Are there effective ways to prevent or avoid foundation wall cracking?
Olson Foundation Repair believes in devising solutions to protect homeowners from expensive calamities. While not every crack spells instant doom for the stability of your home, some are significant and merit your attention. We’ll show you a few ways to approach this problem and avoid having to spend a fortune on repairs later down the road.
Not Many Direct “Preventative” Measures for Foundation Cracking
Alas, there’s not that much you can do to prevent foundation cracking, especially since you might not encounter much trouble initially. Many homeowners won’t notice any problem for the first five or ten years of living in a new home construction.
The geology in Kansas City just makes cracks a part of life for almost all of us. As we often say, the ground is always moving, which refers to the changes we experience after all the soil expansion and contraction. Even when you build new houses and structures, there’s only so much you can do to counter that reality.
Anybody who has lived here for any length of time knows that water management is the name of the game. You have to keep the lower levels of your home (including basements and crawl spaces) dry if you want to avoid serious trouble. This requires you to manage water flow, grade the soil properly, and find ways to take pressure off the walls.
It’s a Problem in Old and New Homes Alike
If you go into a basement and find cracks, 90% of the time you have a structural issue, and it won’t get better on its own. It also depends on where you live in Kansas City, the type of structure you own, the age of the house, and a few other factors.
Surprisingly, the old houses sometimes outperform the newer ones. We’ve seen 103-year-old houses that were in better shape than brand new buildings. At the end of the day, this means there is no perfect formula for predicting which places will or will not have cracks and other structural problems.
More on Managing Water Flow and Basement Waterproofing
Since we promised there are ways to limit the damage and avoid heavy repair bills, we’d like to share more about basement waterproofing.
- Interior Drain-Tile Systems – This solution involves expelling water from your home by digging new drains and connecting them to sump pumps. There’s a decent amount of labor involved with this, but it’s a fantastic and practical alternative to installing piers and other heavy-duty interventions.
- Soil Grading – The key here is to make sure your soil slope doesn’t lead water toward your basement. Sometimes, just doing this and adjusting drain gutters can eliminate much of the problem. We also often do this in conjunction with other exterior drainage solutions.
- Exterior Waterproofing Membranes – This is a choice method for homes with finished basements, where you don’t want to tear through walls too much. It’s essentially a waterproofing barrier applied from the outside of the wall to protect against water intrusion.
- Basic Wall Crack Repair – In some circumstances, we can repair minor cracks with epoxy sealant. This doesn’t work in every scenario, but you’re welcome to ask about this when you contact us for free inspection.
Call us Anytime for Effective Foundation Repair Solutions
Those waterproofing measures can make a vast difference if you want to catch wall cracks and handle them effectively. We have the tools, staff, and talent to do these things right the first time, which is something you can’t really accomplish with “DIY kits” and other home remedies. Instead, you can rely on the Olson team for warranty-backed service for methods we’ve used for homes all over Kansas City.
Call us anytime for a free estimate for any foundation repair measure.