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Floor Cracks

Finding cracks along your basement floor is worrisome. They often indicate severe damage to the foundation and your home. These problem signs can help you catch the damage early.

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Your basement area has a multitude of different options in Huntsville, AL. You might use it as an extra storage room, a laundry room, or even an extra bedroom. No matter what you use the basement for, it is important that you maintain this space just like any other room in your home. 

Of course, it is not entirely invulnerable to outside damage. If the proper steps aren’t taken to protect your basement from moisture or other issues, you may start to notice several different problems arising. You will know when this damage has become substantial when you notice large cracks spanning along your basement walls or the floor. This can easily lead to your foundation soon becoming damaged as well, which can have severe consequences of its own. 

There are plenty of other problem signs that you may be able to catch in time as well. Let’s take a closer look into how floor cracks form in the first place, what other basement waterproofing problem signs you can keep an eye out for, and how AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists can help below. 

Cracks in concrete floor

Common Causes of Basement Waterproofing Issues 

Many homeowners will not know what can cause cracks or other damage to form in their basement in the first place. Here are some of the most common causes of basement waterproofing issues. 

Hydrostatic Pressure 

high water table

The soil surrounding your foundation will absorb a lot of moisture over the years. Perhaps more than it can hold. All that extra water weight can then create an immense pressure against the foundation itself. It may even cause the foundation to shift out of its original placement or even crack it apart altogether. This phenomenon is known as hydrostatic pressure, and it is a common cause of both foundation damage and cracks found in your basement. 

Hydrostatic pressure can take on another form as well. If any water manages to seep through and become trapped in your concrete foundation’s pores, then this can become an issue come winter. When the temperature dips, that trapped water will then freeze over and the expanding ice can then lead to the foundation cracking apart from within. 

It is important to note that foundation damage may spread up to your basement and create smaller cracks there. Additionally, the reverse may be true as well. Basement damage can spread down to negatively affect your foundation just as easily. Either way, spotting a crack along your basement floor can soon spell infrastructural damage, so it is always a good idea to call the basement experts to do a thorough inspection and implement repairs as soon as possible. 

The Clay Bowl Effect 

Sometimes basement and foundation damage can be caused by a common construction mistake that occurs when contractors first build each structure. Basically, when a contractor first builds a home, they will dig a large hole in the ground where they plan to place the foundation and the basement. After each component is secured, there will be space left around both the foundation and basement. This space is then backfilled with some of the soil they previously dug up. 

Of course, this soil is a lot looser than it once was. With Alabama and Tennessee already having loose sandy or silt loam soils, this makes this already vulnerable soil that much easier for storms or melted snow to wash it away. Without this crucial support, your foundation will likely start to shift, settle further into the remaining soil, or crack apart. 

Basement Waterproofing Problem Signs 

Though being able to identify what can cause basement damage in the first place is helpful, many homeowners will not even know when their basement is facing problems at all. It might help you more to be able to pinpoint when these smaller issues pop up, so you know when to call the basement experts to address or repair them. 

Leaks 

In Nashville, TN, spotting leaks springing around your basement is more than just an annoyance. Placing a bucket underneath and hoping it will go away is not a helpful solution at all. Leaks can easily expand and contribute to basement flooding, especially during severe storms. Leaks may develop on their own, or they can flow through any cracks that spread along your basement’s floor or walls. 

Flooding will not be the only moisture-related issue you will need to worry about from leaks, either. Water constantly flowing down your walls or pooling up from the floor can create efflorescence, a white, crystallized substance that is created when water mixes with the salts in the building materials around it (i.e., concrete, brick, etc.). It is an unsightly issue that can be difficult to permanently get rid of, especially if you do not treat the source of the leaks in the first place. 

Floor Cracks 

common concrete problems

Cracks of any size often signal that your foundation has also been damaged or at the very least will be soon. Of course, the average homeowner will not have the time to deal with every single crack they might come across in their basement. This is where knowing which types of cracks you can safely ignore for a brief period and which must be treated immediately can come in handy. 

Cracks that measure less than 1/8 inch wide are classified as hairline cracks. These do not pose much, if any, immediate threat to either your basement’s infrastructure or your foundation. Similarly, cracks that measure anywhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inches wide may also be left alone for some time. You should keep a close eye on these slightly larger cracks. In fact, it is not wise to leave any cracks alone for too long. They always have the potential to expand and spread out further along your basement floor or elsewhere. 

Any cracks that measure wider than 1/4 inch must be repaired as soon as you can call an expert over to your home. These pose an especially severe risk to your foundation. They may even be a sign that your foundation has already suffered from massive amounts of damage and needs to be repaired as soon as possible. Additionally, the position of these cracks can also pose their own dangers. Any cracks that span your basement wall (or even multiple walls) are often signs that the damage stems from outside threats pushing these walls inward.  

Floor cracks tend to originate from the foundation shifting or settling, which can be even more concerning. Any cracks that span both the walls and floor, however, are especially dangerous because this can spread up to affect other structures around your home, including the floors and concrete slabs above as well as the very walls themselves. 

You may also risk other systems being affected by this damage, too. Floor cracks might affect your plumbing and shift the pipes, leading to even worse leaks or floods. Additionally, any foundation damage that has resulted from these floor cracks can also negatively impact the rest of your home, too. You might notice your floor sagging or bouncing in places, your doors and windows being harder to open or close, or even the walls themselves starting to tilt or sway. 

Mold and Mildew 

Mold and mildew are perhaps the most tedious issue to deal with. A single spot of either fungus can contain millions of tiny spores on it that can easily spread out to other parts of your home in time. These fungi differ in both color and texture, though many homeowners will not know how to identify them. 

Mold can be black or green in color with a fuzzy or slimy texture. Mildew is a chalky white or gray color with a fluffy or powdery texture. Both fungi can cause negative health symptoms in you and your family if you continue to ignore their presence in your basement. This includes burning or watery eyes, sore throat, stuffy nose, coughing and wheezing, and other unpleasant symptoms. 

Pests 

Pests will often find it easier to infest a home that has moisture issues or larger cracks that they can crawl into. Of course, no homeowner wants to deal with a pest control issue on top of damage to their home. 

Most pests will try their best to stay out of a human’s line of sight, which can make infestations tricky to track. However, if you do notice a stray pest crawling across your floor in broad daylight, this can mean that you have a more serious infestation on your hands. 

Humidity 

Humidity is one problem sign that is vastly overlooked by many homeowners. You might not even consider it much of an issue if you are used to such weather, but even homes in humid climates should not pass a certain humidity threshold indoors. Excess humidity can cause mold and mildew issues to crop up as well as invite pests to infest your home. 

Basement Waterproofing Repair Solutions by AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists 

Waterproofing your basement against all moisture damage can be tricky. Fortunately, the basement waterproofing experts at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists will have just the repair solutions your home needs! 

Polymer Foam Injection Solution 

Finding cracks along your floor can be a hassle that no homeowner wants to deal with. Fortunately, AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists has just the perfect solution for your home: our polymer foam injection solution. 

This foam solution not only can close these cracks, but also it can help waterproof your basement against any future moisture damage that might try to seep into it. Additionally, this foam solution can lift and level out any settled concrete slabs as well. Another huge benefit of this foam is that it cures in around 15 minutes, so you can walk along a perfectly even basement floor the very same day we install it. 

Interior Drainage System 

Both leaks and cracks can easily lead to the basement flooding, which in turn can lead to other issues developing in the basement. Installing an interior drainage system all around the perimeter of your basement can help waterproof this space completely. Our experts will install it along the wall and floor joint, the point that moisture is most likely to seep through. This intricate drainage system then connects to our sump pump, which will then redirect all the moisture it collects far from your home. 

Sump Pumps 

Another great solution we can install inside your basement is a powerful sump pump. These pumps are specifically designed to capture and drain away all moisture that does try to infiltrate your basement, redirecting thousands of gallons far away from your home. It is also self-activating and runs on batteries, so you will not have to worry about it breaking down in the middle of a storm. 

Floor Cracks

FAQs

Many homeowners tend to underestimate just how quickly basement damage can spread to other important parts of your home. It does not take much for cracks to form along your basement floor. 

Moisture 

Moisture is perhaps the easiest way for damage to spread all along your basement. Not only can the moisture itself cause mold and mildew to spread, but also it can wear down or wash out the supporting soil under your foundation. Without adequate support, the foundation can become damaged and then spread that damage to your basement floor. 

Groundwater can also exacerbate any present damage already found within the basement. It can widen thin cracks you might not have noticed before or create even bigger leaks. Overall, moisture’s effect on your home’s infrastructure can be quite pervasive, so it is always important to call the basement experts at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists for repairs as soon as you spot these problem signs. 

Street Creep 

Most homeowners tend to not connect outside concrete damage with damage inside their home. It is easy for cracks from your driveway, walkway, or sidewalk to spread up to your basement, too. This phenomenon is referred to as street creep, an aptly named phenomenon for when the concrete slabs slowly push up against your home. 

The slabs stretch in the summer, allowing all kinds of debris to fill their pores. When they try to shrink again in the winter, they do not have that excess space and thus try to expand up slowly toward your home instead. 

A cautious homeowner will always investigate the other repair solutions. If your basement also has cracks spreading along your walls, then you also will need other solutions specifically meant to repair them. AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists has plenty of different basement waterproofing repair solutions that you might prefer over others, all of which we can provide free quotes on whenever you would like them. 

Wall Anchors 

Wall anchors can help to stabilize your foundation and basement walls alike. These anchors are buried in strategic points around your yard in the deeper layers of the soil. These anchors essentially transfer the inherent strength of these untouched layers via a heavy steel rod over to wall plates installed along your basement wall. These anchors then slowly but surely straighten out and brace your basement walls against hydrostatic pressure, soil washout, or other issues that might threaten the integrity of your home’s infrastructure. 

Wall anchors are only recommended for homes that have enough yard space for their installation. Fortunately, AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists has plenty of other foundation and basement wall repair solutions that can brace your home against anything. 

Carbon Fiber Wall Straps and the IntelliBrace™ I-Beam System 

Our carbon fiber wall straps might not seem all that powerful at first glance. However, carbon fiber is at least ten times stronger than steel and much lighter to boot. When applied to your basement wall with our tough epoxy resin, they will become even tougher. These straps will brace your basement walls against any outside damage that will threaten to bow them inward with relative ease. Over time, they can also help to close any wall cracks and straighten out your walls entirely. 

The IntelliBrace™ I-beam system has a similar function to our carbon fiber wall straps. It can help to eventually straighten out basement walls that bow in more than two inches. Each I-beam is braced to your basement wall via a brace on both the top and bottom of the beam. These braces are slowly tightened by our experts over time, which then pushes back against the damage and closes the cracks again. 

Contact the Basement Experts at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists Today 

It is not easy for homeowners to notice when their basement has issues that need to be repaired until that damage has become substantial. It helps to be able to pinpoint when problem signs arise around your basement so you know when to call the basement experts before this damage gets too out-of-hand. 

Some problem signs may be worse than others. Seeing cracks sprouting along your basement floor often signals that your foundation is likely damaged. This can then affect other parts of your home in turn. While all this is alarming, it is not altogether impossible to repair. Our basement experts will quickly install repairs that will close these troubling cracks permanently and prevent any others from developing in the future. 

Contact the basement experts at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists for a free basement inspection today! We can also provide you with free quotes on all our powerful waterproofing repair systems and solutions during our visit as well. We serve clients all throughout Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile, Alabama as well as Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, Tennessee. 

OUR WATERPROOFING EXPERTS ARE HERE TO HELP

Schedule A Free Inspection
Schedule A Free Inspection
OUR WATERPROOFING EXPERTS ARE HERE TO HELP

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