One spring morning, Mary Danford was weeding her prize-winning rose garden when she noticed something concerning. Between the blooming Prairie Roses, she glimpsed a large crack in her home’s foundation. She pushed through the flowers and peered closer. Dismayed, Mary discovered several cracks, some quite large. A few were vertical, but she also saw one long horizontal crack. She recalled all of the rain her town had endured throughout April and May. Mary wondered if her home was now paying the price for the many spring showers.
Mary and her husband had built their two-story Cape Cod – their dream home – in 2012. So, the lovely slate blue home had faced many rains over the years. It was just a matter of time, and Mother Nature, until the effects would become evident.
Homes are a prized possession – the most valuable asset for many people. They spend time, energy, and money throughout the years updating their homes. Yet, many people overlook the maintenance required to have a safe and secure home. And a house’s foundation is easy to overlook. Especially if hidden behind Prairie Roses and various other plants and flowers.
Over the winter months, frozen ground expands and puts pressure on basements and foundations. When cold spells are lengthy, the ground continues to expand – so do the effects on houses. Then, in the spring, the season’s many rain showers mix with the soil that surrounds people’s homes. The soil becomes over saturated. This waterlogged dirt creates a significant amount of pressure and stress on a foundation and the walls of people’s homes. Add this to soil that already may be saturated from the melted snow, and problems can occur. Further, the heavy precipitation that is common to April, May, and early June also creates flooding in basements as well as cracks.
This situation takes place year after year, wearing down the foundation after many winter snow melts and spring rainfalls. Additionally, during the transition from winter to spring, when snow and rain combine with freezing temperatures, cement and concrete can face considerable damage. The result? Small and large cracks, moisture infiltrating basements, mildew, and even dangerous mold. This situation only worsens as time passes. Thus, every spring, these problems can grow and become more serious.
However, springtime, when the air warms and the soil thaws, is a great time to diagnose and repair problems. The first thing to do is contact the best foundation company in the area, Rock Foundations of Fenton, Michigan. This company has served Fenton and the surrounding area for years with dependability, expert knowledge, and outstanding skill. In the spring, homeowners should contact Rock Foundations to have their homes inspected to assess any damage. Rock Foundations can carefully analyze a home’s status and diagnose the needed solutions.
For example, one important part of an inspection is analysis of a home’s cracks. There are typically five types of cracks: vertical, diagonal, basement floor, horizontal, and stair step. Some cracks are more serious than others and signal a dangerous situation.
Vertical cracks are not serious. Rain puts pressure on concrete or a foundation, leading to cracks than are slightly slanted. In new homes, there is concrete tension, so every few years, there may be some vertical cracking. These cracks might not look appealing, but they are not dangerous.
Another type of crack is the diagonal. Again, this is not a dangerous crack at first. However, over time, this type can cause structural damage as it points to settlement, both horizontal and vertical. Some areas of a home settle at different speeds. Also, houses on hills or those with saturated soil due to heavy rain will often face settlement issues. Homes that experience drought also will experience poor soil conditions that can lead to settling and thus diagonal cracks.
A third type is basement floor cracking. These hairline cracks are quite common in many homes. Again, they are not dangerous, only detracting from a home’s aesthetics. However, if they widen, often beginning at offset corners, they will spread across a basement and worsen.
Horizontal cracks are far worse than those mentioned. There are many types that point to structural issues. When the ground pressures the basement, it moves inward, bowing. Horizontal cracking also is caused by the use heavy equipment, frost pressure, and excessive backfilling. Homeowners should be on guard for horizontal cracks, inspecting often and checking to see if they become worse.
The most dangerous type of cracking is stair step. These cracks run diagonally and are found on brick foundations and concrete blocks. They begin at a wall’s end or in a joint and then either climb or taper. These types of cracks are caused by settling of a home’s different sections and can cause significant damage.
So, now that it is springtime, it is the perfect time to inspect homes for these cracks and all other foundation and basement damage. The best course of action is to contact Rock Foundations. They are the area experts at analyzing, diagnosing, and fixing these problems. They can repair cracks correctly, whether with caulk, water-resistant epoxy, polyurethane injection, or hydraulic cement. Their help is necessary to pinpoint the origin of cracks, determine what is causing them, and fill them correctly with the right material and the correct amount. They also might install foundation piers to stabilize a home’s foundation.
Additionally, Rock Foundations can dig out the soil that surrounds a house and replace the soil in the proper manner. Drainage may be needed, and Rock Foundations also can perform that necessary and important work. Waterproofing might need to be done, and Rock Foundations is an expert in this and all areas that will make a home safe and secure for years to come.
Also, in addition to repairs and future maintenance work, homeowners should clear gutters and make sure their downspouts extend at least five feet away from their foundations. Landscaping can help direct water away from a home as well. These are all actions to help prevent future issues.
Spring has sprung, and everyone is rejoicing, so keep the happiness flowing by making sure your home is in great shape. Inspect it carefully, and if you notice anything concerning or damage to your foundation or basement, be sure to contact the best foundation company in the area: Rock Foundations of Fenton, Michigan. Then, your spring will be nothing but happiness and blue skies!