What Causes Foundation 
Damage?

There are various causes of foundation damage ranging from how it was constructed, exterior influences, to how it is being maintained. If you want to get more information about what's causing your foundation issues, but how to solve them, give your local foundation experts a call today. Serving Springfield Il, and the surrounding Central Illinois areas.  

Calapsed block foundation wall, Bloomington IL

Hydrostatic
PRessure

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Water along your foundation puts pressure on the wall. This force is called hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure pushes agaisnt your foundation wall will cause the wall to bow, tilt over time, or  even collaps overtime. How hydrotatic pressure effects a foundation, and the best way to relieve that pressure is a complex issue. That's why you need a company that speciallizes in foundations. Give us a call today, servicing Springfield Il and the surrounded areas. 

Soil

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Different types of soil are more or less porous. More porus soils, like clay, hold more water, meaning they put more hydrostatic pressure onto your foundation wall.  These porous soils expand when it rains, and contract when its dry. This expanding and contracting creates cracks in your foundation.  That's why when we replace a foundation wall, or install an exterior waterproofing system, we backfill with rock.

Tree Roots

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Tree roots growing too close to your foundation can lead to foundation damage in two ways. One, by how the roots are effecting the soil around your foundation. If you have a porous, conpactable soil type like clay around your foundation, tree roots can further crowd and compact that soil. Putting more pressure onto your foundation. If you have loose, dry soil, the roots moving and growing can make that soil settle. In turn, this can cause your foundation to settle. The other way the roots can effect your foundation, is by putting pressure on existing cracks. Tree roots can enlarge and deepen existing foundation cracks.

Poor Construction

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There are many errors a builder can make that would cause foundation issues later on. If low quality concrete was used, if the slump of the concrete was too high(the mix was too wet), or if the concrete didn't cure for long enough, it will be a weaker foundation wall. If the foundations footing wasn't placed at an adequite debth you'll be more likely to have issues with frost heave. If you have a block foundtion, the cores of the blocks not being grouted with verticle reinforcment makes it less structurally sound.

Types of Foundation Cracks 

Bowed foundation Wall, Springfield IL. Horizonal Crack

Horizontal Foundation Cracks 

Horizontal foundation cracks are cracks that span from left to right along your wall. Horizontal cracks are typically formed when too much hydrostatic pressure is on a wall. This pressure causes the wall to fail laterally, making the wall bow inwards. A bowing wall can happen to any type of foundation but, is commonly found in block foundation walls. A bowing wall is a strong indication that the foundation isn't as strucurally stable as it needs to be and that something needs to be done to strengthen the wall. This can be done by moving the wall back into place and waterproofing, using steel I beams to reinforce the wall, or in severe cases, rebuild the foundation wall.    

Stair Stepping and Diagonal Cracks

Diagonal cracks are signs that a foundation is shifting or settling. In block or brick foundations, diagonal cracks become stair stepping cracks.  These cracks span diagonally, in a zig-zag pattern that resembles stairs. These diagonal cracks move differently in a block or brick foundation, as opposed to poured concrete, because the mortar joints are weaker than the bricks or blocks. So, the cracks appear there, in the mortar joints.  Typically, you see these cracks in the corners of a house. The placement, span, and amount of cracks tells us about what caused the crack. If stair-stepping cracks are presenting on the corners of a home's foundation, this is an indication of differential settlement, meaning verticle movement in the house. Stair-stepping or diagonal cracks that turn into a horizontal crack is an indication that hydrostatic pressure is causing the wall to fail laterally. Understanding exactly how the wall is shifting is key to solving the issue, that's why you need a foundation repair expert to advice you on these types of 

Foundation Crack. Basement Crack. Stair stepping crack. Block wall
Basement Crack. Foundation Crack. Poured concrete Springfield IL

Verticle Foundation Cracks

Verticle foundation cracks are cracks that span up and down a foundation. They can be found on any type of foundation, brick, poured concrete, CMU block, stone, etc, and can be caused by a variety of things. Hairline cracks(less than 1/16" wide) can be normal, especially in poured concrete foundations. Some hairline cracks can be formed when the foundation was pored during the curing process, these are called shrinkage cracks. However, if there's severe separation, or if those cracks get wider over time, that can be an indication of settling. Another indicator that a verticle crack may be an issue is if water is coming through the crack. Water seepage is an indication that the crack is likely larger than a hairline crack and should be evaluated by an expert.