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A foundation crack on an Appleton, Wisconsin home.

Finding a crack in your home’s foundation is a startling discovery. For homeowners in Appleton, it’s crucial to understand the nature of these cracks, what causes them, and viable repair options. Explore what a cracked foundation means for your home and how to address this issue.

What Causes Foundation Cracks?

Foundations can crack for several reasons:

  • Soil composition: Soil high in organic matter or unstable clay can cause foundation problems. On the other hand, soil high in coarse sand, gravel, or stable clay is less likely to crack the foundation.
  • Construction procedures: If the soil isn’t properly compacted before the foundation is poured, it will compress under the structure’s weight, leaving pockets of poor support that may crack the foundation.
  • Environmental changes: When the soil goes from dry to wet or from frozen to thawed, the foundation may move, settle, or heave, resulting in cracks. Tree roots, erosion, and other factors that change the soil’s environment can produce foundation cracks.

Types of Foundation Cracks

Not all cracks are created equal. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types you might encounter:

  • Hairline cracks are thin, uniform cracks that often appear shortly after a new foundation is laid. These cracks are usually not a concern unless they start expanding.
  • Vertical cracks often arise from minor soil contraction and expansion. They are generally not a worry unless they exhibit water leakage or are accompanied by bowing walls.
  • Diagonal cracks indicate foundation settling, which can happen in both new and old homes due to shifting ground conditions. These types of cracks should be professionally assessed to determine if they pose a threat.
  • Horizontal cracks are a significant concern, especially if the walls are bowing. They’re typically caused by substantial groundwater and soil pressure and require immediate attention from a foundation repair specialist.
  • Stair-step cracks appear like a staircase in the mortar between concrete foundation blocks. These cracks often signal foundation settling and may require professional repair.

Addressing Cracks in the Foundation

Before jumping into foundation crack repair, assess the crack’s severity. Consider where the crack is located and whether it affects your home’s cosmetic or structural integrity. Cracks wider than 1/8 inch or that show vertical displacement (one side being higher than the other) are the most concerning. Also, any crack that allows water to enter should be addressed immediately.

For minor, non-leaking cracks, simple epoxy injections can be effective. However, professional intervention is necessary to fix more serious issues like water leakage or structural concerns. Professional foundation crack repair may include sealing with epoxy, injecting cement grout, or wrapping in carbon fiber. More extensive repairs involve excavation and structural reinforcement.

Why Choose Everdry Waterproofing?

When it comes to fixing foundation cracks, no one does it better than Everdry Waterproofing. With over 40 years of experience and 80,000 jobs completed, we have proven our ability to provide comprehensive foundation repair services in Appleton and the Greater Green Bay area. Our deep understanding of Appleton’s soil and climate conditions ensures targeted and effective repair strategies. Plus, we bring an unbeatable combination of national scale and local service to every job we complete. To request your free foundation inspection, please contact us today.

Request Your Free Inspection Today!