Serving Greater Pittsburgh, Cranberry Township, McKeesport, Bethel Park


What Happens If You Don't Fix a Foundation Crack?

What Happens If You Don\'t Fix a Foundation Crack? - Image 1



Why Do Foundations Crack?

If there is a crack in your home’s foundation, it means that there is some sort of stress being exerted on it — enough to cause a block or poured concrete wall to fail slightly. That stress can be caused by several factors, the most common of which is the soil around and underneath your home.

That soil may have shrunk due to prolonged drought. It may have softened due to excessive moisture. Or it may have simply compressed over time because the fill soil your home’s builders placed there wasn’t compacted enough to begin with. In any of these cases, the result is that a part of your home’s foundation has likely begun to settle and sink, increasing the stress on its foundation.

Another kind of stress that can cause foundation cracks is hydrostatic pressure in the surrounding soil. If you’ve experienced a lot of rain or snow, the soil surrounding your home’s basement may be saturated and swollen with literally tons of water. This additional weight in the soil pushes against your basement walls and can cause them to bow inward and crack in the process.

The bottom line is that if you see a crack in your home’s foundation, it’s telling you there’s something wrong — and it’s time to call in an expert to diagnose the problem.


But when should you call? Can it wait, or does it have to be right now?


Why Fix a Foundation Now?

Foundation cracks can grow very slowly — sometimes less than an inch a year — so, it’s easy to ignore them or at least pushthem to the bottom of your to-do list.

But here’s the thing: Foundation problems don’t get better over time. And that means they don’t get easier or less expensive to fix. In fact, the best, least expensive time to fix a foundation issue is right when you discover it.

We should also mention that you’re likely legally required to disclose foundation problems if you ever sell your home. And they will probably reduce your home’s selling price by a greater amount than it would cost to fix its foundation. So, that’s another factor you need to consider.

But the main and obvious reason to fix your foundation sooner rather than later is that if you don’t, it will eventually fail, and your home will no longer be safe to occupy. Now, will that be six months from now or six years? Who knows — but do you really want to gamble your family’s safety?

The good news is that most foundation problems can be fixed permanently. Depending on the issue, your home’s foundation can be stabilized and even raised back to level using a system of push or helical piers that are driven into the soil beneath your home to bedrock or load-bearing strata.

The key is to find a foundation repair company that has the expertise, experience and equipment to do the job right. In other words, this is NOT the time for a DIY fix or to have a local handyperson tackle the job.

Get estimates. Check references. Read reviews. This is a big project and requires due diligence on your part. And if you get three estimates and one is significantly lower than the other two, treat it with extreme suspicion. Something likely isn’t right.

Again, this is your home we’re talking about. It’s not only likely your biggest single financial investment but also the place that shelters and protects your family. It’s not something that you should skimp on when it comes to a serious repair of this nature.

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Keystone Basement Systems
205 31st St
McKeesport, PA 15132
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