A Cracked Foundation
No, all cracks are something of concern. However, many are. So how do we know if they are or not? The answer is not always 100% and even easy for that matter. But let’s talk about what a surface crack is and a crack that goes right through to the other side.
First, where is the crack? Is the crack above ground level? How did the crack happen? Things move, and your foundation is no exception. But why did it move is the most important question. Your foundation is 8 inches wide for poured (solid) concrete. But your footing is at least twice as wide. The footing is poured concrete on virgin soil. Meaning when your foundation was being dug out they can only dig until the level that your footing will sit on. If they dug up more than needed they would have to fill and compact it real good. And that’s a major code issue. However, the building inspector will never know this or not.
Now a few years later that footing starts to settle and since concrete doesn’t bend it will crack the wall. So OK, it settled for now so now you can go ahead and start the repair. But keep in mind it’s very important that you understand what’s going on on the outside first. Under the dirt, you could have very big rocks push against the foundation. Not extremely likely but still the same. Also, make sure you don’t have a BIG tree right next to the house and its roots pushing against the foundation. As well as the easiest fix would be to make sure the ground from the foundation is sloping away from the house. And that rainwater is properly diverted away.
The Repair. So many people really believe that you can just patch cracks from the inside. There is no truth to that at all. The only real fix is to repair it from the outside. Remove the dirt, clean the area, a patch with a good mortar, and tar back over the repaired area real good. That’s it, you’re done and with the right fix. Now go back inside and do a pretty look repair.
Sure you can inject a good epoxy in the cracks from the side, some do work well. But not always that’s for sure. Let’s look at it this way. If a crack goes unrepaired for a long time. The water leaking in will start to deteriorate the foundation in that area. Now you have bigger issues. Do you really want to trust a quick fix?
Duck tape placed over a crack on the outside is better than a bigger repair on the inside. But don’t do that. Just making a point.