The Concrete Foundations Association (CFA) says there are two sure things about concrete: it will harden and it will also crack. It might sound like a gloomy outlook but CFA says that over 85% of all new homes experience a foundation crack within the first five years of construction. As a homeowner, you might be agonizing over what to do about these cracks considering there are so many diverse perspectives on the same.
In order to conclusively deal with any wall cracks that are giving you sleepless nights, here are four invaluable ideas collated from foundation gurus.
- Why Does Concrete Crack?
It is a question that plagues the mind of every conscious homeowner and for many good reasons. Some of the major causes highlighted by experts include drying shrinkage when concrete doesn’t dry uniformly. This could be due to improper mixing during construction. Other causes include thermal contraction, applied loads and sub-grade settlement. A qualified contractor is best placed to identify the cause of the crack because they have the expertise and tools to diagnose.
- Should a Minor Foundation Crack be ignored?
You must have come across experts claiming that not all cracks need attention. Well, unless you are a foundation expert, you should never ignore a problem that appears on your foundation. This structure protects your valuable investment and for this reason, every effort should be expended in maintaining the same. However minor a foundation crack seem’s, you need to leverage an expert’s opinion to avert further problems.
- What are the Common Foundation Cracks?
It is important to have an idea of the type of crack that appears on your foundation. Hairline cracks in mortar joints are common and they indicate the concrete is drying. Stair-step cracks on the other hand indicate a bigger underlying problem. The wall could be bulging and this calls for more immediate attention.
Others include horizontal cracks caused by water pressure and could portend failure of your foundation. Again, you need a professional to correctly diagnose the type of crack before recommending the way forward.
- Which Crack Repair Technique?
This is another great concern but luckily, a foundation contractor will be at hand to assist. Common techniques include use of granular clay to form an impermeable water barrier, use of epoxy sealants, high and low pressure injection and use of carbon fiber strips that bond onto the concrete among others.
An innocuous looking foundation crack can signal a much bigger underlying problem. It is thus advisable to contact an established contractor in your area to get expert opinion.