Basement wall cracks are sometimes a superficial sign of natural aging, but occasionally, they mean your home is suffering from deeper structural issues. If left untreated, severe cracks compromise the integrity of your house and allow water into the basement that causes even more severe problems over time. Knowing how and why concrete cracks will help you take steps to control the damage.
Why Does Concrete Crack?
The soil around your foundation is continually pushing on the basement walls. When rainwater saturates the ground or the earth freezes in winter, this pressure grows even stronger, eventually forcing your basement walls to bow outward. Basement wall cracks caused by soil pressure are usually horizontal, or they might run diagonally from one corner of the ceiling to the floor.
Even if the homebuilders install your foundation correctly, the weight of the house compresses the earth underneath the floor. Uneven soil settling will often result in deep, diagonal cracks that start at the corners of windows and doors.
As concrete cures, the evaporating water causes the slab to shrink. Concrete is a rigid material, so cracks will form to relieve the pressure. Most concrete professionals build compression or expansion joints into the slab to control the cracking. However, poor design or excessive water in the original concrete mix will often lead to cracking that spreads throughout the structure. Usually, these basement wall cracks run vertically up the wall and don’t present a problem as long as you seal the concrete correctly.
If you’ve noticed basement wall cracks in your home, call The Basement Crack Doctor for professional diagnosis and effective, affordable treatment plans. Their foundation repair experts proudly serve homeowners throughout the Chesterfield, MO, area, delivering long-lasting results guaranteed to stand the test of time. Visit their website for more on their vast array of services, get tips on Twitter, or call (314) 931-6000 to schedule a professional inspection today.