Cracked foundation inspection

As with the roof and the walls, a building’s foundations are not immune to the formation of cracks. Moreover, inspecting your foundations can often lead to the discovery of a cracked foundation and possible water infiltration.

Cracked foundation: do repairs need to be made?

When you notice a crack on your foundations, the first reflex is often intervening to avoid any problems. However, different points of view exist regarding the potential repair if a foundation crack.

Cracked foundation: the homeowner’s perspective

For homeowners, repairs often come down to a matter of investment and necessity. What are the short, medium and long-term risks in the case of inaction? To avoid any risk or possible deterioration, Foundation Crack Expert Group strongly recommends carrying out cracked foundation repairs when necessary.

However, if the homeowner decides not to repair the crack after a foundation inspection, they will have to assume the consequences of inaction and silence. For example, if they decide to sell their property, they will be required to mention the crack to avoid any future recourse (hidden defect).

Cracked foundation: the buyer’s perspective

Concrete cracks are an important source of concern for the buyer. In fact, anything that is visible during the home visit or the foundation inspection will have a positive or negative influence on the purchase decision.

In fact, deciding not to repair a crack can result in the loss of a potential buyer. In the worst case, the homeowner will be required to lower the purchase price, often by more than the cost of the repair itself.

Hidden defect

One of the main causes of legal action precisely concerns the problem of concrete cracks. A prudent homeowner will ensure regular property maintenance to avoid future disputes.

It is often said that peace of mind is priceless, but we sometimes realize it too late.

Prevention is best!

It is important to note that a cracked foundation will cause some waterproofing problems, among others. In many cases, fixing the problem can cost a few hundred dollars. If you let the problem continue, the costs could be as high as several thousand dollars.

Therefore, in the case of a cracked foundation, prevention is best!

The past, an indication of the future

A building’s aging process begins as soon as the building construction is complete. Moreover, the lifespan of materials varies: certain environmental factors will influence their longevity. Sooner or later, a preventive inspection will be required. Pay attention to the different signs of aging in order to preserve the structure and its market value. Even the slightest negligence will have a direct impact on your portfolio.

The foundation of any building consists mainly of concrete. It is the base of any construction and has a direct impact on the entire structure. Neglecting foundation maintenance will have disastrous effects for the entire building.

It’s important to remember that the older the building, the easier it is to determine the quality of its foundation. In contrast, the more recently the building was constructed, the more difficult it becomes to assess the potential risks.

In the field, we are aware that a 10-year old house has gone through a certain aging process since its construction. As such, the first years of life, generally from 0 to 5 years, are vulnerable to the appearance of foundation cracks. Subsequently, from 5 to 10 years, the risk of seeing them appear decreases significantly.

The following chart illustrates the potential risk of cracks appearing during a home foundation’s first 10 years.

 

Appearance of foundation cracks

Repairing foundation cracks after inspection

One result, two processes

Several causes exist to explain the appearance of foundation cracks after inspection. Unfortunately, there are very few viable and cost-effective solutions available to clients to prevent their occurrence.

As a result, cracks will always be present, but they could be much less numerous, especially in the residential sector. The processes in this sector are not the same as in the commercial and industrial sectors. In the end, everything remains a question of cost!

Finally, some practices commonly used and tolerated in the residential construction sector are systematically rejected in the commercial or industrial sector.

The main causes of cracked foundations

  1. Non-compliance with concrete placement and drying procedures, specifically:

  • Further addition of water to the mix on the construction site;
  • Inadequate vibration of the concrete;
  • Premature removal of casing formwork;
  • Temperature too high;
  • Temperature too low.
  1. The nature of the soil and its preparation:

  • Inadequate removal of unsuitable soils;
  • Insufficient compaction rate;
  • Low load-bearing soil.
  1. Backfilling the foundation:

  • Inadequate equipment;
  • Negative slope.

 

Microcracks, is this a natural phenomenon?

“It’s a microcrack, it naturally results from concrete drying. Don’t worry, it’s normal!” This popular, persistent and often repeated sentiment unfortunately remains an acceptable truth to many.

Although the phenomenon is real and well-known, this all-purpose excuse has had the effect, over time, of dismissing the problem. Even worse, the words “microcrack and natural”, out of their proper context, normalized the problem and attached no real importance to it.

As you can see, there are many causes of cracked foundations. A foundation inspection is therefore important to determine the nature of the cracks and understand how to repair them. It is possible to repair your foundation cracks, both outside and inside. If you need a cracked foundation inspection, contact Foundation Crack Expert Group.