You can prevent costly concrete basement foundation repairs by identifying the early warning signs and taking care of smaller repairs as they come up. Warning signs you should not ignore include cracked concrete floors, standing water and difficulty opening and closing doors, just to name a few.
Taking the time to notice and address issues related to concrete flooring in your basement allows you to fix things in a timely manner, saving a considerable amount of money and hassle.
A finished basement ranks right behind kitchen and bathroom renovations in terms of maximizing your home’s value. That’s why a lot of people have finished basements. Yet, even if your basement is finished you must still look out for signs of concrete damage, as they could signal larger problems with your home or foundation.
Are The Cracks In My Concrete Basement Floor A Serious Problem?
Cracks in your basement floor can cause some panic to set in. Many homeowners immediately assume the worst, that they have foundation problems. There are a wide variety of reasons cracks can form in basement floors. For the most part, these cracks are considered nonstructural settlement cracks.
Common causes of cracks include: settling of the building, concrete shrinkage after the curing process takes place, vibrations due to heavy trucks or trains traveling nearby or earthquakes, as well as poor construction.
Signs Of Settlement Cracks
Settlement cracks occur when a part of your home sinks down lower than it was originally constructed. These types of cracks include:
-Vertical cracks along the wall (not horizontal)
-Cracks in concrete flooring that measure no more than 1/16th-inch to 1/8th-inch.
-Cracks that do not reach down below the foundation of the structure.
Signs Of Shrinkage Cracks
Shrinkage cracks occur after the concrete foundation is poured and completely cures. It is very normal to notice small cracks because concrete naturally shrinks during the curing process. Shrinkage cracks are often:
-Located near sharp corners at windows and/or doors.
Are Nonstructural Cracks Something To Worry About?
A nonstructural crack will not impact the stability of your foundation, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cause other issues if left unfixed. Any crack can allow moisture and soil gas into your home. Soil gases are made up of water vapor, air and pollutants from the soil beneath your home. Air infiltration carries these things into the building. The biggest pollutants of concern are radon and methane gases.
Test For Radon Levels
If the concrete in your basement has issues it can lead to radon seeping into your home. You can have radon levels tested, if the test comes back positive for toxic chemicals, it’s time to take a look at your foundation.
All cracks and holes in the basement floor will need to be filled prior to resealing the foundation. After completing this process, your home should be retested for radon levels. Radon is a dangerous toxic chemical that should never be ignored.
Early Warning Signs Of Foundation Issues
Catching foundation issues as early as possible is paramount to preventing large-scale issues that require costly repairs. Some early warning signs to look out for include:
-Buckling basement floors may indicate a concrete slab foundation issue. There are several things that may need to be done to address the problem, such as leveling and touching up spots.
-You can see cracks in a stair step shaped pattern located between concrete blocks.
-You notice walls that appear to be bowing towards the inside of the room.
-Concrete block shows signs of horizontal cracks.
-Cracks in your concrete basement floor, especially if the cracks appear to be worsening.
-You have difficulty opening or closing doors and windows in the basement.
-There are cracks lining the chimney, on the interior or exterior.
-Your basement floods, or you find standing water in there.
All of these issues are very telling, although it might take some investigative work to determine the actual cause and what needs to be fixed. Common causes of these problems include a sagging roof, sink holes around your home, standing water pooling around the foundation of your home or heaving concrete.
Turnbull Masonry To The Rescue
Just because you have cracks in your concrete basement floor doesn’t mean you have a serious foundation issue. The only way to know for sure is to have a professional out to assess your situation. Allow the trusted professionals at Turnbull Masonry to assess your concrete basement, determine any issues and provide the most cost effective and efficient solution.