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What to do if you See a Horizontal Crack in a Foundation - Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, March 10, 2016

What does it mean if you have a horizontal foundation crack? With a horizontal crack you want to do a little more discovery to see what the problem is. They are more severe than a crack that goes up and down so you want to bring somebody in that knows something about them. A horizontal crack initially means that there has been compromise in your home's foundation. It doesn't mean your home is going to fall down, just some compromise.

What can cause a horizontal foundation crack?

During the construction phase the piece of machinery that back fills the foundation could have hit it. Also, that machinery compacts the soil by pressing down on it, that could have caused the problem. The freeze/thaw cycle we have in New England could have caused it. The soils and water freezes, especially if we have frozen soil already  then it rains or we have snow melt and that water freezes causes hydro-static pressure that pushes on the foundation, causing it to crack. Sometimes the weight of the structure can cause the foundation to crack as well.

A cold joint can often get confused with a horizontal crack in a foundation as well. When you are pouring concrete, the trucks should arrive one after another so that all the concrete is mixed together so that when you are pouring the concrete, you create a monolithic pour, basically a single pour. But if one of those trucks are delayed; one truck comes, pours, and then there is a 15 minute delay, the first concrete starts to set up. When the next batch of concrete is poured, you can get a cold joint which can often be confused with a horizontal crack. Cold joints can leak sometimes too, but usually they are not a structural issue.

The solution to repairing a horizontal foundation crack is a different approach than fixing vertical cracks. We use weave carbon fiber blankets which are ten times stronger than steel. We install the blankets in certain places depending on how long the crack is. We grind the wall, making it nice and smooth. We then apply an adhesive material, then the carbon fiber blanket, then a material over that. This makes the wall ten times stronger than steel and maintains the integrity of the wall. These weave carbon fiber blankets are used on bridge repairs as well, on the concrete pilings.

If you see a horizontal crack in your foundation wall, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

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A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.