Cracks are a familiar feature in many houses, especially older Cincinnati homes with decades-old foundations. Causes of cracks can be hard to determine: poor initial workmanship, aging materials, foundational shifting. Cracks can be harmless or can mean serious trouble; the first step is to find out what’s causing the cracks. Once cracks form in the foundation, signs of water damage usually follow. Have a water damage restoration expert visit and help you decide if you need water damage restoration.
Although common, the good news is that foundation floors are seldom structural. That’s because they are concrete poured in between foundation work. Cracks may develop because:
Cracks with heaving are signs of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. Heaving suggests that the (often claylike) soil beneath the basement floor is expanding. When the soil becomes wet, it creates enough pressure to lift and crack a concrete slab floor.
When Do You Need to Repair?
When a foundation settles, the concrete slab can crack and the part of the slab that’s less supported sinks into the depression. Concrete floors with cracks ½ or larger should be leveled since the resulting uneven surface can create a tripping hazard.
Hairline cracks don’t require repair. Small cracks in the basement floor commonly result from shrinkage as the concrete dries, which pulls the concrete apart. These types of cracks can show up as long as a year after the basement floor is poured, depending on how quickly the slab dries and how humid the basement is.
Generally, wall-floor joint cracks should be sealed. When the concrete floor pulls away from the basement walls, this can result in cracks along the perimeter of the basement, where the floor meets the walls.
If you ignore non-structural floor cracks, you could find water bubbling up through them after heavy rain. If your home sits on a high water table, cracks can be an open invitation for a wet basement, ruining the building materials and your possessions. In extreme conditions, it could cause structural damage by rusting metal and degrading concrete.
Damp conditions in the basement or below the earth’s surface are perfect conditions for mold to grow. Especially if the room’s kept tightly closed, and there’s no exchange of fresh air. Concrete floor cracks are perfect breeding places for ants, cockroaches and termites. Controlling them upstairs is difficult when they’re reproducing in the floor below.
Let our water damage restoration experts inspect your suspicious cracks to determine if they are normal or need to be fixed. The good news is most basement floor cracks are normal and don’t need to be repaired. The basement floor doesn’t support the weight of the home, so cracks in the floor won’t affect the home’s structural integrity. However, some cracks in the basement floor can let water, moisture, and dangerous soil gasses into your home.
If you’d like a professional evaluation of your basement floor cracks or you are dealing with water intrusion in the basement, contact our water damage restoration experts at Flood Restoration Services. The staff has the expertise, and equipment to handle disasters of all sizes, from small floods to jobs as large as 1,000,000 square feet. We have experience working in all types of commercial environments, including manufacturing areas, warehouses, healthcare facilities, hotels and office areas. They are fully bonded, insured, and are approved by all major insurance providers.