Crack Repair - Healing the Foundation of Your Home. The foundation is one of the most important parts of your house. Without a strong foundation, even the most well-built homes can begin to suffer major problems. If you suspect your foundation is cracking, it’s crucial to have the situation checked out by a professional before the problem grows worse. However, before you make the phone call, it can be helpful to be aware of the type of crack you’re dealing with and how extensive the damage might be. Some types of cracks are worse than others and indicate the need for greater repairs.

The Dangers of a Cracked Foundation

Not every crack in your foundation will create a problem. Tiny cracks are common, and they may not cause any damage to your floors or the rest of your home. Watch out for cracks that are larger than a hairline fracture. If you’re worried about a crack, your best bet is to get it inspected. It’s better to be overly cautious than it is to ignore a problem that will most likely get worse.

A damaged foundation can lead to:
• Doors and windows becoming difficult or impossible to open.
• Flooding in the basement or ground floor as the groundwater rises through the cracks.
• The foundation weakening further due to moisture exposure.
• Dangerous mold growth due to moisture exposure.
• Buckling walls or home collapse.
• Pests invading the home through the cracks.

The Different Types of Foundation Cracks

Cracks that Run Diagonally: Diagonal cracks that run along the foundation at an angle are caused by various areas of the foundation settling into the ground below at different rates. This is more common if your home is built into the side of a hill. In this situation, since the cause of the crack is due to the greater issue of differential settling, the repair job might be more complicated. Solutions may involve redirecting rain water using gutters or other methods of ensuring the soil beneath the foundation doesn’t continue to sink.

Cracks that Run Vertically: This is the most common type of foundation crack. Much like diagonal cracks, they’re usually the result of differential settling beneath the foundation. Gravity pulls on one side of the foundation until a crack begins to form. Since settling can often occur within the first few years after a foundation is poured, it’s common to see this issue in newer homes. This problem can usually be remedied by sealing the crack with a heavy-duty material, such as epoxy.

Cracks that Run Horizontally: This type of crack is the most serious. It’s usually found in foundations made from brick or concrete blocks versus a foundation that’s a solid slab of concrete. Horizontal cracks are usually caused by soil or hydrostatic pressure. Reinforcement of the foundation will likely be required to prevent wall bowing or other damage to the structural integrity of the home.

Waterproofing Membranes: Protecting Your Home From Moisture

Waterproofing your home is extremely important, especially if you live in a rainy and humid part of the country. Waterproof membranes are thin sheets made from leak-proof materials that are spread across surfaces that would otherwise be vulnerable to water damage.

Waterproofing membranes can be utilized in various areas of the home. For example, if you have a tiled patio, the membrane would be placed above the foundation and below the tiles, forming a clean seal without causing an unsightly appearance. Waterproof membranes can also be placed outdoors to prevent rainwater from sinking between the bricks or tiles on your patio and causing damage. This is usually done in an area with a slight slope, which prevents water from puddling in between your tiles. Instead, it will hit the membrane and gradually run off.

There are generally two types of waterproofing membranes. The first is a solid sheet. The second is a liquid that is applied to the surface and allowed to dry and harden. Membranes are made from strong, flexible materials that can move as the foundation settles and adjusts over time.

Waterproofing membranes can be used in the following areas of the home:
• Balconies, patios, and terraces
• Bathrooms
• Basement floors
• Inside water tanks
• Inside swimming pools
• In gutters
• Parking structures

Foundation Repair and Reinforcement: A Strong Foundation for a Sturdy Home

Problems with the foundation of your home can be very stressful. How can you relax when the very ground your home stands on is unstable? Thankfully, the professionals have methods for handling such problems. Your responsibility as a homeowner is to look out for signs of an issue.

A few signs that foundation repair may be needed include:
• Difficulty opening or closing windows and doors.
• Bowing walls.
• Cracks in the foundation, drywall, exterior walls, or outer brickwork of the house.
• A widening gap between the chimney and the rest of the house.
• Sloping or uneven floors.

The method for repairing your foundation will depend greatly on your individual situation. Only a professional can thoroughly assess your home to discover the ultimate source of the foundation problem. Here at Intelligent Construction, we utilize a variety of repair solutions, including epoxy and urethane injection, waterproofing, and carbon fiber, which is used to repair bowing walls. Carbon is one of the strongest materials on Earth, and it can be strategically used to repair walls that haven’t bowed more than a couple of inches.

If you’re facing problems with the foundation in your commercial or residential structure, please call the experts at Intelligent Construction today. Our team has been handling foundation repair and waterproofing projects for our community since 2008. We’re located in Wheeling, but we serve the greater area of Illinois. Please give us a call today, and we’ll provide smart solutions for your foundation problems.