One of the biggest risks of home ownership is having a foundation in need of repair and doing nothing about it. If you have noticed basement cracks and leaks, you might need to contact a foundation repair company. The consequences of not doing so could include bigger foundation cracks, flooding, structural instability, and complete collapse.
There are many symptoms to look out for when looking for signs of foundation damage. Any cracks in the basement wall are certainly not good, but cracks wider than a quarter inch are a huge red flag. Likewise, stair step cracks that follow the grout pattern in a brick wall are serious enough to call a foundation repair company. Finally, if you notice a straight, horizontal crack, call an expert immediately. This is the most serious sign of foundational instability.
Less serious, although still quite damaging, are basement water leaks. Noticing a leaky basement early on can give you a chance to get ahead of the problem. Water damage itself can be a costly thing to repair, so you’ll have incentive to quickly take care of the issue.
Saving your basement from water leaks can be as simple as an epoxy injection, while solving your foundational instabilities can be as complicated as restructuring the cracked area of your foundation. Simple vertical and diagonal cracks pose more of a threat to your basement from water damage than anything else. Filling them in should be easy and will likely solve the problem.
Horizontal and more serious stair step cracks might require severe action. Since your house is resting on these cracks, any sudden shift in balance could trigger a collapse. What could cause such a shift? If you live in a cold climate, freezing groundwater could expand against your foundation, making it fold at the crack. When the ground thaws, nothing would be left to support your home. Situations like this could require additional support struts, a bracing beam, or incredibly strong straps to hold the foundation together. Suffice it to say, if this is the situation you’re in, you need to call a foundation repair company.
Always be cautious when assessing and repairing foundation cracks. If you have a feeling the crack could be a risk to your home’s stability, don’t hesitate to call a professional foundation inspector. Your life could be at stake otherwise.