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How to Repair Cracks in Concrete Foundations Walls

Whether you are buying a new home or have lived in your house for years, seeing cracks in your concrete foundation walls is a problem. Even though concrete a is durable material, it isn’t immune to damage.

Be sure to monitor foundation cracks and fix them as soon as possible to prevent future issues. Trust your local Groundworks company for a free inspection and permanent repair solutions tailored to your foundation’s needs.


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Cracked foundation

How Are Concrete Foundation Walls Built?

Homes and other buildings generally have one of three main foundations types: basements, crawl spaces, and concrete slabs. Basement tend to have concrete foundation walls that support a building’s structure.

During construction, workers dig a larger hole and pour concrete into it. This concrete makes up the footing, foundation walls, and floor of the basement. Next, the construction company adds drainage, backfills the soil, and finishes constructing the rest of the home.

Concrete Foundation Wall Problem Signs 

Concrete cracks because of various external reasons. Let’s walk through the various types of cracks and what could be the culprit. Cracks in foundation walls can take many forms, including: 

  • Vertical:
    These cracks run from the floor to the ceiling and can indicate shrinkage or foundation settlement. They may also show inward wall movement.
  • Horizontal: These cracks run parallel to the floor, often in CMU walls, and usually indicate inward lateral movement.
  • Diagonal: Diagonal cracks often signal foundation settlement due to uneven moisture levels, compromising structural integrity. Homes on hills or in drought areas frequently have these cracks.
  • Stair-step: These cracks follow a stair-step pattern in concrete block or brick walls, starting at a horizontal crack and following mortar joints to the wall corners.
  • Shrinkage: Hairline cracks from curing concrete occur between seams in the 4’ pans used during pouring. They don’t indicate foundation problems but can leak and should be fixed before finishing a basement.
  • Active: Active foundation cracks indicate ongoing movement due to changing soil conditions outside the foundation wall or under the footing. These issues need addressing as they won’t resolve on their own.
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What Causes Wall Cracks and Other Damage? 

There are two types of foundation movement that lead to concrete wall cracks, basement wall failure and foundation settlement. 

What is Foundation Settlement?

Foundation settlement is when the foundation footing sinks into the soil below it. Usually, this is because of certain weather conditions (such as heavy rain, flooding, or drought) causing the soil to become weak.

There are thousands of different soil types across the country, but the basic components of soil everywhere are clay, silt, and sand. Clay, known as an expansive soil, is the most problematic component.

When clay soil particles are wet they swell in size and push foundation walls out of line. When clay particles dry out, the soil shrinks and becomes brittle, causing the foundation to sink into the weak soil.

What is Hydrostatic Pressure?

Hydrostatic pressure is the force exerted by water in the soil around your basement. When it rains, the soil absorbs water and gets heavy. This extra weight pushes against your basement walls.

Over time, the constant pressure can cause the walls to crack or bow inward. Cracks let water seep into your basement, leading to more damage. To prevent this, it’s important to manage water around your home with proper drainage.

Methods of Repairing Foundation Wall Cracks

Repairing foundation wall cracks is important in ensuring your foundation’s integrity and your home’s safety and longevity. There is a wealth of options you can take advantage of, but only certain solutions will stand the test of time. 

Crack Repairs That Do Not Work 

Big box stores and online tutorials offer crack repair options, but foundation repair is not a DIY project. Mistakes can happen, and the right solution may not be applied correctly.

Temporary solutions like epoxy injections, caulk, patches, and sealants only mask the problem. They do nothing to address the soil causing the foundation to crack.

Working with a professional team is the best way to repair wall cracks. Groundworks has the training, resources, and knowledge to provide you with lasting repairs.

Permanent Crack Repair Solutions

Before fixing your basement wall cracks, having a professional inspection completed is crucial.

The experts from your local Groundworks company will evaluate your home and its foundation to diagnose issues such as cracks and pinpoint their root cause. Once we know what your home is up against, we will recommend one of the following permanent repair solutions. 

Carbon Fiber Straps

Carbon fiber straps on a block wall.

Catching foundation wall cracks and bowing early not only goes a long way in saving your foundation, but it allows you to have less intrusive solutions installed. If your basement walls have minor to moderate cracking and inward bowing of less than 2”, low-profile carbon fiber straps can be used to permanently reinforce them.

Used with epoxy resin for firm adherence to the walls, these straps are 10 times stronger than steel. They support the walls in their current positions and protect against any further movement or cracking, but these straps will not actively repair or move the walls back to their original positions. 

IntelliBrace™ Steel I-Beam

Steel I-Beams on a block basement wall.

Another option for any amount of inward movement, or if you would like to have the opportunity to slowly move the wall back to a straighter position without digging on the outside of the home, your basement walls will benefit from our specialized wall repair beams.

Our IntelliBrace™ Wall Repair System takes standard I-beams to the next level. Static beams cannot move or do anything to repair a wall’s condition, but our braces can be adjusted at intervals to help restore walls to their original positions and help close up cracks and gaps.

We attach the beams to the slab floor with a bracket for support, as well as fasten them to floor joists with a large bolt that we will adjust with special equipment. As the system is tightened, it pushes back against external hydrostatic pressure, slowly restoring the orientation of your foundation wall. 

Wall Anchors

Wall anchor in a concrete basement wall.

Our third method of permanently stabilizing foundation walls with any amount of inward movement is the Wall Anchor System.

Wall anchors act the same way as our wall braces to neutralize hydrostatic pressure. Earth anchors will be embedded in stable soil 10 feet away from the damaged wall, and a steel rod connects the earth anchors to wall plates inside basement wall.

These interior components can be adjusted with special equipment to help straighten the walls over time. Additionally, if the foundation is settling, our various pier systems – helical piers, push piers, or slab piers – can be installed underneath the foundation to permanently stabilize it and help lift the settling sections.

Also, after installing these various solutions, our crews will fill wall cracks along the way, but tackling the wall problems at the source is crucial for long-lasting repair. 

Repair Foundation Wall Cracks with Expert Help from Groundworks 

Foundation wall cracks need to be repaired with the best solutions before they threaten the safety and security of your home and family. Entrusting your foundation repair to your local Groundworks experts is the most effective way to achieve a safe living environment. We know your home is more than just a house, and our teams will take great care of it.

Contact us today to schedule a free inspection and estimate with our knowledgeable and friendly professionals. We’ve got the experience and tools needed to put your home back on solid ground.