as yard anchors and steel columns.

Cracks With Broader And Narrower Ends

As much as you ought to be worried about uniformly wide vertical cracks, never underestimate crevices with an end narrower or wider than the other. Cracks with non-uniform widths are evidence of serious foundation issue that requires instant evaluation and correction by a licensed and proven structural engineer.

Cracks wider at the bottom and narrower at the top indicate a dropping center and heaving foundation.

Contrarily, cracks that are narrower at the bottom than at the top translate to a heaving center and dropping foundation. Soil contraction and expansion are mainly attributed to foundation heaving and sinking. Incorrect subsoil preparation during construction is also a likely cause of the problem.

Spreading Map Cracks

Map cracks in foundations appear like spider webs and are mainly as a result of shrinkage. Pay attention to map cracks that are widening or spreading with time. Allowing the cracks to progress further may turn out to be a regrettable decision, considering that correcting some foundation damages is overly expensive. It’s advisable to call a structural engineer to undertake the necessary evaluation and repair procedures before it’s too late.

Bottom-line

Now you have mastered the different types of foundation cracks. Knowing which foundation cracks to be worried about and those to ignore is essential for Los Angeles homeowners. This way, you can keep away from unnecessary panic and worry. Common foundation cracks that you should not dare to ignore are horizontal, unevenly-spaced, widely-spaced, and spreading map cracks. All in all, be sure to work with an accredited professional with proven experience in foundation repairs.

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