The Most Common Causes of Foundation Cracks

Jan 4, 2022

All things age and your house is no exception. It is essential to make sure that it ages well and to keep an eye out for the small repairs as problems surface. Your house stands on a foundation and the years can take a serious toll on the foundation. Top it off with low maintenance and harsh weather conditions and you have got some serious foundation cracks to deal with.

If you want to avoid big and pricey damages, then deal with the little cracks as they surface rather than delaying them till the problem gets more severe. The cracks could get bigger and deeper which will let water seep into the basement, even possibly flooding it. And anyone who has experienced it once will tell you what a nightmare a flooded basement can be.

There is no way to guarantee a crackproof concrete foundation, because concrete shrinks and expands with temperature changes. Especially in Canada, you know how dramatic and sudden temperature changes can be, with one day being +16 and the next -10. If cracks have started appearing, keep an eye on them and track any changes in size that may occur. Big cracks are big problems.

Let’s find out why these cracks are caused:

  • As the weather changes, the concrete and soil around the foundation expand and contract with the temperature changes. This can cause the foundation to shift and crack.
  • Depending on how strong it was, earthquakes can cause some major/minor cracks and weaken the foundation.
  • Weather conditions make a large contribution to foundation problems. If there has been heavy rain, the water will make the soil expand. This will push against the foundation and potentially cause cracks. This is known as “hydrostatic pressure.”
  • Plumbing leaks are another major cause of cracks. This is why basement waterproofing is highly recommended, along with a sump pump in good working order.
  • Just like concrete has a bit of a problem during the winter, summers are also problematic. Concrete expands in the heat and when the night is cooler, it shrinks. All this shrinking and expanding can crack the foundation.

If you want to protect the foundation of your house then make sure it is dry, well-supported and looked after. Do not delay any work that it might need no matter how small – some things cannot wait. If you have any more questions about concrete foundation cracks and concrete foundation repair, contact The Crack Doctor!

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