Though lauded for its sturdiness, concrete can develop fissures and cracks. Many homeowners complain that the concrete foundation of their homes is showing random cracks. Sometimes, they develop damage within the first year of building the houses. They may start small, but if left unattended, they can become a serious cause of concern.
An array of reasons leads to cracks in a concrete slab foundation, including plumbing leaks, poor construction, excessive moisture, and soil conditions. All the stated factors can cause severe foundation damage that you must fix immediately.
8 Reasons Why Concrete Foundations Develop Cracks
A solid foundation defines a robust home, and a sturdy footer represents a mighty foundation. The footer’s job is to provide a strong base for the foundation without settling or shifting. When footers start ripping apart, the foundation may develop cracks. Typically, footer cracks emerge because of fragile concrete, which may also happen due to inadequate steel reinforcement. To detect this issue and get it resolved, you should consider seeking professional help.
In essence, concrete shares a toxic relationship with moisture. Due to this reason, when plumbing leaks happen from sewer lines or water pipes, the moisture gradually migrates to the foundation. When this continues to happen for a long time, it can severely damage the home’s foundation.
Addition of a Second Story
When you add a second story to your home but the original pour concrete footings of your home can support only single-story buildings, it may lead to foundational damage.
Natural calamities like earthquakes, floods, or storms may damage a concrete foundation. Earthquakes are undoubtedly one of the most devastating phenomena that one hardly wants to experience. When the tectonic plates under the Earth move, it leads to earthquakes by causing seismic waves. For obvious reasons, such tremors can severely affect the foundation and, in the worst cases, destabilize your home.
Floods and storms bring excess water and moisture along with them. Due to floods, soils become waterlogged, exerting hydrostatic pressure on your home’s foundation. When your foundation fails to withstand such force, it can develop cracks.
Snowfall causes noticeable damage to your concrete foundation. Snow makes the soil expand and freeze. It triggers shifts, which work as one of the primary causes of foundation cracks. It’s worth knowing that concrete slabs become weak when the surrounding temperature falls below 40 degrees Farehenhites.
Environmental factors, like extreme summer heat, soil inclination, etc., may cause damage to concrete foundations. Sweltering weather typically dries up the soil, leading to settling and soil sinking. This may lead create room for foundational cracks. In addition, the type of soil the construction land has may also affect the stability of concrete foundations.
For example, soils that are too high in moisture contribute actively to cracks. It occurs because high moisture levels push the ground to expand, which causes upheaval. This raised soil eventually pushes your foundation upward, causing cracks and damage. Therefore, it’s always wise to perform soil testing before building a home, and this may identify the need for soil compaction, which can help prevent foundational cracks.
Roots of Large Trees
Granted, when you plant a majestic tree in your front yard, it multiplies your property’s aesthetic appeal by hundred times. However, planting it too close to the foundation may cause significant damage to the home’s foundation. Hardwoods like elms, oaks, etc., possess shallow roots and grow rapidly. Their roots may split concrete foundations.
Besides, their tendency to drain vast amounts of water from the soil may dry up the land, which also stresses your home’s foundation, leading to damage. It’s worth knowing that tree root damages can make you take out thousands of dollars from your pocket as repair costs. Therefore, avoid planting a tree very close to your foundation – instead, maintain a gap and grow it so that it doesn’t cause any harm to your property.
Dirty and Unmaintained Gutters
When you avoid cleaning your gutters periodically, they may develop clogs. Clogged drains fail to perform their primary job, i.e., guiding rainwater or water from snow melts off your home’s roof. The gutters of any home typically slope toward a downslope that takes the water away from the house. They may also connect to underground drainage systems.
In the seasons of heavy rainfall, snowfall, or storms, your home’s gutters protect your foundation and save it from water damage. However, when debris blocks your home’s gutter system, it fails to perform its primary duty. As a result, excessive water may pool around your home’s foundation. Gradually, the water can sip into the foundation and cause soil erosion. This eventually weakens your home’s foundation and causes cracks and other damages.
Apart from the stated ones, factors like poor quality concrete mix, inadequate reinforcements, etc., can also lead to a damaged concrete foundation. When your home’s foundation perimeter gets damaged, it can call for further issues like fractures in exterior bricks, ceilings, basement walls, etc. Therefore, ensure that you leave no effort in avoiding things that trigger foundational damage.
What if Your Concrete Foundation Has Already Started Showing Signs of Damage?
When you notice the signs of damage in the concrete foundation of your home, you should reach out to professional concrete foundation contractors at the earliest and get your slab foundations fixed. This will prevent the cracks from getting more severe. In addition, you will be able to level the foundation up again.
Concluding About Concrete Foundation Repair
We have noted down why basement foundations are made out of concrete cracks. When you notice the slightest deterioration in the loose concrete foundation of your home, you should immediately get in touch with reliable concrete house foundations contractors to get those damages fixed. The earlier you address the issue, the more cost-saving it will be. Besides, restoring your foundation wall can help you avoid future problems like fractures, etc.
If you want to leave the job in trusted hands, you can count on Foundation Maestro. Our specialized and skillful services will help you turn your home’s basement foundation into a more stable and robust one.