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How to Repair Foundation Cracks: A Guide for Every Home

Large cracks in a brick foundation wall.

When foundation cracks form, your home can’t be properly supported, and damage may appear around your living space.

Foundation crack repair is not only possible, it’s necessary if you want to keep your home safe. On this page, we’ll look at the various ways to fix and prevent foundation cracks using modern repair methods.

Why Should I Fix Foundation Cracks?

Foundation cracks can let water in, leading to expensive water damage. Some cracks may not leak immediately, but it’s crucial to monitor them. Horizontal cracks are severe, as they can weaken your home’s structure and potentially lead to collapse.

These openings also allow pests like mice and termites to enter, causing further damage to your home and belongings. Fixing these issues is important if you plan to sell your home, as unfixed problems can lower its value and deter buyers.

For more information, check out the video from our friends at Groundworks on the importance of fixing foundation cracks early.

What’s the Best Way to Fix Foundation Cracks?

The right repair method depends on the root cause of the cracks and the type of foundation you have. Here’s what we recommend for the three most common foundation types in Colorado:

1. Concrete Slab Foundation Crack Repair

Installer placing a slab pier into a concrete slab floor.

For homes with a concrete slab foundation, the best repair option is a foundation pier system. Professional repair companies, including Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, usually offer three types of foundation piers—push piers, slab piers, and helical piers.

Each type of pier system helps to keep a building’s foundation strong and steady, but they are different in how they look and when they are used. Push piers can be used on many buildings, helical piers are better for smaller buildings, and slab piers are good for homes with not much yard space or where it’s hard to repair concrete slab damage from the outside.

When you schedule a free inspection, our team can show you which foundation pier system is best for your home.

2. Basement Foundation Crack Repair

Basement walls can crack due to pressure from groundwater outside. Here are some ways to fix them:

Steel I-beams attached to a block basement wall to support it.
  • Steel I-beams: These sturdy, steel beams are placed against the wall to stop it from bowing inward. They act like a sturdy backbone for the wall.
  • Carbon Fiber Reinforcement: Strong, light carbon fiber strips are glued to the basement wall. With the strength of carbon fiber, the straps stop cracks from growing and keep the wall from bowing, without taking up much space.
  • Channel Anchors: These involve attaching metal channels to the wall and connecting them to anchors buried in the yard. They help pull the wall back into place and keep it straight.
  • Wall Anchors: Similar to channel anchors, these use plates and steel rods connected through the wall to outside anchors. By tightening these rods over time, the wall becomes straight and stable again.

Each method helps fix or prevent foundation cracks, making sure the basement stays safe and sound.

3. Crawl Space Foundation Crack Repair

Three crawl space support jacks attached to a wooden beam in a crawl space.

For homes with a crawl space foundation, the best repair option is a crawl space support jack system. These steel support beams attach to the floor joists in your crawl space, strengthening the entire structure.

Most crawl space jacks can be adjusted to match the size of your crawl space. Since they make your crawl space stronger, they also help prevent foundation cracks from forming later on.

What Causes Foundation Cracks?

Before the repair process can start, you need to know what causes foundation cracks in the first place. When you work with a professional team, like Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, they will help determine why your home has foundation cracks. The most common causes are:

  • Shrinking soil: During the dry season, soil will shrink and leave gaps under the foundation. These gaps will cause your foundation to sink, resulting in cracks.
  • Expansive soil: Clay soil in Colorado will expand in size when exposed to moisture. This pushes against the foundation and causes cracks to form.
  • Hydrostatic pressure: This occurs when the foundation has little to no drainage for water. Water will build up and exert pressure on the walls, leading to cracks and water leaks.
  • Tree roots: Tree roots may grow straight into the structure, putting pressure on the structure and causing your foundation to crack.

As you can see, foundation cracks can arise for several reasons. Having an understanding of them allows you to stay alert and take action when needed.

Types of Foundation Cracks

Foundation crack repair starts with identifying the problem. We need you to remember one thing: all foundation cracks, even the smallest ones, have the potential to cause serious damage.

Still, understanding the different types allows you to know when cracks are extremely severe or, if they’re just something to keep an eye on for now. Inspect your foundation for any of these cracks:

Cracks on the base of a brick foundation wall.
  • Vertical cracks: While these cracks aren’t likely to cause severe structural problems in your home, they can allow water to seep inside. In homes with a basement, this is a major cause for concern, as the leaking water may lead to mold growth.
  • Horizontal cracks: Cracks of this type are often caused by excessive rainwater collecting around the perimeter of the foundation. When the water freezes, the ground will swell and exert force onto the foundation, pushing it inward.
  • Stair-step cracks: “Stair-stepping” occurs when bricks or blocks separate because of foundation settlement. They can lead to structural problems in your home, such as uneven floors or sticking doors and windows.
  • Hairline cracks: Hairline foundation cracks are usually less than 1/8 inch wide and can be caused by the building settling into the ground. While they are often not a sign of serious problems, it’s important to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get bigger.

FAQs

Foundation pier installation times fluctuate based on the severity of foundation issues, the type and quantity of piers utilized. Typically, the pier installation process spans from a few days to one week. For personalized solutions and a comprehensive project timeline, contact Foundation Repair of Western Colorado. 

Foundation settlement repair costs vary, depending on the damage and the chosen repair method. Foundation Repair of Western Colorado offers free estimates and flexible financing options to fit your budget. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection.

Symptoms include difficulties with doors and windows, uneven floors, and visible cracks in walls or exterior brickwork. 

Schedule a Free Inspection with Foundation Repair of Western Colorado

FRWC installer holding a metal rod in both hands and smiling for camera.

Take the first step towards a safer, more secure property by working with Foundation Repair of Western Colorado. Our expert team is dedicated to identifying and fixing any foundation issues, ensuring your home remains stable and valuable.

Don’t wait for small cracks to become big problems. Contact us now to schedule a free inspection and take control of your home’s health and safety. Let us help you protect your most important investment and restore your peace of mind.

Related Resources

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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2575 U.S. 6 & 50, Unit A
Grand Junction, CO 81501