Windsor Waterproofing

Do all foundation cracks need to be repaired?

Do all foundation cracks need to be repaired?

Foundation cracks, whether concrete block or brick, can be worrisome. They can make you feel anxious and worried about whether they are harmless or serious. Here’s the deal. Not all foundation cracks are dangerous. In truth, most cracks are rather common, and the good news is that they can be repaired.

Types of Foundation Cracks

As a homeowner, it’s important that you understand the types of basement cracks and the effects they have on your property, as well as the best ways to repair them. When you know the type of crack you’re dealing with, you can properly deal with the problem. Also, knowing the type of foundation crack removes the guesswork from foundation repair. Let’s take a look at five different types of cracks and their treatments.

Vertical Foundation Cracks

These cracks are common in most homes and aren’t dangerous, so there’s no need to be worried. They are mainly caused by rains that put pressure on the foundation or by concrete tension in freshly constructed homes. Vertical cracks slant slightly (within 30 degrees). Water-resistant epoxy or polyurethane injection is used to seal the gaps.

Once the issues have been resolved, you can further protect your foundation from potential cracks by cleaning clogged gutters and installing downspouts that reach 5 feet away from the foundation walls. If your home is on a slope, strategic landscaping can also be beneficial.

Horizontal Cracks

Horizontal cracks are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. There are several kinds, all of which imply major structural issues. They commonly occur when the ground force strains the basement, forcing it to bow inwards. Excessive backfilling, frost heave, and the impact of heavy machinery are some of the other causes. Whatever the reason, the end effect is a medium-sized horizontal crack.

Horizontal fractures are common in concrete and block basement foundations. Whether you find small horizontal cracks on an unbowed foundation wall, keep an eye on them to see if they worsen. Contact your basement repair provider if you notice the crack beginning to grow. 

Diagonal Cracks

While these cracks are not dangerous, they shouldn’t be ignored. This type of crack indicates differential settlement (horizontal and vertical tension), which could lead to major structural issues in the residence. They happen when certain parts of your house settle faster than others. Diagonal cracks are common in homes built on a hill or where soil conditions are quickly deteriorating from drought or heavy rains.

Just like vertical cracks, these cracks are fixed in the same way. The only difference is that additional material is needed to prevent future movement. If you see cracks running diagonally at 30 to 75 degrees, call your basement contractor to evaluate the area and determine the location of the settlement. They may suggest foundation piers to help support the foundation and reduce disturbance.

Stair-Step Cracks

The stair-step fractures are the most damaging of all foundation cracks. If you have this type of crack in your basement, you should get it repaired immediately. They usually run in a diagonal line in concrete blocks and brick foundations. Cracks begin in a joint or at the end of a wall and then taper or climb up. They are caused by differential settling, as are all diagonal cracks.

Basement Floor Cracks

Hairline fractures are a common occurrence in many homes. Unlike the other cracks, they only have an aesthetic impact on the home unless they grow to 12 inches or more. These cracks frequently begin at offset corners (at 90 degrees) and spread out throughout the space. It is recommended that you wait at least a year before repairing them. After that, fill them with caulk or hydraulic cement.

Why Should I fix Foundation Cracks?

Fixing your foundation cracks is a no-brainer. Cracks can grow and worsen over time, increasing your problems and making them more expensive to repair. Cracks, if left neglected, will allow moisture to enter into your basement. Moisture in your basement will allow for mold to grow, which can damage the structure of your home. Furthermore, mold encourages bugs that can contaminate your food and water and spread disease. Water damage is another issue that can arise from basement cracks, particularly if your cracks are wider than 1/16 inch. Floodwater can soil your clothes and carpets, as well as set the stage for mold growth in your home. Clean-up and remediation fees could run into the hundreds of dollars, money that could have been spent on enhancing your property, if the crack had been repaired on time.

Get In Touch

Windsor Waterproofing

Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Share article

windsor basement foundation waterproofing contractors

Windsor's Leading Foundation and Basement Waterproofing Services.

Check out our partners from out of town: Kitchener Waterproofing, Milton Fencing, and Sault Waterproofing.



Crawl Space



Windsor, Ontario

Privacy Policy

© 2023 Windsor Waterproofing. All Rights Reserved.