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The Difference Between Structural and Non-structural Foundation Cracks

foundation crack repairBasement cracks are a common sight, and most homeowners have probably noticed small cracks in their basements before. While some types of cracks don’t pose a major threat right away, they can lead to bigger, more expensive foundation crack repairs down the road. They can also allow water in the basement that causes all sorts of damage, from water-logged carpets, furniture and ruined electronic equipment to the growth of dangerous molds.

List of Differences for Foundation Cracks

Most small cracks in basement floors and walls are non-structural and can be repaired fairly easily. Others are structural cracks that can jeopardize a home’s well being and require expensive foundation crack repair.

So what’s the difference?

Non-structural Cracks

Non-structural cracks in foundation walls tend to appear near windows and doorways. They are typically small and are usually no bigger than 1/8 of an inch wide. Non-structural cracks are caused by pressure from soil outside the house. These cracks may not be as damaging to the structure of the foundation, but they can lead to wet basement problems. When the soil gets over-saturated with water, these cracks can leak and cause moisture in basement walls. Luckily, non-structural cracks can be fixed fairly easily with the help of a waterproofing expert.

Structural Cracks

Structural cracks can often be differentiated from non-structural cracks just by looking at them. Structural cracks tend to be either horizontal or in a pattern, and they are also usually bigger than 1/8 of an inch wide. These types of foundation cracks may not always leak water, but they can mean major structural damage to a home’s foundation. Structural cracks are caused by either pressure from soil or a sinking foundation. Regardless of what is causing structural cracks, they require foundation crack repair by a professional. If left alone, the integrity of the house’s structural base could be compromised.

Being able to distinguish between structural and non-structural cracks is helpful in determining what type of issue homeowners are looking at. Recognizing the problems and dealing with them as soon as they arise can help homeowners avoid major house foundation repair costs.

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Three Common Causes of a Wet Basement and How to Stop Them

water in the basementOne common problem that homeowners face is water in the basement. A damp or watery basement can cause all sorts of trouble, from damaged internal structures to expensive home foundation repairs. The basement is the room most prone to water damage, and keeping water out can be a real pain. However, knowing what causes water in the basement and how to prevent it can help homeowners protect their property from the damaging effects of water.

List of Problems and Solutions

Here are some of the most common causes of water in the basement and easy solutions:

Leaks

Problem: Basement leaks can lead to extensive damage, and unfortunately the source of the problem can be hard to locate. Leaks can be caused by malfunctioning gutters, internal pipe bursts and water that pools around the foundation of the home.

Solution: To fix basement leaks, clean out gutters regularly to make sure that they are draining properly, and ensure that gutter pipes are pointed away from the house. To keep water from gathering around the foundation, clear snow and melting ice away from the home’s exterior. Basement window well covers can also help to ensure that water doesn’t build up around the exterior of a home.

Cracks

Problem: Cracks in basement walls, windows, doors and floors are another common cause of a wet basement. Cracks that are left unattended to can grow over time, letting even more water in and causing more interior water damage.

Solution: Keep an eye out for any noticeable cracks and fill them in right away. Small cracks in basement walls can be fixed by applying a concrete sealant. As cracks get bigger, it is a good idea to call a waterproofing expert to fix the problem to ensure the issue is taken care of properly.

Condensation

Problem: Condensation in the basement can cause a number of problems, and when it is not taken care of it can lead to the growth of hazardous mold within the home. This issue is most common in the summer when the air inside the basement is much cooler than the air outdoors.

Solution: One way to deal with excess moisture problems is to install a dehumidifier in the basement. A dehumidifier will remove excess moisture from the air and prevent condensation from building up on basement walls.

Taking a proactive approach to a wet basement is the best way to prevent major water damage to a home.

Homeowners who are aware of the common causes of water damage and know how to prevent them have a better of chance of protecting their property and keeping their families safe.