As a homeowner, it’s important you check in on the wellness of your foundation every now and then. If you find a crack, the way it looks is very important. Each type of crack usually is a sign of specific damage. Today we will identify and explain the three types of cracks your cement block foundation might experience and what each crack usually means for your foundation.
Diagonal Cracks/Step Cracks Step cracks are the most common damage type and are commonly found on the exterior wall above the foundation. This can be a serious issue if a cement block is moved in or moved out of where the block is supposed to be or if the cracking goes through the blocks. The issue may be less serious if the cracks are only in the mortar joints between the block – the problem can be easily repaired. However, step cracks should ALWAYS be evaluated by a foundation expert to determine the severity of the damage.
Horizontal cracks will be your cracks that run sideways along your foundation and are the most serious type of foundation crack. Horizontal cracks are a result of a bowing foundation. Your foundation wall is usually covered by a filling of dirt and gravel. When this is done incorrectly, it does not have proper draining or will put pressure on your foundation, causing your foundation to take more pressure than it was built to handle, and will crack your foundation and cause it to bow inward.
Another way to get a horizontal crack in your cement block foundation is due to the weather. When it rains, and then freezes, this can increase the hydrostatic pressure behind your foundation’s wall and cause it to bow inwards.
Bowing foundations are a serious issue that can cause foundation failure and for your entire house to collapse. If you see horizontal cracks, we recommend you call a foundation repair expert immediately.
Vertical Cracking in Concrete Block Walls
Vertical cracks will go straight up and down or are slightly diagonal. Vertical cracks in block foundation walls may occur but are the least common and least concerning. As a matter of fact, you can even find 2-3 vertical cracks in the foundation of most homes. They are not what we would call a structural concern, but they do allow seepage through the foundation wall when the rain is heavy. This is an easy fix, injecting urethane or epoxy through small holes that are drilled into the crack face from the inside. We add a sealing material and the crack is well sealed. This is most of the time a permanent, easy, and inexpensive fix to the vertical cracks in your foundation.
If you find any of the above issues with the cement block foundation, contact BDB Waterproofing today. We offer free estimates and consultations.