Inarguably, a solid foundation is crucial to the integrity of your property. Thus, it is essential to be vigilant about spotting the signs of foundation decline so that you can seek professional assistance as soon as possible. A common symptom of impending foundation work is the onset of cracks. Although the formation of cracks may be worrying to some, it should be noted that not all cracks immediately translate into severe foundation decline. Moreover, the sooner you know what types of cracks you are dealing with, the easier it is for you to seek the right repairs and restore the stability of your foundation. The following is a simple guide to three different types of cracks that your foundation could develop.
Vertical foundation cracks
Vertical cracks are some of the most common damages that your foundation will develop. Fortunately, these are not an indicator of serious structural issues with your foundation, so you do not have to worry too much about them. Vertical cracks will develop once the concrete that makes up the foundation begins to settle, which results in a decrease in structural tension.
However, vertical cracking can also occur when during the rainy season when the excessive precipitation exerts undue pressure on the foundation walls. The good news is the vertical foundation cracks do not run deep, and can easily be remedied through the injection of epoxy directly into the cracks to fill them up. Nonetheless, just because this is one of the most superficial foundation problems does not mean you should not have it addressed immediately.
Horizontal foundation cracks
These foundation cracks will typically manifest across the exterior wall of the foundation. They usually affect foundations that are made from either poured concrete or brick. Horizontal foundation cracks should be a cause for concern as they typically imply that there is an underlying issue at hand that should be addressed or the integrity of your building could be severely compromised.
Some of the reasons why your foundation could become vulnerable to horizontal cracking include high levels of precipitation and extremely low temperatures. These conditions tend to raise the foundation's hydrostatic pressure, leading to the walls to start bowing inward and subsequently cracking.
Diagonal foundation cracks
In addition to running diagonally across your foundation's walls, these types of cracks have the distinct appearance of being broad at the top and progressively narrowing towards the bottom. Diagonal cracks are a severe form of foundation damage since they have the propensity of penetrating your structure's damp proof barrier, increasing the risk of water damage to both your foundation and the primary structure. Diagonal cracks come about when the soil surrounding the foundation starts to shift either through aridity or excess precipitation.