In this episode of Ask the Expert, Craig answers the question from a Putnam, CT customer, worried about foundation cracks and the structural integrity of his basement.
Craig explains that in poured foundations, small hairline cracks are often concrete shrinkage cracks, and don't pose any structural concerns.
Bigger cracks however, especially V-shaped cracks and uneven cracks might indicate foundation shifting or settlement. These should be monitored closely, and if there is any indication that they are getting bigger or changing in any way, help should be sought after right away.
Block basement walls may be structurally compromised when they begin to show stair-step cracks or bow inwards.
Signs of foundation problems will eventually show upstairs in the form of uneven floors, cracks in the drywall, windows and doors that stick, cracks in brick veneers, etc.
Foundation problems always get worse overtime, and the longer you wait to fix them the more complicated and expensive the repair could be.
Many contractors will suggest replacing the foundation at the first sign of foundation problems. But is that a good solution?
"Ignoring it is a bad idea as well as replacing it can be a bad idea. The problem isn't with the foundation. It is normally with the soil conditions around the house and under the house" -- explains Craig.
By rebuilding the foundation in the same soil you run the risk of seeing all these problems come back. Leader Basement Systems has solutions that will address the cause of the problem. Solutions include foundation piers driven deep into the ground, past the layer of problem soil and up to a load bearing strata, and then used to support and (in many cases) lift the foundation back into its original position.
Wall anchors, braces and carbon reinforced strips can be used to stabilize bowing and leaning foundation walls. All of these solutions are much more affordable and permanent than foundation replacement. We service Chicopee, Pittsfield, Springfield and the greater Worcester area.