Bloomington Basement Crack Repair
Basement cracks might seem like the classic case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ but in reality they are amongst the worst types of cracking that you can have and the faster you deal with it the better. That’s because the basement is a crucial part of the structure of your foundations and signs that its structure is shifting can be a sign that your whole property is under threat. Plus the air from the basement will make its way throughout the whole building so with basements already a potential breeding ground for mold and mildew, having cracks associated with damp means that mold spores will spread upwards and into your living areas.
Horizontal Cracks, Vertical Cracks, Stair Step Cracks.
You may have heard that horizontal cracks suggest serious problems and while they don’t necessarily spell instant doom it tends to be true that cracks along horizontal grout lines in brickwork and running parallel to the floor in concrete slabs are usually bad news. That’s because the nature of walls means that horizontal fault lines may mean pressure on the walls that could cause them to cave. Before panicking, however, let’s not forget that there are three key types of basement crack problems. There’s bad building in which incorrect construction has left your basement vulnerable to predictable pressures from soil and water movement. There’s hydrostatic pressure from groundwater which pushes against basement walls, but there’s also good old fashioned settling where your foundations gently move because they are compressing the ground beneath. Often the different types of crack give us a clue about what is the cause.
Settling cracks are common in the first few years after construction and are often the cause of stair step cracks that zig zag up the wall. While some settling is normal and repairs may be mostly aesthetic it is nonetheless important to call the professionals in to check that settling is indeed the cause. If ‘settling’ cracks appear when a building is more than a few years old then there is something more serious at work.
The power of water is astonishing and hydrostatic pressure cracks caused by the force of groundwater are definitely not to be underestimated. What amazes many of our clients, however, is that while of course we treat the cracks and caulk them, inject polyurethane, and all the other treatments for damp cracking we also like to get to the root cause of the problem. The answer to so many hydrostatic cracks lies in the drainage and the guttering systems of the property and if these aren’t addressed then the cracks will reoccur over and over. Water doesn’t normally come through basement floor cracks but if it does then as well as repairing the slab we also need to ensure that the sump pump is checked because if there is water present then repairing cracks is just papering over the problem.
Closely linked to drainage this is one of the more serious problems associated with basement cracks and may take more time and money because it demands a number of different approaches to correct the shortcomings of improperly done work.