Do you notice cracks in your basement wall? Are you worried about what they could mean? Know that cracks in your basement walls means there is a lot of pressure from the soil that surrounds it. If you see cracks in your basement wall, this is a potential sign of a structural problem with your home.

There are two different types of cracks that can appear on your basement wall. Each type of crack will tell you the specific cause and severity of the problem. Knowing which crack in your basement wall means will assist you in determining if your basement wall needs urgent attention or not.

Here are the two types of crack that can appear on your basement wall:

  1. Horizontal Cracks

If your basement is constructed without adequate vertical reinforcement, the basement wall will succumb from the considerable pressure from the soil that surrounds it. The wall will bow inwards and develop a horizontal crack that will run in the middle of the wall because the bulk of the pressure is on the middle point of the wall.

Check if the wall is still straight from bottom to top. If it’s plumb, wait to see if the crack will become larger, but if the wall is not plumb, you should call a plumber immediately.

  1. Vertical Cracks

It is normal for concrete to shrink when curing. Cracks appearing due to this process are usually small and in most cases are not noticeable. In addition, these cracks do not even affect the structure of the wall.

However, in spite of the small sizes of these cracks, they can allow moisture to penetrate from the surrounding spoil which can be a huge problem over time. In order to avoid possible problems in the future, you should contract a plumber to check your basement waterproofing for your basement, especially when you notice moisture on the wall.

Vertical cracks that are about the ⅙ inches wide area are not a cause for alarm, but when they are more than ⅛ inches wide, you should call plumber to examine the wall because that is a sign that the wall is under great distress.

If you’ve identified cracks in your basement wall, you should call for a professional inspection to help determine potential damages and the timing of the repair. You can avoid major repair work by taking a proactive approach to the structural changes such as cracks in your basement wall.

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The foundation of a house is one of the most exposed areas on a home, since it is in contact day and night with the damp and cold ground surrounding it. Therefore, noticing cracks and other abnormalities in your foundation is not uncommon, but almost always a critical issue that needs to be looked at by professionals.

Not all damages to the supporting foundation will need repairs, but some types require urgent attention due to the ease of which the cracks can spread and cause even more damage, ultimately affecting the entire home in terms of stability. Because of this potential danger, it is often recommended that home owners regularly spend a few minutes checking up on whether or not the foundation is in need of repairs or a maintenance check.

Damages caused by creaks and cracks can cause water to enter in behind the outer layer of the foundation itself, and build up enough moisture to in turn freeze over during cold nights, further expanding and damaging the infrastructure along the way. At this point it is almost always necessary to consult professionals about the potential for foundation repair, since this outer layer is the first layer of protection. If this layer has been damaged, then the inner layers will be more vulnerable and thus enter a state of disrepair much faster than otherwise.

There’s a few different major types of cracks, that through their symptoms tell professionals something about the type of damage that is occurring. In broad terms there are two types of cracks, those that affect the internal structure of the foundation, and those that are merely superficial and cosmetic of nature.

It is the first type of cracks that are dangerous, and a rule of thumb says that if there’s a stepping to the cracks, or other form of pattern that more often than not means a major risk to the integral structure, whereas hairline cracks only affect the external and protective layer of plaster. It is important not to run your own diagnosis based on this article alone, and it is always recommended to get expert opinions before deciding whether or not your foundation is safe for yourself and your family.

Another major point of concern is when the cracks are growing, this is almost always a serious issue, especailly when not only superficial in the cracks, and can require a large intervention to save the foundation and home that it supports. If the cracks have not changed for months or years, there’s a good chance the cracking has settled down and it is not as critical to get fixed.

In order to repair these types of foundation issues, a number of methods and technologies exist to help homeowners manage the situation in a cost-effective and orderly manner.

  • Steel Piers
  • Helical Piers
  • Concrete Piers
  • Segmented piers
  • Spot Piers
  • Polyurethane foam

Which technique and material is correct for your home is dependent on a number of aspects, all of which a professional should be able to answer much better than any online article. The common denominator for all of the above options is that more often than not the problems can be eliminated completely, and the house and it’s supporting foundation often ends up being stronger and more robust than when new.