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Cracked Block Foundation

Do you have a cracked block foundation? Here’s what you need to know about how you can discover and fix your cracked block foundation.

Repair Cracked Block Foundations With Ease

Dealing with a cracked block foundation can be a major source of frustration for homeowners. Unfortunately, foundation problems are a common issue that affects many homeowners, and they can result in a range of problems throughout the home or even foundation failure. Let’s look at some of the steps as to how to identify and repair a cracked block foundation promptly.

How to Discover a Cracked Block Foundation

Before you can repair a cracked block foundation, you obviously need to know it’s there in the first place. Here’s how you can find out about a cracked block foundation in your home. 

  • Secondary Problems Due to a Cracked Block Foundation

The first thing you need to think about is how a cracked block foundation can cause secondary problems. Although secondary problems are frustrating in their own right, they are unfortunately often rooted in a larger, base problem, which is a cracked block foundation.

stair step crack cracked block foundation repair needed

Keep an eye out for any of these issues:

  • Waterproofing or flooding concerns
  • High indoor humidity
  • Foundation settling
  • Uneven floors
  • Condensation

As a homeowner, it’s possible to identify certain issues that may arise from having a block foundation in your house, particularly while in your crawl space or basement. However, it’s crucial to know what to look out for and address all concerns promptly to maintain the foundation’s integrity. So, if you’re aware of these concerns, you’ll be better equipped to recognize any problems with your block foundation.

  • Get an Expert Inspection 

Getting an annual expert inspection for your home’s foundation, basement, or crawl space is a wise decision. Trained professionals can identify general foundation issues that you may not notice and prevent larger problems from festering. Even if you think you don’t have any crawl space, basement, or foundation repair needs, it’s still worthwhile to have an expert inspection for assurance.

  • Inspect Your Own Home 

Regular, professional expert inspections are definitely helpful, but it’s also important to not underestimate the value of self-inspection. Even if you don’t have the same level of training as a professional, taking a closer look at your home is still an essential part of maintenance. By paying attention to any changes or differences in your home’s appearance and function, you can catch potential issues early on, before they become major problems. Plus, by being vigilant in this way, you may be able to notice subtleties that even experts might miss and communicate your detailed observations to the experts when you bring them in.

Which Problems Can a Cracked Block Foundation Create?

A cracked block foundation can lead to a range of issues, some of which may not be immediately obvious. To give you an idea, here’s a brief rundown of some of the problems you could potentially face.

  • In the Basement or Crawl Space 
Wet basement walls with pooling water

When your block foundation is cracked, it can lead to serious problems in your basement or crawl space. The main issue is a lack of waterproofing, which means that water can easily seep through the cracks. This can cause various problems throughout your entire home, and even undo any previous waterproofing you may have invested in.

Considering the time and money you may have already put into waterproofing your basement or crawl space, it would be a shame to let a foundation crack undo all your hard work. Don’t let this problem go unaddressed and risk further damage to your home.

  • In the Rest of the Home 

A cracked block foundation can cause a ripple effect of issues throughout your entire home. While the crawl space or basement is a key factor in this, it’s not the only thing to consider. The foundation directly impacts various aspects of your home, from wall cracks to settling and water damage. It’s important to address the root cause of the cracked foundation to prevent further damage throughout your property.

  • In the Property as a Whole

Cracks in your block foundation can lead to more than just issues with your home. Your entire property can be affected, and the root of the problem often lies in the crawl space or basement. It’s important to identify what caused the cracks, whether it be hydrostatic pressure, dated construction techniques, or a natural disaster, and understand the impact it can have on your property as a whole. Don’t overlook the bigger picture when it comes to your foundation.

FAQs About a Cracked Block Foundation

Whenever you have a crack in your block foundation, you need to at least address it. All cracks in your block foundation have the possibility of becoming a problem, which means it’s a good idea to take a look at the potential problems.

  • Hairline Cracks

The only time that block foundation cracks might not be a big deal is when you have hairline cracks, which are typically cracks that are so thin that you can’t even fit a business card inside. At this point, the crack probably isn’t going through the entire foundation and it’s probably okay; the cracks might have come from concrete shrinkage or even the natural settling of the house.

Hairline cracks can form for several reasons, but they are rarely symptoms or causes of larger structural problems. Where hairline cracks are caused by serious problems, they tend to quickly spread and escalate into larger cracks. When this happens, you should immediately seek professional help; cracks that spread quickly are a sure sign of serious structural issues.

  • Other Cracks

Pretty much all other cracks in the block foundation have the possibility of being a problem, no matter their size. If you get to a point where you can fit a business card into the crack, there’s a good chance the crack is indicating a foundation problem, and you need to talk to an expert about it to make sure that your home is secure and safe for you and your family.

Generally speaking, there are two ways in which a crack can spread; across the surface or through a structure. If cracks spread from one side of your foundation to the other but are very shallow, this is a problem, but not a terrible one. However, if you have just one or two cracks that go all the way through your foundation you are sure to see more problems forming with alarming speed.

There are many potential reasons for cracked block foundations. It’s not enough to just know that you have a cracked block foundation. You need to know why you have it. These are a few of the reasons that you might have experienced cracked block foundations.

  • Foundation Settling

If your foundation is settling, it’s probably not settling at the same rate across the entirety of the foundation. That means you’re probably going to start seeing issues where one side of the foundation settles more quickly than the other, causing a weight imbalance that can lead to cracks in the foundation as well as other structural issues. These problems are caused by the pinpoints of extreme pressure that uneven settlement creates.

Settlement can be caused by several issues, but it almost always comes down to the state of the soil under and around your home. Very weak, marshy soil, for example, is prone to giving way under the weight of a property, leading to subsidence. Settlement, however, is more likely to be caused by the shrinking of expansive, clay-based soils. 

  •  Issues with the Foundation’s Build

With the first build of your foundation, the initial building crew needs to make sure that they’re creating a foundation with enough structural support. However, the crew may end up having issues with the initial pour of the foundation, which can cause them to have problems ensuring that your foundation is as structurally sound as it needs to be. Problems in the process of construction are just some potential factors in foundation weaknesses.

Problems with the design process and the materials put to use can also cause issues in the long term. If the depth of the foundation is not properly calculated, for example, it may be unable to withstand the weight of your property. Likewise, if the concrete used to form the foundation is somehow unsuitable for the purpose, the property will quickly suffer. 

  • Talk to an Expert

It’s hard to know why you’re having cracks in your foundation. This is one of the reasons you should call an expert whenever you have issues with cracks spreading through your floors and walls. An expert will be able to give you more information about the basic reasons why you might be having cracks in your foundation, which is the first step to fixing it.

It can be tempting to ignore small cracks, but we urge you not to do this. If you ignore cracks and they are being caused by foundation problems, they will only get worse. As they get worse they will get more expensive to fix and lead to more complicated issues. So, while it can be tempting to ignore it or try a DIY fix, it’s far better to talk to an expert.

It’s possible to have a cracked block foundation and not know it, especially if you don’t do a lot of self-inspections and you don’t go into the area with the foundation very often. Here’s how you can increase the chance that you’ll know about your cracked foundation.

  • Looking for Secondary Symptoms

When you are trying to diagnose the causes of a cracked block foundation, there is often more than one cause at play. Looking for secondary symptoms will be a crucial part of finding out about your cracked foundation. It’s important to note that for the most part, a cracked block foundation will leave a mark. You will rarely have a cracked block foundation with absolutely no symptoms; you just need to learn what those symptoms will be and how you can fix them in the simplest way possible.

Finding all contributing causes is incredibly important to ensuring that your cracked block foundation stays fixed permanently. If you address only one of the contributing factors, you will see a recurrence of these cracks and problems in the future. Furthermore, finding all causes will help you to find co-occurring issues that may or may not be at work in your home. 

  •  Doing Your Inspections

Did you know that it’s possible to inspect your foundation? Even though you won’t be able to catch very small things that an expert will be more well-equipped to catch, you can still make sure that you know what’s going on in your foundation. You just have to take a look every few months and make sure you’re paying attention to cracks and shifting.

The best time to do a personal inspection is on a clear, dry, bright day. Start by walking the perimeter to look for signs of cracking, crumbling, sinking, or heaving. Make a note of any damage that you see and write it down. You should then check the interior of your home, particularly your basement (if you have one). If you notice uneven flooring, cracks, or standing water, you should note this.

  • Getting an Expert Opinion 

If you’re ever worried about your foundation, you might want to consider calling in an expert. There’s never anything wrong with getting an expert opinion on your foundation problems, especially if those problems have a possibility of turning into something very severe. Talk to an expert to learn more about your options.

Once you have completed your home inspection, you should contact a foundation repair specialist and let them know what you have found (unless you find nothing at all). If you find wide cracks, signs of sinking, or large mold formations, you should get a professional inspection carried out to make sure that you know exactly what is happening in your home.

Covering block foundation cracks can be a great way to manage the aesthetic of your foundation, which is why you might consider doing it. However, the problem with this is that it doesn’t fix the problems you’re facing with block foundation cracks.

  • An Aesthetic Fix

The main problem with covering the crack in your foundation is that it’s an aesthetic fix and that’s all. That’s because it hinges 100% on the foundation’s looks and doesn’t get to the root of the problem. A purely aesthetic fix won’t do much to fix your home’s foundation, which is why it’s not ideal. An aesthetic fix is simply buying time.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that there is no place for aesthetic repairs. Once you have got an expert to assess your foundation and implement a proper, permanent solution, aesthetic fixes are a great way to ensure that your home looks good in addition to being stable. So, while we would not recommend filling in cracks as the only fix, it is a part of the overall solution.

  • A Permanent Fix

If you want to make sure you have a well-functioning foundation, you should make sure you’re thinking about the underlying problem so you can fix that. A Groundworks expert will be able to take a look around your foundation, find out what’s going on, and let you know what you can do to fix it. We have several permanent solutions available for every problem.

Whether the cause of your cracked block foundation is settlement, subsidence, or poor design, we will work tirelessly to find a solution that works for you. Whether you need foundation piers or wall anchors we will restore your structure to stability and repair the evidence of damage.

Fixing Your Cracked Block Foundation Can Be Easier With an Expert

When considering how to best repair a cracked block foundation, there are some things you need to keep in mind. While there are several factors to consider, one of the most important is the value of seeking expert help to maintain the stability of your home. Professionals are trained to address foundation issues and can often provide more effective solutions to ensure the long-term stability of your home.

If you’re worried about issues with your foundation, your first move should be to talk to an expert about a potential cracked block foundation as soon as possible. A local foundation expert can give you more information about your block foundation, including actionable repair options and pricing.

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