Are Cracks In The Foundation Floor Normal?
Oh no, are you seeing cracks in the foundation floor or basement of your home?
Worried and wondering whether they’re normal or it’s time to call someone?
The Answer: It depends. Some are perfectly normal, yes, while others can be a genuine cause for alarm. The big differentiator is severity — is the crack letting water, moisture, or perhaps even soil-based gases get through?
In this article, let’s look at some of the basics of what causes these kinds of cracks and when you should seek expert help.
What Causes Most Cracks In Foundation Floors?
Aside from rare situations like earthquakes or serious foundation failures, the causes for cracks in your basement floor are extremely common.
- Your home is settling; hence ‘settlement cracks.’
- For example, cracks 1/6th of an inch are common in the early stages.
- In basement walls, vertical hairline cracks are usually around 2 to 6-inches in length.
- Concrete shrinkage & curing tends to cause some superficial cracking.
- Poor construction can also lead to premature cracks or excessive settlement.
- Your home is showing signs of stress, like hydrostatic, from poor drainage.
In a word, what is the worst enemy of your foundation concrete? Drainage. Poor drainage, to be exact. Homeowners simply lose track or for whatever reason, fail to notice when it’s not draining properly.
- Is the landscaping on your property properly graded, so it slopes away?
- Is your gutter system functioning and in good working condition?
- Are downspouts pointed away from foundation concrete (walls & flooring)?
- Is there a kind of extra perimeter drainage or perhaps a good sump pump system?
Crack #1: The Heaving Crack
Are you almost tripping on that crack? Is there a section of the foundation or slab that’s rising or heaving? If so, that’s definitely an issue. THIS is an example of a crack that needs professional attention…ASAP.
Here at Childers Brothers, we’re foundation repair specialists that serve a 300-mile radius around Amarillo, TX. This means we deal with a lot of clay-based soil issues. When it gets wet, it creates pressure that can lift and crack your basement floor or concrete slab flooring.
One of the Soil Stabilization solutions we use is called the EcSS 3000 technology. It stops soil swelling by altering the structure of soil molecules, permanently changing the characteristics of the charged ions in soil that attract and bind water — thereby reducing swell potential!
Crack #2: The Sinking Crack
On the other hand, if you’re almost tripping on that crack because a section of the basement floor or foundation slab is sinking/settling…THIS is another example of a ‘call the pros’ kind of foundation issue.
While there are a number of options like mudjacking, we use Slab-Lifting Foam to fill voids underneath and get the issue resolved. That said, we want to make sure we completely understand what caused the sinking in the first place. This is why we perform a comprehensive 27-point analysis on the area to get the full picture first.
Crack #3: The Wider Crack
Hairline cracks are one thing. But if you’re seeing cracks that are wider than 1/8th of an inch, you should start looking into causes and solutions. You might not need to completely re-pour the slab — Epoxy Crack Repair is one option we offer when the circumstances are right.
“We get our materials from high-end industry manufacturers like Prime Resins, which makes epoxy products for a wide variety of issues—moisture prevention, structural repair, and more. Some of our epoxy is so advanced that it’s actually harder and stronger than the concrete it’s filling!”
In Conclusion: Some Cracks In The Foundation Floor Are Normal
What’s important is you know the difference. In most situations, it’s going to be easy to tell whether the cracks you’re looking at are relatively superficial. Or, whether they’re signs of something more serious happening to your foundation or basement concrete (not to mention driveway or garage).
The three kinds of cracks to have looked at are generally:
- Heaving Cracks
- Sinking Cracks
- Wider Cracks
Once you start seeing these kinds of cracks you should get in touch with your local foundation repair experts. If you’re in our area of Texas, don’t hesitate to Contact Childers Brothers. We’ve been at this for 48+ years, and we’ll take exceptionally great care of you and your concrete. Thanks for your time today, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.