Each of the underlying causes of foundation damage above can cause different symptoms in your foundation and throughout your home, so accurately assessing foundation problems in Glen Allen can be challenging.
We’ll discuss the common signs of an issue below and include the most likely cause of each.
Virtually all foundations crack at some point, either during the natural settling of the concrete or from outside forces that place undue pressure on your slab or on your crawlspace or basement walls.
The location of the fissure will often be the biggest clue as to what caused the gap to form.
Slab or Basement Floor Cracks
Hairline cracks on your slab’s surface or on your crawlspace or basement floor are among the most common cracks to find.
Provided they remain thin and level from side to side, they’re likely caused by normal settling that isn’t cause for concern. Most foundation repair companies will recommend sealing them to prevent water and moisture issues.
If the cracks continue to grow years after new construction, widen to ⅛” or more, or become unlevel, they instead indicate differential settling.
These gaps need structural repair to restore integrity as well as sealing.
Vertical Wall Cracks
Vertical cracks on the outside edge of your slab or on your foundation walls are typically a result of natural concrete settlement.
The best solution is to seal them to prevent water and moisture from getting through them, and more substantial crack repair may be necessary if they widen to ⅛” or more.
Horizontal cracks in your crawlspace or basement wall indicate excess hydrostatic pressure on the outside of your foundation.
Unfortunately, these damages are widespread in Glen Allen because of the expansive clay soil, and they require expensive stabilization as well as an epoxy or polyurethane sealant.
Many foundation contractors will also suggest an exterior drainage system to help limit the water content in the soil immediately around your foundation.
Differential settling from drying clay soil under your foundation often results in step-shaped fissures on your concrete block wall. These types of damages usually necessitate structural repair in the form of concrete lifting and stabilization to prevent further uneven sinking.
Damp or Wet Basement
The expansive clay soil, above-average rainfall, and risk of flooding all contribute to water and moisture problems under your home, so wet basements and crawlspaces are very common in Glen Allen.
You likely have a leaking foundation crack if you find standing water under your home, puddles on the floor, wet spots on the concrete during or after precipitation, or water damage.
Water vapor can also enter the area through pores in the concrete, and it’s challenging to identify because it isn’t visible. Symptoms include musty odors in your crawlspace or basement, efflorescence on the concrete block walls, mold growth, damp air, and insect or rodent infestation.
Some homeowners who have severe humidity or mold problems beneath their houses experience symptoms in their living space as well.
Humid air and mold spores seeping up from underneath your home can lead to uncomfortably hot or cold air in your living area, increases in your heating or cooling bills, and indoor allergy symptoms if you or your family members are allergic to mold.