What Causes Concrete Foundation Cracks?

Posted by: Leila
Date: November 4, 2021
What Causes Concrete Foundation Cracks?

Modern homes are well-designed and constructed to meet stringent government standards, including those enforced by your local lawmakers. Still, components of your Raleigh home construction can wear down over time and under exposure to the elements. Particularly vulnerable to damage is your foundation. If you experience concrete foundation cracks, it is very important to find the problem and repair it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the damage and impact on your wallet only increase.

Concrete is prone to cracking wherever it is used. This material expands and contracts according to temperature changes. Moisture and drainage problems also wreak havoc on concrete, particularly in your foundation that supports the weight of your entire home. You may not find concrete foundation cracks for long after they form. But even cracks that have been around for awhile need repair.

Where Concrete Foundation Cracks Typically Occur

Concrete foundation cracks most frequently occur in weak areas such as around basement window frames, corners, along walls and piping areas. After you find concrete foundation cracks, check on them often to maintain awareness of their progress. 

Meanwhile, call your local foundation waterproofing and basement moisture control pros. They will find out if water drainage is the source of your concrete foundation cracks. You possibly need a French drain to direct water away from the outer walls of your foundation. Whatever the damage or moisture problems, your Drainage & Waterproofing pros will develop a written plan to fix your problems and control moisture within your basement.

If your concrete foundation has not shown any cracks but you have moisture or water seepage in your basement, Drainage & Waterproofing pros can help. Excess moisture causes many problems beyond those associated with foundation damage or other structural problems. You can also experience health issues related to mold and mildew.

Causes

Concrete foundation cracks occur from a variety of problems. These include:

Excess Moisture or Drought

The soil around your foundation is very reactive to moisture and drought. It shrinks up when dry, pulling away from your home’s foundation and leaving a void, as a result. That void where earth once supported the foundation now leaves room for the concrete under your home to shift and move. The most minor movement leads to concrete foundation cracks. 

Likewise, excessive moisture in this soil around your home causes the earth to expand and provide too much pressure against the concrete. The moisture or improperly draining water can cause cracks, seepage through the walls and too much moisture in your basement or crawlspace.

Earthquakes

Although the Raleigh, Southern Pines, Fayetteville and surrounding areas of North Carolina do not generally experience earthquakes, even slight earth trembling can create similar effects. An unstable foundation weakens over time and can move or shift. This leads to concrete foundation cracks and moisture problems.

Stormy Weather

What our region lacks in earthquake activity, it makes up for in storms. Particularly during spring and summer months, we experience wet spells of torrential rain. We are also frequently bombarded by hurricane-related weather. Even in winter we can experience a snowstorm now and then or sudden freezing and thawing. Any weather producing water or moisture can cause concrete foundation cracks.

If you already have cracks in your foundation or new ones occur, moisture only becomes a bigger problem. Even without cracks, you may notice water seeping almost from nowhere through the walls of your basement. Or maybe you encounter standing water after a storm in your basement or crawlspace. These are all problems for which you need a complete and immediate solution to prevent costlier structural issues.

Plumbing Problems

Your pipes must be secured and leak-free. It is also important to have a sump pump and basement waterproofing to ensure excess water does not cause concrete foundation cracks and other concerns.

Flooding or Drainage

Whatever causes excess water around your foundation, such as from flooding or improper drainage, your foundation is at risk. Water creates hydrostatic pressure that your foundation cannot bear. Over time, your basement or crawlspace experience moisture control problems, leaks, seepage, flooding or concrete foundation cracks.

Intense Heat

Your foundation can crack because of intense summer heat. Concrete expands under the sun’s extreme temperatures. Then, at night when it cools, the foundation shrinks back to its previous position. This is a lot of pressure on your structure and undoubtedly can lead to concrete foundation cracks and all of the moisture problems explored above. 

Protect Your Foundation, Basement and Crawlspace to Protect Your Entire Home

It may seem minor that your basement occasionally feels moist, has an odd odor or sometimes has standing water after a storm. But these are major issues that lead to concrete foundation cracks and excess moisture at the base of your home. In turn, you can experience expensive structural damage throughout your home and even major health problems. 

Concrete foundation cracks caused by water intrusion, drainage problems or moisture are preventable and can be fixed. Even in newly constructed homes, it is important to place moisture control, drainage and waterproofing at the top of your list of home maintenance priorities. 

To make this easier, simply call the pros of Drainage & Waterproofing for a consultation. We provide a range of key services to help you avoid concrete foundation cracks, in the first place.

Our services include:

  • French drains
  • Basement waterproofing
  • Foundation waterproofing
  • Crawl space moisture control
  • Basement moisture control
  • Crawl space sealing
  • Retaining walls

Call Drainage & Waterproofing today at (919) 508-7503 to make your home’s foundation, drainage, moisture control and waterproofing a priority. We look forward to creating a custom solution for all of your concrete foundation crack prevention, drainage and waterproofing needs.

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