Today we will be discussing bowed walls and wall cracks of a foundation. Currently we’re on the inside of a house in Belton Missouri where we are just completing an exterior waterproofing and beaming and we’re looking at our results today! This was a wall that had moved about three inches in at the time. You can see the diagonal cracks throughout the wall that was causing this wall to leak very heavily, so we dug out the outside so that the wall was relieved, then we pushed this wall back the three inches to its original position. Now we’ve got real flush lines to the wall with our I-beams. We’ve spread our I-beams four foot apart. We tied them in with quarter inch steel to three wall joists for an extra strength hold to ensure your foundations longevity of life. In a second we will go to the outside of the house, where we’ve relieved the pressure, and back filled it with gravel. Result being, we’re now fully waterproofed and the best part is, that this is a lifetime product from KC Pier.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Basement walls, just like other types of constructions, may develop cracks over time. Some cracks may develop soon after the construction work has been completed, while others will occur much later. Some cracks arise as a result of the settling or sinking of the concrete in the ground and are therefore nothing to worry about. However, some types of cracks may be severe in that they indicate serious flaws in the foundation of the basement or any other type of structure. Such cracks need to be attended to as quickly as possible. Cracks vary in terms of their orientation and the location in which they appear. In this piece, you will learn about four types of different basement wall cracks and what to do if you see them occurring in your home.
WHAT DO THE CRACKS MEAN?
- Vertical cracks: Vertical cracks are likely to develop as the concrete of the basement walls shrinks in the process of curing. Such cracking generally doesn’t impact the structural integrity of the basement wall. However, the cracks can cause moisture to enter the basement if the basement’s walls are not waterproofed. Thus, even though you don’t have to worry about vertical cracks affecting the structural integrity of your basement walls, you still have to repair these cracks to address moisture issues.
- Diagonal Cracks: There are numerous types of basement wall cracks that have a diagonal orientation. For instance, a crack may begin at the top of the basement and spread diagonally downwards. As well, a diagonal crack may appear at any spot on the basement wall, appearing wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. Also, you may spot a diagonal crack at the corner of a window or a door. Diagonal cracks are caused by various factors including uneven settling of the foundation concrete and concrete shrinkage.
- Stair-step shaped cracks are comparable in appearance to diagonal cracks save for the fact that the cracks occur in the mortar joints of block and brick walls. When these types of cracks occur in the wall of a basement, they indicate that there are problems in the foundation of the basement.
- Horizontal cracks suggest serious structural flaws in the basement foundation. They indicate that the foundation is unable to sustain pressure of the wall or may be caused by external forces such as the movement of heavy equipment.
WHAT DO I DO?
What should you do if you see basement wall cracks? Call a trusted professional foundation company like KC Pier to come out to take a look and give you a free quote. You can also use our mobile app on the App Store and Google Play by typing in KC Pier downloading our app and easily attaining a quote via mobile device! It takes a foundation expert to get the job done right so call KC Pier, home of Kansas Cities highest regarded foundation experts!