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Do a Foundation’s Cracks Reveal Underlying Foundation Issues?

Find out whether cracks in your home’s foundation are a telltale sign that your house is dealing with serious problems.

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A lot of homeowners start to panic when they notice cracks in their foundations. They immediately assume that something is wrong and try to guess the problem by looking at the cracks. Often, this is a recipe for disaster since, in most cases, wrong solutions are applied while the main problem remains.  

If you have realized that cracks have formed in your foundation, you shouldn’t assume the worst. Even if you have detected other problems such as sticking doors and windows or sagging floors, you shouldn’t try to guess the cause of the problems. The wisest thing to do would be to call experts to provide a detailed evaluation of the foundation and get to the root of the problems. Only this way will you be 100% sure that you will properly solve the issues. 

Continue reading and discover what can be the cause of foundation problems in your Huntsville, AL, home and how to apply the best solution. 

foundation cracks and problems

Are Foundation Cracks Always a Red Flag? 

Although there are multiple cases when cracks in the foundation can be a sign of serious issues, they are not always a red flag. Cracks often occur and sometimes they can be ignored. On the other hand, if you notice that they have become wider over the course of six months to a year, a professional inspection should be scheduled. Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell what the cause of a crack is just by looking at it. 

If you have a tree or shrubs near your home, its roots may be the cause of the cracks. It is possible that the foundation is settling, but also that poor drainage near the foundation is causing the damage. Plumbing leaks are also one of the possible reasons why cracks have appeared in the foundation, especially if the leak has been going on over a long period. If you have recently added a second story and the original footings were not designed for such additions, the cracks can appear. In colder months when the temperature drops, and the ground freezes a foundation may be damaged. Also, cracks can occur due to geotechnical issues such as earthquakes and sinkholes. So, there are various reasons why your foundation is cracked, and there are multiple factors that will determine your next move. 

When Should Foundation Cracks Concern You? 

If you have just built a new home in Huntsville, AL, you should expect that cracks in your foundation might appear in the next two or three years. However, if more time has passed since construction and the foundation is experiencing significant damage, it is time to react. Gaps that are more than a quarter-inch wide are a cause for concern.  

While vertical cracks are often the result of heavy rains or concrete tension in newly built homes and are non-threatening, horizontal cracks are bad news. These occur due to the foundation settling and are a clear sign that your home’s foundation is under a lot of pressure. To prevent even bigger damage that can lead to a structural collapse, you must contact repair experts that will come to your home, evaluate the damage, determine the cause of the problem, and recommend the best solution. 

If you have noticed that there are fresh cracks in the foundation, pay attention to other signs of trouble as well, such as misaligned windows and doors, cracks in the drywall, uneven floors, bowing walls, and cracks in tiles and brickwork. If all the signs are there, call foundation experts as soon as possible. 

How Can the Damage be Repaired? 

It cannot be said how to repair the damage without determining the cause of it. After the qualified foundation expert has examined the foundation, assessed the situation, and located the problem, they can recommend the best solution. As mentioned, there can be numerous reasons for foundation cracking, and depending on what the contractor has found, they can suggest some of these trustworthy repair solutions

Push piers – Regardless of the soil conditions, push piers can be used to stabilize your house. This solution is often used in homes built on questionable soil and is a permanent solution to foundation settlement. We will drive the piers into the soil to not only stabilize your house, but also potentially raise it back towards its original position. When they are installed, push piers are almost always invisible. 

Helical piers – These are similar to push piers and are used to stabilize a sunken foundation. However, helical piers are “screwed” down into the soil. After they are installed, they also have the potential to lift the foundation. 

Slab piersSlab piers are invisible once they are installed and can restore the value of your home. In case your house has a concrete slab foundation, and it sinks, with slab piers, we can stabilize and possibly lift the foundation. 

Crawl space jacks – With our durable crawl space support jacks, we can reinforce floors and floor joists, and potentially lift sagging and uneven floors toward their original position. 

Wall anchors – If the walls of your basement have been pushed inward, wall anchors can stabilize them. These anchors also can be tightened to help improve the walls’ condition over time. 

Wall brace system – This system is ideal for those cases when the walls cannot be repaired from the outside due to limited space. With this solution, you can stabilize the foundation and prevent further bowing of the walls. Like wall anchors, these specially designed beams also can be adjusted for potential wall improvement. 

When you fix your foundation issues, you will solve other related problems your home may be experiencing. If you wish to give your home a makeover in the near future, consider fixing your foundation issues first or you will continue to run into the same problems even after the remodeling is complete. By fixing these problems, you can restore your home’s value, so don’t hesitate to schedule your free home inspection and repair quote with the expert team at AFS today. 

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