You are panicking because you see cracks in your basement floor. Does this mean that your foundation is ruined?
Will the cracks need to be repaired? The answers will vary based on the size and location of the cracks.
What Causes Cracks in Basement Floors?
The good news is that many basement floor cracks are normal and do not need to be repaired. However, in some cases, cracks in the basement floor are entry points for moisture, water, and even dangerous gases, like radon. The professionals at 58 Foundations can help their clients evaluate basement floor cracks and determine if a basement floor crack repair is needed.
Cracks form in a house foundation as the home settles. Other factors, such as curing, concrete shrinkage, poor construction, and stress, can cause the basement’s concrete floor to crack. A major cause of basement concrete floor cracking is poor drainage.
If the soil surrounding the foundation is not properly graded, you may have improper drainage because the water pressure builds up along the foundation. This water pressure can reach more than 600 pounds per square inch.
Can Basement Floor Cracks Be Stopped?
Yes. Certain basement cracks can be stopped and repaired. A lot of it has to do with improving perimeter drainage. Cracks in your basement floor or concrete slab are likely the results of your foundation moving.
This is what is putting pressure on your concrete floor and causing it to crack. Depending on the condition of the soil, your foundation may settle or may heave in different places. For example, if you have poor compaction of backfill, shrinking soil, or soil washout, your foundation slab could sink and settle. Once these issues are addressed, floor cracking can be stopped.
When Should You Be Worried About Cracks on the Floor?
The seriousness of basement floor cracks varies based on their size, their location, and the number of cracks present. Floor cracks may indicate something more serious, especially if the home shows other signs of structural issues.
Cracks in the foundation can be the source of structural issues, including roof issues, framing issues, and problems with windows and doors. These issues are exacerbated if basement floor cracks are a penetration point for water filtration.
If you are dealing with cracks in your basement floor, you are not alone. Ninety-eight percent of homes in the United States have foundations constructed out of block, brick, or concrete. All of these can crack when there is movement or excessive stress.
If you notice that your chimney is leaning away from your house, there are cracks in the brick siding, or there are gaps in doors and window corners, all of these could indicate that the cracks in your floor are a sign of a more serious foundation problem. Inspecting the interior and exterior of your home may also alert you to problems with the foundation.
Most home foundations will have some cracks. They are usually not serious. However, a smart homeowner or buyer will employ professional help to get the big picture in determining how serious basement floor cracks are.