Repairing Non-structural Cracks in My NJ Basement
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 • 4:55pm
Houses do develop cracks after they are built. It is a fact. Most times these cracks are referred to a settlement cracks, but there can be a wide variety of reasons why a foundation cracks.
Cracks can occur due to settlement of the building, shrinkage and curing, stress and vibrations like trains and trucks traveling nearby, temperature changes, earthquakes as well as faulty building design and bad construction methods.
When dealing with cracks in the foundation the most important thing is to know the difference between cracks that are structural and cracks that are non-structural.
At a glance most horizontal cracks can be structural in nature, while most vertical cracks are not. This is not a hard and fast rule, just a starting point for most homeowners. If you have doubts and concerns, seek out the advice of a foundation contractor.
STRUCTURAL FOUNDATION CRACKS CAN BE DEFINED AS:
· The crack will be in a load bearing foundation wall
· The crack will be below grade
· The crack will be in a stair-step pattern or horizontal
NON STRUCTURAL FOUNDATION CRACKS CAN BE DEFINED AS:
· The crack will be vertical
· The width of the crack will be small; typically 1/16 to 1/8”
· The crack will not extend past the foundation into the structure
NON STRUCTURAL CRACKS ARE DIVIDED INTO 2 CATEGORIES:
1. SETTELEMENT CRACKS Settlement happens when a part of a house drops below the height where it was placed during the original construction.
2. SHRINKAGE or CURING CRACKS A poured concrete foundation may contain small cracks because concrete shrinks as it cures.
Concrete shrinks as it dries and cures. This shrinkage tends to pull the concrete apart. Sharp corners at windows and doors are locations that cracks often begin. The only significance of a non-structural crack is the possibility of soil gas and/or water infiltration.
Materials with differing viscosities are manufactured to ensure an effective repair for non- structural solutions.
· Epoxy crack filler materials are most useful for repairing concrete block walls, large cracks in concrete slabs, and filling holes left by tie rod forms.
· Polyurethane materials are very useful for filling gaps around pipes through concrete walls because they adhere well to plastic or metal materials as well as the concrete walls.
· This is normally a small concrete repair job to do. Most Vertical Crack Repairs can be done in one day.
· Should I get my Basement Inspected?
· A-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.
· A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.
· We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems…Just Solutions.
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Doug Lynch is a basement expert from Westfield, NJ where he lives with his wife Kelli and their dogs Sammy and Angie. Doug teaches a class at Westfield Adult School “Keeping Your Basement Dry” and is the Author of Basements 101 Everything You Need to Know About Your Basement. Doug has testified in NJ Superior Court as an Expert Witness in Basement Waterproofing and does seminars for local Real Estate Agents to educate them about basements. Doug is the owner of A-1 Basement Solutions in Scotch Plains and authors the popular BASEMENT SCHOOL Blog.
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