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Basement Crack Repair: Know the Signs

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Basement Solutions has been offers Basement Waterproofing, Foundation and Crack Repair Services for the South East Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware areas . This article will give you some valuable information regarding cracks on your foundation and what to do about it.

The only way to tell how serious a wall crack is by hiring an expert to examine the wall. They will be able to analyze the crack and surrounding area to determine whether it’s a surface blemish or a larger problem. Houses settle during the first few months and even years post construction so minor wall cracks are somewhat common. However, gaping cracks, wall or floor separation and horizontal crack lines are signs of a more severe issue.

Severity of Cracks

When examining the crack’s severity, the shape of the crack and the direction it runs on the wall are the first thing we look at. If the crack is vertical and starts near where the wall and ceiling meet, this is a sign that it was created when the foundation settled. Vertical cracks run the same direction as drywall, generally making them less serious.

However, if the crack is horizontal or runs at a 45-degree angle, it could mean there’s a more serious problem such as foundation shifting or water damage.

In these cases, we recommend you contact a professional immediately to complete an inspection and determine which method of crack repair is best. More severe cracks might include reconstruction to prevent further damage.

Stair-Step Cracks

Another sign of water or hydrostatic pressure damage is a stair-step crack. This crack looks like a flight of stairs and runs in both vertical and horizontal directions across the wall. This occurs as it follows the grout or cement lines between cinder blocks.

Stair-step cracks in cinder block foundation walls are a result of soil settling beneath the center of the wall. The best way to tell if the issue is serious is to have a professional such as ourselves do an inspection.

Windows and Doors

An additional way to test a wall crack’s severity is to open and close internal windows or doors to see if they stick. If so, ensure the sticking isn’t a result of paint or faulty hardware.

If it’s clear that there’s nothing obstructing the door, it might be a sign of a moderate to severe foundation change, often resulting in wall cracks. Sticky doors could indicate that the frame has been twisted or warped by a shifting house. Furthermore, if you notice a gap at the top of a sticky door, that might also signal a serious settlement problem.

Pertruding Nails

The last way to spot a sign of potential structural damage is to study the area surrounding the crack and look for visible nail heads. The nail might not have damaged the drywall, but it has likely pulled away from the wooden stud.

This phenomenon is often known as “nail pops” or “nail popping” and it is almost never a good sign in your basement. Nail pops are frequently associated with more serious wall cracks and often signal drywall movement.

Other Signs to Look For

  • Water seepage
  • Bowed walls
  • Foundation cracks outside your home, above ground level but below the siding
  • In brick homes, cracks in mortar joints between bricks
  • Basement flooding
  • Uneven floors

We Have the Crack Repair Solutions!

Minor cracks can grow into serious structural issues, leading to water damage, plumbing problems, insect infestation and more. Therefore no matter the size, these should be taken seriously and dealt with in a timely manner.

Basement Solutions provides interior and exterior structural and crack repair for concrete foundations and concrete walls. Our solutions prevent leaks for years to come, and ensure that your home’s structure is safe and sound.

Contact Us

With further questions on any of your crack repair or other basement needs, give us a call today at 610-495-9111 for a FREE INSPECTION. Please visit www.basements911.com for more detailed information on our services.