We often talk about how important foundations are, in terms of relationships, learning new skills, and many other things. However, the literal foundation of our home can often be overlooked. Whether you have a home with a basement or if you only have a crawl space, you have a foundation and it needs to be cared for. In order for our homes to be safe and to withstand the test of time, a strong, sturdy foundation is called for. If you notice any cracking in your foundation, it could be an indicator of foundation failure. Here are the 4 kinds of cracking that usually indicate foundation failure. If you notice any of these contact Tidewater Home for expertise on foundation repair. Catching these early will save you from spending a lot of money and dealing with a lot of stress. 

  1. Cracks that Appear Horizontally – one of the first indications that you may have a foundational issue are cracks in the foundation that run horizontally. If you have a basement, you might see them if you have unfinished cement blocks. If you do not have a basement, you can check along the perimeter of your home outside, looking for horizontal cracking, or you can look inside your crawl space. While these cracks start small, they can worsen over time and become much bigger problems. If you notice these cracks, you should get in touch with Tidewater Home Improvement immediately to determine next steps – We specialize in home foundations. If left too long, these horizontal cracks can become detrimental to your home.
  2. Cracks that Look like a Staircase – known as “stair-step cracking”, these cracks are another sign of foundational issues. They zig-zag through the cement block in the foundation, running vertically between one pair of cinder blocks, and then horizontally along the next block, below, and then down again so that it looks like a staircase crack running through the foundation. Staircase cracks usually happen near the corners of the foundation. This is a sign that the foundation is weakening more. The walls are probably bowing inward, putting more strain on the corners, and that is why the cracks are appearing.
  3. Foundation Blocks Slide Inward – this is also known as “bottom shear” and it happens when the second to bottom row of cinder blocks slides forward, creating an overhang so the above rows stick out further than the bottom. The bottom row is held in place by the floor but the other rows are being pushed inward as the foundation begins to fail. You might also see that the middle of the wall looks like it is leaning inward. This is a really bad sign and if you see it, you should contact Tidewater Home Improvement before the foundation actually collapses.
  4. Foundation Failure and Collapse – If left too long, the foundation will collapse and the cinder blocks that hold up your home will fall. The earth outside will fall through, into your basement or crawl space. Not only is this a big mess to clean up, it is also a big safety concern because your home is no longer structurally sound. With the base of the home or building falling apart, the rest of the structure is no longer sturdy. To fix the issue, hydraulic piers are used to lift the building off the foundation, and then the foundation can be repaired. This is a really expensive task, costing upwards of $10,000. Waiting until the foundation actually fails is dangerous, expensive, and time-consuming. 

If you notice any issues with your foundation failing, you should contact a certified foundation repair specialist to check things out. Tidewater Home Improvement has a team with years of experience that can answer any questions you may have in regards to foundation issues. If caught early, these repairs can cost a few hundred dollars. However, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will become and the more costly it will be to fix it. If you notice any cracking or abnormalities in your foundation walls, don’t wait and wonder if it is a problem. Contact Tidewater Home Improvement today to schedule an appointment to have it looked at.