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Basement Wall Crack

Have you noticed jagged, expanding cracks along your basement walls? 

Although these cracks are common, they should never be ignored. Left untreated, they compromise your basement’s structural integrity and provide avenues for water infiltration. 

Baker’s Waterproofing streamlines the process of tackling basement wall cracks. We assess these cracks, explain their causes, and recommend proven basement repairs for lasting fixes.  

This page explains why wall cracks develop and the best ways to stop them. 

What Are Basement Wall Cracks?

Basement wall cracks refer to any divisions, fractures, or fissures in the material composing the basement’s perimeter structure. Cracks emerge when outside forces surpass the concrete’s limited tensile strength. 

Not all cracks signify foundation failure, but they do warrant prompt attention to prevent escalation, potentialwater infiltration,and structural instability. 

Not all cracks are the same, either. Each crack’s location, type, pattern, and width determine its severity and the appropriate repair methods. Our inspection process thoroughly analyzes all cracks to advise proper solutions. 

Exploring the Basement Wall Crack Causes

Various factors contribute to the formation and expansion of basement wall cracks. Our team explains these triggers during the inspection, enabling effective identification of the causes. 

Settlement and Shifting Soil

The soil under and around the basement shifts naturally over time due to either soil expansion and oversaturation or dry conditions (pictured here). In both cases, the ground cannot support the basement, resulting in cracks under its weight. 

Unevenly settled, poorly compacted backfill can also induce stress points. Settlement cracks usually run vertically or in a stair-step pattern and follow mortar joints in the wall. 

Hydrostatic Pressure

Following rain or snowfall, subterranean water accumulates, generating immense lateral pressure, known as hydrostatic pressure. When this occurs near basement walls, it leads to bowing and bending. Over time, this pressure surpasses the concrete’s tensile strength, leading to horizontal cracks. 

Freeze-Thaw Cycles

Seasonal freeze-thaw cycles subject the foundation to cyclical expansion and contraction. The concrete undergoes stress as water within the porous or cracked concrete walls freezes and thaws repeatedly. Vertical cracks often emerge at exterior wall corners. 

Improper Curing

As concrete cures, it solidifies and gains strength. Issues can arise during this process—including inadequate mixing, premature freezing, excessive water, and improper troweling—lead to weaker concrete susceptible to cracking under external forces. Inadequate curing also makes concrete more susceptible to freeze-thaw damage. 

Tree Roots

As tree roots seek water, they exert pressure on the foundation, damaging weak points in basement walls, particularly near the perimeter where roots gain easy access. 

Accurately identifying the causes of basement wall cracks dictates the most effective repair techniques. Baker’s Waterproofing offers tailored solutions to counteract these forces. 

Can Basement Wall Cracks Be Repaired?

Yes, cracking basement walls can be repaired. As basement and foundation repairs advance, cracked walls no longer necessitate the replacement of an entire basement wall. Professionals can now reinforce walls, seal cracks, and establish enduring defenses against future damage. 

Baker’s Waterproofing employs various wall reinforcement techniques to shield basement walls from recurring cracking. Our warrantied solutions ensure your basement remains secure, stable, and dry for years to come. 

Repairing Cracked Basement Walls

Our repair process, trusted by countless homeowners throughout Pennsylvania, thrives on attention to detail and efficiency. Here’s what to expect when partnering with Baker’s Waterproofing: 

Comprehensive Inspection

We thoroughly document all cracks, noting their locations, sizes, patterns, and openings. This analysis unveils whether settlement, hydrostatic pressure, tree roots, freeze-thaw cycles, or curing issues are responsible for the cracks. We also evaluate soil conditions and the foundation’s overall state. 

Installation of Wall Reinforcement Solutions

We use optimal reinforcement solutions to bolster vulnerable areas and prevent future cracking. These methods include: 

Integration of Basement Waterproofing

We implement a comprehensive basement waterproofing system to counteract hydrostatic pressure and prevent moisture penetration through cracks. This system includes: 

The Baker’s Waterproofing product line comprises industry-leading solutions customizable to your basement’s needs. More than four decades of addressing cracked basement walls empower us to fortify basements effectively and maintain their integrity. 

The Importance of Immediate Wall Crack Repairs

Don’t wait for minor cracks to develop into significant foundation problems. Take action for the following reasons: 

  • Cracks worsen with time due to ongoing external forces, often at an exponential rate. 
  • Expanding cracks allow more substantial water infiltration, leading to soil erosion, flooding, and potential mold growth. 
  • Ignoring cracks heightens the risk of further settlement, sinking floors, and compromising structural supports. 
  • Repairs cost more, especially if water damage is present. 
  • For safety, substantial foundation cracks necessitate monitoring sensors in case of sudden propagation. 

Don’t compromise your foundation’s integrity or your family’s safety. Baker’s Waterproofing offers fast, effective solutions to mend existing cracks and secure your foundation for lasting performance. Our approach transcends superficial crack repairs, comprehensively strengthening basement walls at their core. 

Contact Baker’s Waterproofing for Trusted Crack Repairs 

Cracks in basement walls deserve immediate attention to prevent foundation instability and costly water-related damage. 

At Baker’s Waterproofing, we leverage industry-leading solutions to rectify existing cracks and reinforce your entire basement. We offer free, comprehensive basement inspections, so don’t hesitate to schedule yours today! Avoid the temptation of quick fixes. Opt to address the root cause with thorough repairs from the experts at Baker’s Waterproofing. 

FAQs

Yes, basement wall cracks are relatively common, especially in older homes or areas with shifting soil. However, not all cracks are benign. Proper evaluation is essential to determine if they pose a structural risk. Contact us today for a free assessment. 

Severity depends on factors like the crack’s size, location, and direction. Horizontal cracks, widening gaps, or those accompanied by bowing walls or leaking water are generally more concerning. If in doubt, consult our professionals for an inspection. 

In most cases, foundation replacement isn’t required due to cracked walls. Modern repair methods effectively address cracks and reinforce structures without total replacement. 

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Baker's Service Area 5-18-2023

Proudly Serving Eastern, Central & Western PA and Northern West Virginia - Including Pittsburgh, Morgantown, Allentown, Harrisburg, Scranton, Lancaster, & Altoona

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