Foundation cracks in a house can sometimes occur shortly after the building is constructed. They are a source of concern for many new homeowners. Are they right to be alarmed? This article will explore the subject of cracks in new home foundations.
One foundation, two types of cracks
When it comes to cracks in the foundation of a new home, we can identify two main types.
Shrinkage cracks in new buildings
Building materials contain a good proportion of water. The concrete floor, basement walls, plaster and wood of a new building alone initially contain about 4,000 litres of water. Most of this water will evaporate during the first year of the building’s life. This means that these materials will dry out during this period. Although normal, this drying can cause small cracks called shrinkage cracks.
These openings are often created under basement windows and above doors. However, these cracks can also occur in lowered areas and in the centre of walls if no expansion joints have been made.
When they appear on a poured concrete foundation wall, shrinkage cracks may be due to poor mixing, premature curing or inadequate steel reinforcement. Temperature variations, which cause concrete to expand and contract, can also cause small cracks.
In general, repairing interior cracks on a concrete foundation does not require major repair work. At this point, you can wait a little longer before intervening until the foundation dries completely. Shrinkage cracks can be easily sealed to prevent water ingress. To do this, a foundation crack contractor will inject a flexible polyurethane to seal the openings. This technique guarantees the full repair of the foundation.
Cracks caused by ground movement under the new house
The second type of crack that can appear on the foundation of a new home is due to ground movement. These cracks are often present in cast walls. They usually occur shortly after the building is completed.
Frost, clay soils or point loads are often the source of these abnormal cracks. The soil conditions and materials used will determine the type of repairs required to correct this problem. At this point, new homeowners have reason to be alarmed. To repair this type of foundation crack, the foundation of the building will have to be stabilized. At that time, major excavation work will have to be done. This work will generally be combined with subsoil waterproofing and drainage components to prevent the problem from reoccurring.
Eliminate foundation cracks on new homes
New houses are not immune to cracks, nor are houses with older foundations. To maximize the life of your home and promote the health of its occupants, contact Foundation Crack Expert Group. Our dedicated staff and advanced expertise will ensure that your building’s structural integrity is maintained or restored.