What You Can Do About A Cracked Basement Wall
Cracked walls are a tricky business. Not only are they an eyesore, but they could mean serious structural trouble for the wall. In this article, we will talk about what kind of cracks need a simple patch job, and what cracks will warrant the expertise of a foundation repair company.
A crack can happen for many reasons. Often, they are a result of the natural settling of the home over time. Before taking steps to repair the cracked wall, you must first:
Determine If The Crack Is Active Or Dormant
Cracks can be either dormant (unchanging and stationary,) or active (growing wider or longer.) Active cracks can be caused by repeated overloading of the wall, or due to temperature and humidity changes. To test if a crack is active, you can add a thin layer of plaster over the middle of the crack. If the crack in question is still active, it will cause the dried plaster to split when it moves again. Active cracks can be readily filled with a flexible sealant to keep out the water. Dormant wall cracks can be filled with epoxy on top of rubber sealant, concrete, or epoxy by itself.
Gauge the Severity Of The Crack
Before you go running out to the hardware store, however, you must first determine how severe the crack is. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is it a clean stair-step crack going horizontal then vertical?
- Is it a rough horizontal crack?
- Is the crack in a load bearing or otherwise supporting wall?
- Is the wall bowing either inward or outward with the crack?
A clean stair-step type crack on either a load-bearing or regular wall is not an immediate cause for concern. These types of cracks occur with the natural settling of the walls over time. As time goes on, the crack may spread depending on if the wall settles further. However, the outlook for these cracks is good. On the other hand if the crack is rough, horizontal, or on a load-bearing wall which is bulging either in or out, you may have a bigger problem on your hands. A cracked wall in Omaha such as that, especially when combined with the bow of the wall, can indicate severe structural instability. When faced with this crack, immediately seek advice from a professional. It may turn out to be a minor fix, or it could mean that the wall can no longer support the load it was designed to.
Be sure you know your facts about cracks in basement walls before attempting any type of DIY repair work. And if you’re unsure of something, always seek the help of a professional. If you would like to know more, we welcome you to visit us at our website. Additionally, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.