What Causes Basements to Crack?

Basements, as the name indicates, consist of the base or foundation of a house or building. The underground portion is present that is surrounded with soil from all sides. In addition, the rest of the building lies above the basement portion. Therefore, it is obvious that the walls and the floor get the maximum pressure and weight on it from the upper storey as well as the sidewalls. The basement portion is much more vulnerable to underground conditions then the other upper storey of the building. As a fact that in addition to the advantages there are certain risks accompanying the construction of a basement.

The flooring of the basement is accomplished by concrete slabs. However, if the slab has an uneven thickness throughout the area the floor becomes vulnerable to cracks in it. When the concrete has an uneven distribution and a varied floor thickness, the heavier portion exerts more pressure downward relative to the thinner parts. In addition, this causes floor to be pushed down from thicker sites. Ideally, 3-4 inches evenly distributed thickness for concrete is suggested for basement flooring.

The other major cause is the settlement of the underlying soil or earth. The fact that when a heavy weight is applied to the earth’s surface it becomes compact. Sometimes the earth settles down in such a way that in some places it is more compact then others causing the concrete flooring to get cracked.

Another woe that may be the cause of your basement to crack is the seepage of water from drains or water of rain seeping from sidewalls or cracked drainpipes and gutter lines. The water leakage causes soil to become more compact and making the floors and walls of the basement to become cracked.

A major cause for the basement having cracked walls and floors is the use of inappropriate materials. This can leave basements at risk more from developing cracks.

In addition to the above-mentioned causes, there are certain underground earthly environment changes that occur. Due to the changes in geographical conditions or thermal changes leading the underground soil to contract and expand.

Major precautionary measures if followed can be helpful to decrease the chances of developing cracks. For this purpose, you should take good care of drainage pipes so they do not leak, maintain even thickness of concrete when building up the floor slab and use quality material for building.

When cracks develop, get them repaired as soon as possible. In Maryland and Washington DC there are certain companies that provide services to repair that include Flood Busters Basements. They offer Fiber Lock Foundation to walls of the basements with best results.

Foundation repair services in Northern Virginia are provided by North Virginia basement repair. North Virginia is prone to basement cracking because of expensive soil that absorbs more water and extreme weather conditions due to mountains and water dwelling areas. The services provided by most of the foundation repair companies include injection of epoxy materials, interior repair and exterior repair.