Foundation Cracks and Their Possible Causes

wall with cracksA significant portion of concrete buildings possess signs of developing cracks in walls and foundations. The cracks do not appear on their own. They are usually the result of an underlying problem that, unless fixed, is likely to continue until it causes irreparable damage. Any notable cracks ought to be sealed immediately. Attention should also be given to the identified cause of the cracks. Otherwise, further damage may occur soon after repair.

Leaking pipe systems

These are the major cause of cracking foundations in many buildings. The problem may require the attention of a skilled technician. There are several businesses in Utah that offer foundation crack repair services to clients with affected buildings. Visiting meritstructures.com can also help you with this. In addition to sealing the developing cracks, they may undertake to repair the faulty pipes to reduce the occurrence of future cracks. Leaking pipes tend to wet the soil around the pipes, causing the soil to expand. Greater leaks result in more soil expansion. As a result, the expanding soil exerts a tensile force on a building’s foundation, causing it to crack over time. If the water continues to leak, it is likely that the foundation cracks will become more intense. Such cracks weaken the foundation of a building, posing a threat to the safety of its occupants.

Improper compression of the soil during construction

men pouring cement on the soilWhen constructing any building, part of laying the foundation involves compressing the soil to achieve some degree of compactness. It is then on such compact ground that a building should be erected. However, that is sometimes not the case. Some building contractors, due to the need to complete their projects within the shortest time possible, tend to skip the step. They end up erecting a building on loose soil. With time, the loose soil begins to settle due to the weight of the building. It is unlikely that the soil will settle regularly. That means that some sections of the soil structure may end up sinking, whereas others remain raised. The results are sunken and cracked foundation structures. Depending on the extent of the cracks and sinks, there may be a need to replace the entire foundation.

Stress from nearby growing trees

Trees are a common cause of cracks, especially in many homes. Some homeowners tend to plant trees in close proximity to their houses in the hope of creating a suitable mini-climate around their homes. However, that is not always a wise decision. As trees begin to grow, their roots tend to also spread to boost their access to water. The roots may soon begin to penetrate below your home’s foundation. The result may be an upheaval as the foundation concrete is forced upwards. As the roots continue to grow, the upheaval will reach its elastic limit and begin cracking. In such situations, the only solution may be to uproot the trees. It may also be possible to cut off a part of the roots that are in the direction of the house to prevent destroying the entire tree.

By understanding the possible causes of cracks in a building, it becomes possible to take the appropriate preventive measure. It also creates awareness on the importance of seeking timely repair interventions in a bid to prevent further deterioration.