Causes of Foundation Failure
You may have noticed cracks along the walls or floors in your basement. These cracks can range from hairline to larger more defined openings depending on the amount of Hydrostatic Pressure (water pressure) being exuded around the outside of your home’s foundation. You may also have noticed moisture or dampness on the floor or walls after a heavy or saturating rain.
Cracks manifest in a variety of shapes, sizes and directions. For example, you may see step-cracks, vertical cracks, or horizontal cracks along the foundation walls. It is important to note that cracks such as this do not usually appear naturally. Settling, hydrostatic pressure, tree root intrusion, nearby construction and age are also causes.
The earlier a foundation problem is caught and treated, the less likely extensive and costly repairs will be needed.
Four Stages of Foundation Cracking:
First stage of cracking: Cracks typically start as a hairline crack from the outside showing no noticeable signs on the inside to start.
Second stage of cracking: Cracks work their way about halfway through the wall, just inside the hollows and mortar joints of a block wall and midway through a poured concrete wall. During this stage signs of water, mold/mildew, peeling paint, white powder, warped paneling, musty odor may appear.
Third stage of cracking: The actual crack will now be visible from the inside. Make no mistake, there is now an open pathway from inside the house to the outside. At this point, immediate action should be taken. With wall cracks you may or may not see; water or dampness.
Fourth stage of cracking: At this point the crack is at its advanced stage. You may notice water, mud, insects and even foundation movement, such as corners shifting/cracking, floor buckling or bowing walls. In this stage there is serious structural damage and immediate action must be taken.
Did You Know?
If your home remains wet or damp for just two days in a row, mold, bacteria and viruses can begin to grow, putting you and your family at risk of inhaling toxic air that can ultimately lead to illnesses.