Many homeowners use their basements for storage, fitness rooms, or a second living room. While these spaces come in handy, they’re unfortunately prone to damage, including cracks on the walls. While some types of fissures are relatively harmless if caught early, others are signs of serious problems to come. Find out why concrete basements crack, as well as how to fix the issue before it gets out of hand, below.
A Guide to Concrete Basement Wall Cracks
Why They Happen
Diagonal cracks on smooth walls and stair-step splits on concrete-block walls are common occurrences. In both situations, the issue arises as a result of shrinking that occurs naturally when the material cures. As long as the separation is small in width, it rarely indicates a structural issue.
The same applies to vertical cracks, which are usually a result of the house settling. Horizontal cracks, on the other hand, often appear when there is significant pressure from the ground outside. If the crack appears alongside any type of wall movement, like bowing, there may be a structural issue at hand.
What to Do About It
Cracked basement walls pose a serious risk to your property. Even small hairline cracks can lead to leaks and allow pests to enter your home. They also have the potential to grow and create more serious structural issues, which is usually associated with high expenses. For those reasons, it's vital that the issue is repaired as soon as you notice a problem.
If the crack is over a 1/8 inch wide or exists alongside a bowing wall, it's recommended to seek professional advice from a structural engineer to determine the integrity of the material. However, most cracks under 1/16 inch in width can be repaired. Use a concrete mix to patch the surface or fill the areas between concrete blocks for a smooth, crack-free wall.
Are you ready to patch your concrete walls? Set your home up for success by starting with top-quality products from Builder's Concrete East in Windham County, CT. For over 50 years, the company has been a leading concrete supplier for both residents and contractors across the state. Browse their selection of mixes and blocks online or place an order by calling (860) 456-4111.