The different underlying causes of foundation problems in Ohio can elicit various symptoms throughout your property. We’ll discuss the typical warning signs you’ll see in the Marysville area and how each likely forms.
Fissures develop in the concrete under most homes, but a cracked foundation doesn’t necessarily indicate structural problems.
The easiest way to tell the difference between a harmless crack and a severe one is to look at where the crack forms and how large it gets.
Basement Floor or Slab Cracks
Nearly every concrete slab will develop some type of fissure over time. Most have hairline cracks that span across the surface of your slab foundation or your crawlspace or basement floor.
These can pose a problem in that they may allow water and moisture inside. However, they seldom suggest structural problems and rarely need any sort of major repair. Simple wall repair in the form of crack sealing will usually suffice.
If the gaps in your slab’s surface widen beyond ⅛” or one side of the crack pushes above the other, you’re more likely dealing with differential settling. Unlike thinner, level cracks, these do require some type of stabilization to prevent further settling and foundation failure.
Vertical Wall Cracks
Many homeowners discover vertical cracks on the outside edge of their slab foundation or running up and down their concrete block walls. If these fissures widen significantly, they may need some minor stabilization.
However, they generally just require a polyurethane or epoxy sealant to keep water and moisture from leaking through them.
Horizontal Wall Cracks
Cracks traveling along the length of your wall are more dangerous and almost always indicate a loss of structural integrity.
These gaps develop when the soil around your foundation swells in the presence of runoff and the resulting hydrostatic pressure becomes too intense. Immediate stabilization is required to keep the wall upright and prevent it from collapsing.
Foundation cracks can also form in the shape of stair steps, developing in the mortar joints between your concrete blocks. These fissures generally indicate structural damage as a cause of differential settling.
The repair process for this damage is extensive and costly, and unfortunately, these cracks are common in Marysville because of the expansive soil and risk of land subsidence and sinkholes.
Bowing Foundation Walls
Most homes in Marysville with a crawlspace or basement will, at some point, become affected by the hydrostatic pressure from the expansive soil. If the poor drainage around the concrete isn’t corrected, horizontal cracks eventually occur.
Before these fissures form, however, you may notice inward bulging of the foundation walls. Bowing walls indicate that a crack will form at some point in the future, so they are reasonable predictors of structural damage and should be addressed immediately.
Moist or Wet Basement
Water intrusion and under-home moisture build-up are both widespread problems in Marysville because of the clay-rich soil and above-average rainfall.
The symptoms of liquid water seeping into your crawlspace or basement include water damage to construction materials or belongings in storage, standing water, puddles on the floor after rainfall, and visibly wet concrete following rainfall.
If water soaks through solid concrete and evaporates into the air, it’s significantly more challenging to identify.
Signs of a water vapor problem include efflorescence or mold growth on the walls, musty odors under your home, damp air, and frequent issues with insects or rodents taking up residence in the space.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Humidity and mold spores can make their way from your under-home area to your living space, which can decrease your indoor air quality. Moisture makes temperatures feel more extreme, so uncomfortably hot or cold air or above-average utility bills can both indicate a water or water vapor problem below.
Mold spores can trigger allergy symptoms inside, so abnormal itchy eyes, sneezing, or trouble breathing are reasonable indicators of a moisture problem under your home.