Foundations are rigid structures that are prone to cracks over time.
Even though not all cracks lead to foundation damage, It’s always advisable to treat every crack that you notice on your foundation with suspicion. Depending on what’s causing the foundation cracks, different methods are used to fix them.
Identifying Foundation Cracks
The most important step in fixing foundation cracks is identifying the cause of the crack. Some of the most common causes of cracks on the foundation include shrinkage, expansion or settlement.
Concrete naturally shrinks during its curing process so cracks in poured concrete slabs or foundations are common and are usually dependent on water amount, concrete mix, temperatures, sun exposure, humidity and other factors. These cracks are usually vertical or diagonal with uniform width .Even though most of the shrinkage cracks are of no concern, the risk of water entry through those cracks is high. Before repairing a shrinkage crack, you should make sure that there are no underlying issues which might later cause structural damage.
Bricks are expansive by nature, even those used to build foundations are not exempt.The extent to which a brick expands is determined by a lot of different factors such as sunlight exposure, humidity and other condition. The most common signs of expansion cracks include :
- Step cracking
- Sliding horizontal breaks
- Significant gaps between bricks
- Broken bricks
All foundations settle to some extent but if site preparation is poorly done, the settlement might cause structural problems. Foundation settlement may be caused by a number of reasons such as:
- Weight of the Structure
- Due to Secondary influences such as collapsible soils
Fixing Foundation Cracks
Different foundation cracks call for different types of solutions. When repairing a crack that has been determined not to have any connection to the integrity of the foundation, simply using epoxy to seal it is enough. When the cracks are too large, other methods are used instead of epoxy. One such method involves cutting out the damaged section and replacing it with a new one.
Related: Foundation cracks repair
Hiring a Professional Foundation Contractor
If you notice any cracks on your foundation or building, don’t hesitate to contact a professional foundation contractor before it’s too late. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 for a free* foundation inspection. We service the Los Angeles area and the surrounding cities.