Understanding Types of Foundation Cracks and How to Treat Them

As a homeowner, one of the scariest things you may come across is a crack in your home’s foundation.

Foundation cracks are certainly a cause for concern, as they may point to a problem. In severe situations, cracks are symptoms of hazardous structural issues. In other cases, they simply mean water is seeping into your basement during heavy rainstorms.

So, how can you tell if you have a serious crack or a minor crack? More importantly, how do you go about fixing it?

Here’s a guide for telling the difference between normal versus serious foundation cracks and how to repair them.

close up of foundation crack

Vertical Foundation Cracks

A vertical crack in your foundation is the least threatening type of crack you may see in your foundation. In fact, nearly all houses have them.

These types of cracks form because concrete can crack easily when under tension. The problem with these cracks is that they allow water to seep through your foundation in heavy rainstorms. So, they’re worth fixing when you come across them.

An epoxy or urethane injection can easily be used to repair a vertical crack in your foundation. Because these materials are flexible, the future movement of your foundation won’t cause your sealed crack to re-open, so you can rest assured that your fix will be a permanent one.

Horizontal Cracks

Contrary to vertical cracks, a horizontal crack is the most severe type of crack that can occur in your home’s foundation. The cause of these types of cracks? A foundation that is bowing.

A bowing foundation is a serious problem, as it may ultimately lead to your foundation’s failure. This, in turn, can lead to the collapse of your home. However, strapping can be installed on your foundation’s interior area to keep your wall from continuing to bow.

In addition, reinforcing braces or posts may be installed in your crawlspace or basement to address a bowing foundation and the resulting horizontal cracks. Yet another option is to bury anchors in the ground to pull your foundation’s wall out and then secure it.

An industry professional can advise you on what solution is most appropriate in your case and help you get it fixed correctly and safely.

Diagonal Cracks

Diagonal foundation cracks are typically the result of foundation settling, whether your house is old or new. Fortunately, these types of cracks are relatively easy to repair.

The same injections used for horizontal cracks can also be used for diagonal cracks, except extra injection material will likely be needed. This is to account for future foundation movement.

How We Can Help

We offer top-of-the-line foundation repair services and products. We have a strong reputation for inspecting, repairing, and replacing foundation walls and damaged drain tiles.

With more than 20 years of experience in the southeastern part of Wisconsin, we can diagnose foundation issues resulting from unanticipated soil conditions, design changes, construction, and other common causes.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can address your foundation cracks and keep your home standing strong for years to come.