Cracks in any part of your home are likely to cause concern, and your basement is no exception. Plus, your basement is responsible for keeping your home standing, so any cracks that form along basement walls or floors should be taken seriously. Water from outside soil can easily leak between these cracks and lead to more problem signs such as mold or musty odors.
Thankfully, Basement Authority of West Virginia has tools to help homeowners in Charleston, Huntington, and surrounding areas keep their basements safe. Let’s explore more about what causes basement cracks and your options to fix them.
What Causes Basement Cracks?
Basement cracks are a serious problem in your basement, but where do they come from? We’ll look at the most common causes in this section.
Hydrostatic pressure is a phenomenon that occurs when water drains below the soil. The Monongahela silt loam prevalent throughout West Virginia tends to be well-drained, but it can still cause problems, especially if it is inundated with water. After rain or snow, water seeps into the soil and continues to travel deeper. The further water drains below the surface, the more gravity presses down onto it. In turn, greater gravity causes the water to exert more pressure. If water drains near basement walls, the increased pressure will push soil up against the foundation walls and cause them to crack. Keep in mind, bodies of water also exert hydrostatic pressure, so if you live near a major river or lake, your basement could also be at risk.
Soil washout is also caused by precipitation, but instead of water pressure causing your basement to crack, it’s actually the weakening of silt loam soil which causes damage. During a heavy storm, rainwater washes away soil particles. This causes the soil around your basement to become muddy and weak. All foundations rely on sturdy soil for support. Without it, your foundation’s structural integrity fails. When the soil surrounding your basement is weak, it can cause your home’s foundation to crack because it is no longer properly supported.
Faulty Outdoor Drainage
Homes use gutters and downspouts to move precipitation away from the property. If either of these drainage systems is damaged or improperly installed, it can have serious consequences for your basement. In some cases, blocked gutters overflow and spill massive amounts of water into your yard. Similarly, if a downspout is located too close to your foundation, it will expel a ton of water directly on top of it. Over time, the poorly drained water seeps into the soil, causing hydrostatic pressure and/or soil washout to occur. In turn, your basement walls crack, and your home is put at risk.
You may have heard that basement cracks are normal. This is not true, and any foundation cracks need to be taken seriously. While many foundations experience cracks, that doesn’t mean it is normal, it’s simply a common occurrence that needs to be fixed before it gets worse. Even a small crack in your basement wall has the potential to grow into a full-blown leak. As soon as you notice basement cracks, contact Foundation Systems of West Virginia to explore our foundation repair and basement waterproofing solutions.
Basement cracks are usually caused by moisture build-up in the soil. Since moisture is the main cause, any cracks in your basement walls or basement floor provide the perfect conditions for leakage. When water leaks into your basement, it can lead to all kinds of problems such as mold growth, musty odors, or pests. Mold and pests can put your health at risk, and musty odors make your living space an uncomfortable place to be. If cracks are present in your basement, take action before things get worse!
No, we do not advise that you take on repairing basement cracks. DIY crack repair simply won’t work for basement wall cracks. While you might consider using caulk or another sealing agent for basement wall cracks, this only offers a temporary solution. Even though filled-in cracks look better to the eyes and offer a sense of security, this doesn’t solve the actual problem – moisture in the soil outside your basement. Unless your walls are reinforced with professional solutions, the process will continue. Unfortunately, the money and time spent filling in cracked basement walls will be wasted as water continues to damage your basement foundation.
At Basement Authority of West Virginia, we have multiple tools for basement waterproofing. First, we make sure your basement walls are properly supported with carbon fiber reinforcements or our wall repair system. Next, we install a dehumidifier, vapor barrier, sump pump, or interior drainage system to keep water out of the space. With all of these solutions working together, your basement stays permanently protected.
Basement Authority of West Virginia
Wall anchors foundation walls strong and protected from damage. Without this solution, your home may be at risk for major structural problems.
Basement Authority of West Virginia
When your basement walls become cracked, your home is put at risk of leaks and foundation damage. Our carbon fiber wall reinforcements provide much needed protection.
Call Us for a Free Basement Inspection
No one wants their basement to look damaged, especially because basement cracks can lead to serious damage throughout your home. Don’t ignore basement and foundation problems when you see them. Since 2003, Basement Authority of West Virginia has been helping homeowners in Charleston, Huntington, and surrounding areas keep their basements dry. Interested in learning more about our services? Continue exploring our website or contact us to schedule a free inspection with one of our specialists. We’ll identify the cause of your basement cracks and come up with a plan to meet your individual needs!