Wall Cracks – Structural or Water Problem?

Have you spotted wall cracks in your basement? Before you work yourself into a panic, it is important to note that there are several solutions available for repairing cracks. Many of these solutions are actually affordable. The solution chosen will depend on whether the cracks are structural or caused by water damage.

What type of cracks do you have?

There are two types of foundation wall cracks. There are cracks that affect the structure of the foundation, i.e. structural cracks, and those that do not but instead admit water into the basement, i.e. water damage cracks. If you want to invest in a long-term solution, you must start by determining whether the cracks are structural or only causing water damage.

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You should start by measuring the width of the cracks. In general, cracks that are not more than an eighth-inch wide are not likely to affect the structure of the foundation. These are often therefore considered to be non-structural cracks. These types of cracks are quite common in concrete foundations. They can be caused by the natural settling of the foundation. They can also be a sign of other foundation movements such as those caused by the lateral force of hydrostatic pressure in soil that is water-saturated.

These cracks often occur in the lower parts of the wall and may even reach the floor. They may be dry when observed during dry seasons but begin to show signs of water seepage during wet weather. Repairing these types of cracks often involves crack injection to stop water from seeping through. It is also a good idea to address the water-saturated soil to prevent future problems. You may want to consider installing a French drain for example, to ease hydrostatic pressure by guiding the water away from the foundation wall.

If the cracks are wider than an eighth inch, there is a good chance that they are structural cracks. These cracks often occur in the middle and upper corners of the wall. They have symmetrical appearances and are often a result of the movement of the wall.

Addressing structural cracks requires more intensive repair. This may include the installation of carbon fiber strips to prevent further movement of the wall. Carbon fiber strips are an easy and affordable solution for wall cracks. However, you will also need to address the cause of the movement to prevent issues in the future.


Contact the professionals at Everdry Pittsburgh today! 1-800-388-3837