There are several underlying causes of foundation damage in Lexington, the symptoms of which can be seen on your foundation and often throughout the rest of your home. We’ll discuss the most prevalent signs of foundation damage in the area below.
Cracks in your concrete are clear signs of some type of issue. The severity of the problem can be determined by the location, orientation, and size of the gap.
Hairline Floor Cracks
Thin cracks in your concrete slab are common, typically forming during the natural settling and curing of your foundation. Provided they remain thin and one side doesn’t begin to rise above the other, they generally don’t require structural repair and can simply be sealed to avoid water getting through them.
Vertical Wall Cracks
Similarly, gaps that are less than ⅛” wide that run vertically on your crawlspace or basement walls most often form during the settling process. These can be sealed by a concrete repair specialist as well. If they grow wider than ⅛”, they may require an epoxy injection or polyurethane application to prevent further movement.
Cracks in your concrete block wall that form in a step pattern result from differential settling when a section of your foundation loses support from underneath, separates from your house, and sinks into the earth.
These are common in Lexington if you experience karst or erosion under or around your home. They typically indicate structural damage and should be repaired by a professional immediately.
Horizontal Wall Cracks or Bowing Foundation Wall
Cracks running horizontally along your concrete walls are caused by hydrostatic pressure from the soil outside. This stress is more of an issue with expansive clay soils, but the heavy rainfall and potential for voids against your foundation where water can pool can cause inward pressure as well.
Horizontal cracks are usually preceded by bowing walls, and both symptoms are signs of structural damage.
Moist or Wet Basement or Crawlspace
Water intrusion is a prevalent problem in Lexington, as soil erosion, excessive rainfall, and damage from acidic soil can all contribute to the problem.
Signs of water problems under your home include liquid water trickling in through cracks in your foundation, puddles or wet spots forming on your walls or slab, moist or heavy air in the space under your home, musty odors, visible mold growth or mildew smells, and pest infestations.
You may also notice efflorescence, which is a deposit of salt and minerals on your concrete walls after water vapor seeps in and evaporates. Efflorescence sometimes appears fuzzy and can be mistaken for white mold, but it will crumble or flake when you touch it. It can also be differentiated from mold by its formation, as it typically forms in the shape of a water stain rather than in clusters.
Crumbling Foundation Walls
The acidic soil in Lexington can severely weaken your concrete over time. It regularly crumbles or chips off on its own, and you may be able to pull pieces off of the wall with just your fingers in extreme cases.
Acidic soil can also leave large gouges in the concrete.
This type of concrete weakening begins outside and works its way into your interior foundation walls, so even seemingly insignificant crumbling or chipping can indicate a severe issue.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Your living space and under-home area share air via the stack effect. As such, poor indoor air quality can often be used to indicate foundation damage.
If you have a water or moisture problem in your basement or crawlspace, the humid air can seep into your upper floors. Humidity makes temperatures feel more extreme, so your home feeling uncomfortably hot or cold in the summer or winter can indicate water intrusion through your foundation.
Similarly, mold spores in the air can move into your living space and bring about symptoms in you or your family members. Mold can cause allergic reactions, including respiratory distress, itchy eyes, and sneezing. Unexplained symptoms like this could indicate mold growth under your home, which points to a water or moisture issue.