Sunday, September 24, 2023

When Cracks Are a Problem: Foundation Crack Repair for Your Texas Home

Home & GardenWhen Cracks Are a Problem: Foundation Crack Repair for Your Texas Home

Have you been putting off needed foundation crack repair in Texas? If so, now is the time to call a foundation contractor! The longer you ignore cracks, leaks, spalling, and chips, the more severe they become. In turn, you’ll end up paying thousands of dollars extra for needed fixes!

On the other hand, some Texan homeowners put off needed repairs because they don’t know their home needs a foundation overhaul. Others might assume that cracks are normal and don’t pose a danger to foundation materials. With this in mind, note some tips for determining when cracks are a problem and if they need repairs. For further info, you can contact our company for foundation crack repair Woodlands.

Is It Normal to Have Some Cracks In a Foundation?

Hairline foundation cracks are not uncommon and not typically dangerous. These cracks often appear within the first five years of home construction. During this time, concrete is still curing and settling. In turn, it might contract as it dries completely, leading to cracks.

Small cracks less than 1/8” wide are not usually dangerous and don’t indicate severe damage. However, a homeowner might still patch those cracks. Patching will help keep out moisture that could risk added damage, while keeping concrete strong.

When Should I Be Concerned About a Crack in a Foundation?

While hairline cracks are often normal and minor, this doesn’t mean you should ignore all foundation cracks! Note when it’s vital to schedule foundation crack repair for your Texas property:

  • Cracks larger than 1/8” wide often indicate a weak or bent foundation. In turn, these should be patched right away!
  • Stairstep or zigzag cracks usually indicate concrete separation. Consequently, this can lead to structural instability and these cracks need immediate patching.
  • Horizontal cracks often mean there is too much moisture in the soil around the foundation. This causes the soil to expand and press against the foundation, risking cracks. With this in mind, schedule foundation crack repair if you notice these around your property.
  • Note, too, that a contractor should check any foundation crack allowing in moisture or that feels damp to the touch. Moisture risks more severe foundation damage and can also lead to mold, mildew, and insect infestation in the home.

Above all, call a foundation repair contractor if you have any question about a foundation crack on your property. He or she can evaluate the damage and note if it needs patching or any other repairs.

What Are Some Signs of Foundation Damage?

Along with foundation cracks, you might note other signs of foundation damage around your property. In turn, you’ll know when to schedule a full-scale inspection:

  • When a weak foundation bends or settles, it pulls on interior surfaces including walls and ceilings. Consequently, you might notice interior cracks along these materials especially at their weak points. These include door and window frames, or between drywall panels.
  • Never overlook sagging or uneven floors, or tiles slipping out of position. A weak foundation doesn’t support flooring as it should. In turn, you might notice a soft floor under foot or other flooring issues.
  • Sinking and settling homes pull on plumbing pipes and connectors. To that end, your house might suffer persistent plumbing leaks and clogs!
  • Since foundation cracks let in moisture, it’s not unusual for homes to then suffer mold and mildew. You might also notice persistent dampness in various rooms and unpleasant musty odors.

Can a Cracked Foundation Be Repaired in Texas?

Foundation cracks are typically repairable for Texan homes! However, the repair type and your cost depend on the foundation material and damage extent.

  • A contractor might use specialty epoxies to fill small, hairline cracks. These epoxies expand as they dry, filling in the crack and blocking moisture. Professional patching usually costs just a few hundred dollars but might need repeating after a few years.
  • Severe leak repair requires excavation around the property. Next, a contractor replaces pipes installed to capture moisture and direct it away from the foundation. Lastly, he or she applies a waterproof coating.
  • Carbon or steel straps correct bowing or severely cracked basement walls. These straps help push the walls back into position, closing up cracks and providing support. Each strap might cost between $1000 and $3000 but they typically last for decades, if not indefinitely.
  • Underpinning uses steel piers or pins, or concrete cylinders, around or under a foundation. Once attached to the foundation, these pins push it back into place, closing up cracks. Underpinning also lasts for decades if not permanently.
  • Foundation leveling or slab jacking starts with holes drilled through or around a foundation. Next, a contractor injects slurries into those holes. The slurries as well as hydraulic equipment lift or float the foundation back into place. Slab jacking might cost less than $1500 but isn’t always a permanent solution.
  • For pier and beam foundations, a contractor might add shims between those pieces. These wedge-shaped materials offer added support and help close cracks.

How Can You Tell If a Crack Is Structural?

Typically, any crack wider than 1/8” thick as well as stair step cracks are structural. Additionally, vertical cracks that are wider at the top or bottom might indicate structural damage. Horizontal cracks along the foundation concrete itself are also serious and need immediate attention.

Note, too, that nonstructural cracks can become structural and severe over time. Consequently, you’ll want to patch cracks quickly, even if they don’t appear severe. Also, consider that the best way of determining a crack’s severity is with a full-scale, professional inspection. Regular inspections spot damage as it’s developing, so you can schedule needed repairs.

When Does a Foundation Need an Inspection in TX?

Schedule a foundation inspection five years after new construction. This time frame allows concrete to cure completely, and a contractor can then check for cracks. After that time, schedule an inspection every three years or even annually.

Also, a homeowner might schedule an inspection after a flood or other such damage. Additionally, if your landscaper has noticed excess moisture in the soil, have the foundation inspected! That excess moisture risks foundation cracks and other damage. An inspection can spot that damage like foundation crack repair before it gets severe and even costlier to address.

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