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Fixing Foundation Cracks In San Diego and Orange Counties
Most Southern California houses will develop foundation cracks over the years. Some of these pose no threat, being too narrow to even really allow water and pests into your home. Others will require foundation crack repair.
Different types of foundations have the potential of developing different types of cracks. Foundation cracks are generally placed into two categories — structural cracks and nonstructural cracks.
Although there are atypical instances, most horizontal cracks are structural and vertical ones are caused by minor settling and sinking or concrete shrinkage. As a homeowner, you can check over your own foundation, looking for new cracks or monitoring cracks that appear to be growing in length or widening.
If there is ever any doubt, please call FOUNDATIONS ON THE LEVEL and one of our project consultants will assess your foundation to determine if immediate action is required.
Structural Foundation Cracks — What They Are and How To Fix Them
A horizontal crack in the foundation wall is more than likely a sign that your foundation is failing and can no longer withstand the pressure from either the weight of the structure or hydrostatic pressure from the surrounding soil. These structural cracks have certain characteristics:
- Cracks will appear on a load-bearing foundation wall
- Cracks will develop below grade
- Generally cracks will be horizontal, but they can be stair-stepped if the wall is brick or cement block
In these cases, it is important to fix both the crack and the underlying cause of the crack.
If the cause is foundation settlement, that likely will involve the installation of a piering system. At FOUNDATIONS ON THE LEVEL, we install ECP steel piers to fix failing foundations. All piers are highly engineered and load-tested during installation to ensure thy can support the weight of the building.
If hydrostatic pressure from the surrounding soil is to blame, other methods will be employed. For bowing basement walls, helical tiebacks can help anchor the wall in the surrounding soil, providing a counteracting force to the pressure being applied on the wall.
Once the foundation itself is stabilized and secure, then we can fill in the crack. This step is also important, because the crack itself can cause problems.
Fixing Nonstructural Foundation Cracks
Nonstructural foundation cracks are generally vertical and sometimes fall under the category of hairline cracks because they are less than 1/32" in width. These cracks also have specific characteristics:
- Cracks will not extend past the foundation into the structure
- Cracks will be vertical or diagonal depending on foundation material
- Cracks can occur on an interior wall
Not all vertical cracks are harmless, however. If you start to see vertical cracks worsening or multiple vertical cracks developing near each other, serious settlement issues could be the cause.
Even with cracks that are not a threat to the integrity of the home's foundation, those that are wide enough can still allow water and insects to enter your basement. We specialize in crack repair, no matter the size and we'd be happy to come out to check your home's foundation cracks, especially if water problems or pests have become an issue.
Monitoring Foundation Cracks is Crucial
Once you recognize the types of cracks you see in your foundation, it is very important to watch them closely.
Cracks that grow, especially once they get larger than hairline cracks, are a sign of ongoing problems that must be addressed.
Contact Foundations On The Level for Wall Crack Repair Solutions in Southern California
For any of your foundation crack concerns and crack repair, contact FOUNDATIONS ON THE LEVEL.