Cracks in the Walls of Your Basement or Foundation Can Mean Big Problems
Waterproofing your basement can help you avoid this highly expensive problem…
Basement waterproofing works by diverting excess water away from the foundation and keeping the pressure off the foundation and basement walls. Basically, your home’s foundation is there to hold the house up. But, this is far from the only pressure that it must endure.
Are Cracks in the Basement Walls Serious?
A crack in the walls or floor of your basement, even if they’re quite small, can be a sign of much bigger problems to come. In fact, neglecting cracks is the fastest way to join the unlucky club of home owners who’ve had to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to fix a collapsed basement/foundation.
What happens is that water from rain or snow or just people watering their lawns, seeps into the ground and swells the soil. Different soils swell to different levels, but, they all do.
This exerts a tremendous amount of pressure on the basement and foundation walls.
This will make the walls bow and crack.
And, if left untreated, these cracks can become serious and eventually cause the walls to crumble.You’ll start to see horizontal cracks which are indicative that your basement wall is beginning to push in or even buckle. Horizontal cracks are often caused by frost heave (expansion of water when it freezes) against the wall or heavy wet soil from hydrostatic pressure.
These types of cracks may denote a structural issue and should be addressed immediately. If not, you will be stuck with a repair price tag of 50,000 dollars or more!
- In the Philadelphia, NJ and Delaware areas, many homes fall victim to lateral pressure that causes the walls to actually fall apart.
Because these areas (and areas around the country like them) are prone to heavy rains in the spring and winter, erratic and sometimes large snow falls in the winter, and rain storms and tropical storms in the summer.
And, as we just discussed, this can be an insanely expensive problem to fix. When you see the foundation or your basement walls buckling from the pressure exerted on it by the outside dirt and water, you know foundation failure is on its way. If this is not treated, eventually your basement wall may collapse and further damage may be caused.
- A bowed wall typically can be repaired using structural support and wall bracing. It is also imperative to reduce the pressure on the outside wall. This typically requires the replacement of the exterior drainage system to reduce the soil moisture and hydrostatic pressure being exerted on the wall.