There is not a concrete product in existence that isn’t prone to cracking. Some cracks are an expected result of settling, but other cracks can let water into basements causing damage. A trained concrete and Waterproofing Contractor Naperville, IL can diagnose cracks in a foundation to find the cause of the cracking and determine if damage has been done.
Don’t Be Alarmed at Vertical Cracks
Cracks that pose the least amount of threat to a basement tend to be vertical cracks along a basement wall. These cracks, considered nonstructural cracks, result when the concrete naturally expands and contracts with freezing and thawing over time. Vertical cracks usually won’t pose a problem with the structure of a home but could become an inlet for insects if left unattended for long. These cracks are easy to fill.
Horizontal Cracks Need Attention
There is more cause for concern when a homeowner sees a horizontal crack in a basement wall. Horizontal cracks are considered structural cracks and are often caused by hydrostatic pressure or improper backfilling. Repeated freeze and thaw cycles can also worsen these structural cracks. Horizontal cracks are considered moving cracks and require immediate stabilization by a Waterproofing Contractor Naperville, IL before the cracks themselves can be repaired.
Masonry Block Cracks Could Mean Collapse
Cracks in masonry block walls pose different problems than in poured foundations. Consistently even cracks in masonry blocks or their mortar joints are caused by exposure to heat and sun and are often a result of shrinkage. These even cracks pose few risks. If a homeowner detects a crack that widens as it goes down, the risk of wall collapse could be significant. A masonry block wall with widening cracks or that is bowing should be repaired by professional as soon as possible.
Homeowners should keep in mind that some cracks are merely symptoms of bigger problems. Trained waterproofing contractors will inspect the cause of the cracks inside and out, but they will also determine if the cracks are a result of natural settling or a part of a potential water problem. Waterproofing contractors also know to assess landscaping and grading in the yard to ensure that water drains away from the home.
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