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Foundation Cracks and their Repairs: Columbia Missouri

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Cracking in concrete or masonry is a natural phenomenon because it is strong in compression, but very weak in tension. When a concrete wall encounters stress forces from outside elements like expansive soil, the portions of the wall that are experiencing tension will crack.
Some of the forces that can act against your foundation on a regular basis include:

* Seasonal temperature changes,
* Seasonal soil swelling and shrinking due to weather and watering, and
* Changes in grading due to landscaping or soil erosion over time.

This PDF series is designed to give you more information about cracks, settlement, bowed walls, and shifting slabs. See the complete series for more information about Foundation Repairs.

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Foundation Cracks and their Repairs: Columbia Missouri

  1. 1. Foundation Cracks in Columbia MOStresses, Cracks, and Your HomeCracking in concrete or masonry is a natural phenomenonbecause it is strong in compression, but very weak intension. When a concrete wall encounters stress forcesfrom outside elements like expansive soil, the portions ofthe wall that are experiencing tension will crack.Some of the forces that can act against your foundation on a regular basis include: q Seasonal temperature changes, q Seasonal soil swelling and shrinking due to weather and watering, and q Changes in grading due to landscaping or soil erosion over time.Occasionally, the addition or removal of plants, shrubs, or trees can also affect your concretefoundation.Most homes walls are engineered to withstand the average forces present in standard/normalsoil conditions. Of course, no soil is textbook. Two adjacent building plots can have differentsoils, even if the grass or landscaping on top looks nearly identical.Our soil is a mixture of hydro-compactable and expansive soil or sand and clay. In some cases,foundation walls have been reinforced or otherwise altered due to high ground water or soilconcerns. In many homes, the foundation has probably not been properly prepared to withstandthe soil conditions present in our area.Three Types of Cracks You Should Know AboutIf your foundation is cracking under these conditions, you will usually see it occur in threeways: vertically, horizontally, or diagonally from a stress concentration.
  2. 2. Vertical CracksJust because a wall has cracked doesnt mean that it has failed as long as the crack is small andunchanging. If the crack is 1/8 inch or less, is nearly vertical, has no lateral separation(spreading), is not very deep, and does not have moisture present, then it should be monitored.Action is not usually required. This type of crack is a shrinkage crack and occurs as moisture inthe wall evaporates, causing the concrete to shrink into voids created by the escaping water.Horizontal CracksHorizontal cracks require more attention. A horizontal crack is concretes way of ripping orsplitting due to excess tension in that area. Residential Concrete Magazine has stated that allhorizontal cracking should be checked out by a foundation repair industry professional as soonas possible because these cracks tend to grow rapidly and usually indicate that a wall is bowingunder tension.Diagonal CracksYou may notice cracks spreading out from a corner diagonally. Whenever concrete forms asharp angle, there is a stress concentration that almost always results in tiny, surface cracks.These cracks are called "re-entrant cracks". If these cracks deepen, thicken or grow, it is time toconsult an expert about reinforcing the area since the stress concentration is breaking down theconcrete.Tapered Cracks - the real villainThere is one type of crack that is always a concern: tapered cracks. If a crack is larger at one
  3. 3. end, it indicates shifting and other movement in the foundation.If you are concerned about any cracks in your foundation or basement walls, it is always wiseto get a professional inspection and advice.Related Sites From Columbia Foundation Repair Site:Foundation Repair Jefferson City, MOFoundation Repair Fulton, MO Foundation SettlementCrawl Space Repair Columbia, MO SettlementCrawl Space Repair Jefferson City, MO Bowed Or Leaning Walls Foundation CracksAlso of Interest: Sinking Slab Foundation Problem CausesFrom Gibbons Basement Inc.: Soil Effects Moisture EffectsFoundation Repair Exterior LeaksCauses Of Foundation Settlement Other Drainage IssueFoundation Settlement SolutionsBowed or Leaning Basement Walls Foundation Repair SolutionsResistance Piers Solutions for Foundation SettlementHelical Piers Solutions for Sinking SlabsNew Construction Foundation Piers Solutions for Bowed Walls Contact Us Provided as a public service by Gibbons Basement, Inc.

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