When You Have Cracks in Walls
Should you worry when cracks appear on the wall?
Don't ignore the appearance of cracks in walls, as it could actually be the first warning signs of serious and ongoing structural damage caused by subsidence. Cracks in walls of buildings are not uncommon. Although some may be relatively harmless, others may be signs of a foundation that is sinking or has been damaged (subsidence). If problematic cracks in the wall are not taken care of, the damage to the foundations can get even more expensive to repair and greatly decrease the value of the property. Our home subsidence repair experts in Orange County can help by leveling your house.
When may cracks on a wall be signs of a problem with the structure itself?
In so far as there are larger cracks that display the following characteristics, the foundation of the building may be weak:
- The two sides of a wall are at different heights
- There is a gap between doors and windows and their frames
- Any cracks are wider than about 5mm
Cracks in walls that may be problematic usually originate at windows, doorways or the corners of buildings. Generally, smaller cracks that are hairline in nature are harmless. The appearances of these such cracks are commonly due to seasonal expansions and the contraction of soils beneath the building that take place over time, and can be easily patched and re-painted.
Why do larger cracks appear on walls?
Large cracks may appear on walls when the foundation soil underneath a building shrinks or becomes weakened, allowing the entire or a section of the building to sink downwards- known as subsidence. This usually occurs when the soil beneath the building has become either too dry or too wet.
- Shrinking clay caused by dry spells
- Excessive water due to broken pipes
- Fillings that have been compacted poorly
- Tree roots drawing water from the soil - caused by thirsty trees in dry weather
How can Geobear help?
Geobear ground engineering solutions are effective for cracks on walls in buildings of any size, including residential homes. Our house leveling services give Orange County homeowners the peace of mind that comes with a stable foundation.
We will first visit your home, assess the damage, and discover the cause. Our experienced engineers and technicians will establish the underpinning approach and create a plan that will be location-specific to your property.
Cracks often appear on walls on buildings that require a re-leveling- these can occur both inside and outside. The foundations of such properties will need to be raised and re-leveled. When the buildings are re-leveled, the cracks on the walls will unusually close up, leaving a mere trace that is hairline in nature, requiring a simple repair through patching and painting. Most importantly, the damage to the structure will be corrected now and into the future. We offer Orange County house leveling services that will keep your home from subsiding for many years.
The modern solutions Geobear team applies are vastly more effective and efficient than the traditional concrete underpinning. The house leveling solutions we offer Orange County do not just apply to concrete slab floors; we can also lift and relevel strip footings, ‘waffle-pod’ slabs, and raft slabs, whilst we can also fill in gaps on paths and driveways.
How can the cracks be treated?
The best solution for correcting large cracks on walls in the long-term is to lift, re-level and strengthen the ground under the building. This process to correct the levels is called underpinning. As the building is re-levelled, the cracks on walls may close together or become smaller (allowing the fine patching and repainting of plaster or render walls). It is common for windows and doors to once again function normally. Traditional underpinning or level correction methods involve the excavation of parts of the foundation, whereupon concrete can then be poured in, allowed to set, and the building can be raised up from the concrete blocks.
However, this traditional method may take a great deal of time (weeks or months). As a result of the work, residents may have to vacate the entire building or a section of it. Therefore a Geobear solution, which is founded on the original injection process we invented in 1983, has many beneficial aspects, namely time and convenience.
Benefits of Geobear´s ground engineering solutions:
- Cracks on walls generally close up
- Doors and windows will be freed up to function normally
- We will not make a mess: there will be no dust, water, etc, to clean up
- There is minimal disruption
- No further damage will be caused to the house or the landscaping
- With simple jobs, residents may remain in the building undisturbed
- Our techniques are non-invasive: no floors will be removed or ground excavated
- Simple, residential jobs are often completed in one day
- The methods we use strengthen ground that is weak, thus making your home level, free of cracks, and more stable
- The products and techniques are environmentally friendly.