3 Steps to Save on Your Home’s Foundation

Did you know your foundation does more than hold the weight of your home? The condition of your foundation also affects the structural integrity of your home, and also your home’s overall resale value. Should your foundation become damaged, it can result in thousands of dollars in repairs. But there are ways that you can save yourself a lot of money on your home’s foundation. By following 3 steps to save on your home’s foundation, you can catch foundation problems before they get worse.

Stair-step crack on cement block foundation wall in crawlspace
This stair-step crack has been growing and is getting wider.

Step One: Looking for Cracks in Your Foundation

To help prevent costly repairs for your foundation, one of the best practices you can adopt is to check your foundation for cracks. Search your foundation walls as well as the floor. You may notice hairline cracks in your foundation, but usually these are not a concern because they are a byproduct of shrinkage after the concrete is poured and starts to dry.

Here are some cracks that you may notice…

  • Vertical cracks
  • Horizontal cracks
  • Stair-step cracks on concrete block or brick foundation walls

If you see any cracks that are wider than a hairline crack, keep these in mind as you go on to the next step.

Step Two: Checking for Movement

Now that you’ve searched for cracks, you’ll want to measure and mark those cracks to check for movement later on. Should any of the cracks you’ve detected exhibit growth or widening, your foundation may have a problem that requires attention. But cracks won’t change overnight.

Step Three: Regularly Checking Foundation Cracks

Last but not least in the steps to save on your home’s foundation, you will want to regularly check your foundation’s cracks. Check and measure those cracks every three to six months to see if there’s been any further movement.

If there has been further movement, then the crack is being caused by a foundation problem and it needs to be addressed to prevent further damage to your foundation and house.

The kinds of cracks that your foundation has may be indicative of the type of foundation problem that you’re experiencing.

Let’s briefly explore what those problems could be…

Hydrostatic Pressure

Whenever it rains, the water table may rise to meet the foundation. As the water presses against the foundation’s floor and walls, it creates what’s known as hydrostatic pressure. This water pressure can be immense, placing great amounts of strain on the foundation. While concrete is very strong, enough repeated occurrences will lead to the formation of cracks. These cracks can form on the foundation walls or floor. If these cracks are allowed to remain, they can also begin to leak water into the basement. A wet or flooded basement can result in further repair costs, both for your foundation and anything that’s in your basement.

Here are just some of the problems that may occur if your foundation crack gets to the point of leaking water into your lower level…

  • Mold growth
  • Wood rot
  • Pests including rats, mice, termites, and dust mites
  • Rusting of any mechanical equipment such as your HVAC system
  • Water damage to stored belongings, furniture, etc.

If there is a horizontal crack that’s running along the middle of your foundation wall, there’s a chance that hydrostatic pressure is causing your foundation wall to bow or bulge. If that is the case, it is important to address this as soon as possible so that the deflection is not allowed to grow. Structural damage like bowing or tilting basement walls can not only harm other parts of your home, but it can also mean more repairs and solutions may be required in order to stabilize your home.

Frost Heave

Stair-step cracks on exterior foundation wall
At the corner of the foundation, this stair-step crack is likely a warning sign of uneven foundation settlement. This crack has been getting wider and is in urgent need of repair.

Foundation problems can occur even in the winter. As the temperature drops, the water in the soil may freeze. The resulting expansion from the water turning to ice can press against the bottom of your foundation floor or even against your foundation walls.

Uneven Foundation Settlement

Foundation settlement is a common scenario, but sometimes whether by soil erosion or because of the type of soil that your home’s built upon, uneven foundation settling can happen. When a foundation settles unevenly, it can place a great deal of stress on the foundation, resulting in cracks between the foundation and the part of the foundation that’s sinking unevenly.

Some common signs of uneven foundation settlement include stair-step cracks in the corner of a cement block foundation basement, or vertical cracks on a smooth basement wall marking where the uneven settlement is happening.

The Next Step to Save Your Home’s Foundation: Calling the Experts at ‘58!

By following these 3 steps to save on your home’s foundation, you can minimize the financial impact your foundation repairs will have. These problems won’t fix themselves and ignoring them will only make it worse with time.

If you have cracks that are growing or new cracks that have appeared, it’s time to call in the foundation repair experts. ’58 Foundations & Waterproofing is an award-winning company that specializes in foundation repair, basement waterproofing, crawlspace encapsulation, and even mold removal. Since 1958, we’ve been helping thousands upon thousands of homeowners like you with their foundation repair needs. With products like our ’58 Strong Helical Piers, Carbon ’58 Wall Straps, and ’58 Strong I-Beams, you can lean on ’58 to have the most effective process that’s guaranteed to give you the best results.

We have local offices throughout the Eastern Seaboard! Whether you’re a resident near Knoxville, TN, Spartanburg, SC, or Atlanta, GA.

Contact us today to schedule for a free inspection and to receive a detailed price quote! We’ll be happy to answer any questions, and help you determine if your foundation is in need of our expertise!

Carbon fiber wall straps on basement wall
Vertical wall cracks were found in this basement and are now being reinforced by our Carbon ’58 Wall Straps.