What causes foundation cracks?

Foundation cracks are a common problem for homeowners. These cracks can be difficult to diagnose, but they can be even harder to fix. What are the possible causes of cracks and what are their effects on your property? This article will explore these questions.

Foundation cracks are usually caused by soil activity around the house. Extreme climatic conditions such as heavy rain, frost and drought can also cause movement in the ground and create favorable conditions for the appearance of cracks.

The consequences of foundation cracks can range from a simple aesthetic defect to a serious threat to your property. If you notice any of these symptoms in your home, it is important to analyze the situation quickly in order to solve this problem before it worsens by calling on professionals like Fissure Fondation to identify and fix the problem.

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Soil movement and swelling

Soil movement and swelling, especially when it is clayey, is caused by the accumulation and movement of water, which causes an increase in soil volume and pressure. Clay, in particular, is very susceptible to swelling and contraction depending on the amount of water present.

Foundation cracks are the result of soil movement and swelling, especially when it is clayey. When the soil types are unstable and the foundation is concrete, horizontal cracks may form.

These cracks are the result of differential settlement of soils that occurs due to ground movement. It can also cause passive cracking or shrinkage cracking due to water accumulation. To prevent foundation cracks, it is important to identify unstable soil types and use techniques to stabilize their composition.

Foundation moves

Foundation movements due to freezing and thawing action are the result of the expansion and contraction of soils that occur when the air or water temperature is very low or very high.

Beware of the freeze-thaw cycle

The freeze-thaw cycle is an important factor that contributes to foundation cracks. When water that accumulates under and around a foundation freezes, it expands and causes pressure on the concrete or stone foundation.

This pressure can lead to the appearance of active cracks, which are visible to the naked eye. Passive cracks, on the other hand, are not visible and are the result of ground movement caused by repeated freezing and thawing cycles.

Watch for heavy spring rains

The melting of winter snow and heavy rains in the spring are also responsible for ground movements, which can cause cracks in the foundation walls as well as in the constructions themselves. The presence of excessive moisture around a structure can also cause cracks to form due to repetitive freeze-thaw cycles.

Poorly constructed foundations

Foundations that were built incorrectly to begin with can cause serious long-term problems, including cracks in the walls and structural problems. These problems can be expensive to repair and can lead to major damage to the home.

Foundation cracks can be caused by poor construction qualities. Improper implementation and distribution of masonry blocks or a masonry wall can lead to additional stresses that are not taken into account by the project. In addition, a poured concrete foundation, horizontal foundations and any other type of foundation must be constructed according to the builder’s specifications.

Uneven distribution of the weight of the house or building

Uneven distribution of the weight of the house on the foundation walls can lead to serious structural damage to the house and the foundation. To avoid this, it is important to ensure that the house is properly distributed over the foundation walls and that the walls are strong enough to support the weight of the house.

Uneven distribution of the weight of the house on the foundation walls is one of the most common causes of foundation cracks. If a foundation wall is not properly constructed or if the weight is excessively distributed over a particular part, it can lead to cracks in the structure.

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Roots of tall trees that are too close to foundation walls

Tree roots can cause cracks in foundation walls. They can dig deep into the ground and pull on the walls, causing cracks in the concrete. These cracks can also allow water infiltration and affect the waterproofing of the foundation. The most common cracks are vertical cracks, horizontal cracks, and V-shaped cracks.

How to prevent tree roots from causing too much damage?

To repair these cracks, it is important to inspect the wall to determine the exact type of crack and find an adequate solution. Other more complex solutions may be necessary, such as installing a French drain or laying steel plates to reinforce the foundation.

It is also important to remove roots that are too close to the walls to prevent new cracks from appearing. It is important that any repairs are carried out by a qualified professional to ensure a durable long-term solution to cracks caused by tree roots that are too close to the walls.

Pyrite problem in backfill or concrete in foundation walls and floors

Foundation cracks can be caused by a pyrite problem in the embankments or the concrete in the walls and floors. Brick walls, block walls and expansion joints can all be affected by pyrite growing inside the concrete.

Small cracks due to these conditions are usually visible on the exterior wall and can grow larger over time if left untreated. Other possible causes of interior cracks include poor construction or improper installation of French drains.

To properly diagnose the problem and find the right solution, it is important to hire a team of experts. Here are some of the solutions this team might recommend:

  • Special injections to fill cracks
  • Replacement of damaged concrete
  • Landscaping around the house to avoid any additional pressure on the foundations

It is crucial that you immediately seek the necessary professional help from Fissure Fondation if you notice any signs of cracking on your exterior wall.

Improperly executed excavation work, an impact on the house or an earthquake

Improper excavation work is one of the main factors that cause foundation cracks. A poorly executed excavation can cause a vertical crack that gets worse over time. An active crack is a new crack that has formed and is likely to continue to grow if left unrepaired.

Small cracks usually don’t need repairs, but larger ones should be treated with a flexible material such as polyurethane foam or flexible polyurethane.

Another common factor that causes foundation cracks are large trees planted too close to the house. These trees tend to absorb a lot of moisture, which puts a lot of pressure on the foundation and can cause diagonal cracks.

Earthquakes can also damage foundations and cause small cracks to appear. If not treated quickly, these small cracks can turn into large cracks and compromise the structural stability of the building.

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Learn about the causes of foundation cracks

What is the best way to prevent foundation damage?

how to prevent foundation damage? It is also important to ensure that the foundations are properly designed and installed and that there is adequate drainage around the foundations.

It is essential to take measures to prevent damage to the foundations. Although some cracks can be caused by external factors, proper care and maintenance can significantly reduce the risk of damage.

First, when major structural changes need to be made to the property, it is essential to hire qualified engineers to verify the strength and integrity of the foundation.

Additionally, when it comes to preventing cracks from developing in existing foundations, regular inspection is essential. Qualified experts can carefully examine the building for any flaws or possible signs of subsidence or shifting that would indicate a potential problem.

What are the main warning signs of foundation cracks?

Some warning signs of foundation problems include cracks in interior and exterior walls, cracks in floors, cracks in retaining walls, poor foundations, damp foundations, and sagging retaining walls.

It is important to recognize the warning signs of foundation problems so that you can act quickly to avoid any damage. The main signs to look out for are cracks or deformations in the concrete of the foundations, load-bearing walls or floors. Other symptoms to look out for are cracks in the plaster, creaking or warping floors, and doors and windows that no longer close properly.

If you notice these signs of damage to your home, it’s time to consult an expert. An early diagnosis can help save your home and save you big bucks in the long run by protecting your foundation from future damage from moisture and improper drainage.

What are the important tools and tests for monitoring the condition of foundations?

When it comes to monitoring the condition of foundations, there are various tools and tests that can be used to detect any cracks or damage. These varied tools provide detailed structural information, allowing property owners and managers to quickly identify a potential problem. Here are some of the most important tools and tests to consider:

Seismic tests

seismic testing involves measuring sound waves produced by mechanical vibration to obtain a three-dimensional image of the ground to determine if the structure is stable.

Interstitial pressure tests

Pore ​​pressure testing involves injecting a special liquid into the earth around the foundation to check if the liquid enters the opening or space between the ground and the foundation.

Visual tests

This method simply involves the visual examination of walls, columns and floors for any visible signs of cracks or cracks.

General inspection

It is important to carry out a general inspection regularly to identify any anomaly that may indicate a significant physical weakness of the structures.