Cracks in the basement walls are usually due to leaks around the foundations or are a first sign of structural problems with the house or the property you currently reside in. If you don’t nip this problem in the bud earlier on you’ll probably find yourself in a long line of home owners who eventually have to dish out thousands of dollars to get their property fixed.
Now the first thing you might want to take note of is the fact that your basement walls have considerable earth pressure pushing down on them constantly, this pressure is inward especially when considering the exterior grade and its positioning. In the olden day’s basement walls were made out of concrete and did not have any vertical refinements, thus they were capable of resisting pressure due to their borderline strength.
However if in case you are in a position where your basement wall seems to have cracks in and around it, note that for each kind there is a different kind of remedy.
A rule of thumb when considering basement cracks is that they are mostly due structural problems, your contractor either didn’t put in enough concrete or otherwise they didn’t bother leveling it out with the ground your house now stands at from the foundation and upwards. If you note a horizontal crack in your basement right in the middle of the wall you will need specialist intervention and sooner rather than later. However if the crack is bowing you might just get away with pasting a whole lot of concrete in and around it. But be careful you still want to call someone in to ensure that the concrete or cement your applying doesn’t latter on cause other problems.
Similarly in a concrete basement cracks will normally appear about six to eight inches from the top of the wall. And in most cases these will be a hairline crack which are a result of the reinforcing bars at the top not being placed properly. Now these cracks can cause a number of problems, the most common of which are:
They weaken the wall structure in itself
They allow moisture to seep in and penetrate through the wall
Now repairing this problem will involve you breaking out all of the spilling concrete, clearing the rust caused due to the moisture and water and eventually replacing the spilled concrete with repair mortar grade concrete. In each of the cases mentioned above you might just want to take on an expert opinion before you get to work. However basement cracks will appear either due to a weak structure or moisture making its way in from the foundations.