Horizontal Foundation Movement
- Signs of Horizontal Foundation Movement
- Soil Expansion
- Lateral Movement Repair Examples
- How We Fix Lateral Movement
- Lateral Movement FAQs
- Request a Quote
It is important to remember that when soil expands, it expands in all directions and which can cause horizontal foundation movement, or lateral movement in the foundation. When soil expands, the expansive force is too great for your foundation, it can push your foundation walls sideways, causing them to lean out of plumb, bow in the middle, crack, and, if left uncorrected, eventually fail.
Signs Of Horizontal Foundation Movement
A few telltale signs of this type of failure are:
- Cracking in the wall itself, a long horizontal crack about halfway up the wall is typical. Often the horizontal crack will turn down at the foundation corners.
- Leaning of the foundation inwards, frequently with older homes the connection between the foundation wall and the floor diaphragm is poor. This allows the wall to tilt inwards, rather than crack in the middle.
- If the basement is finished, you may see drywall cracking where the wall meets the ceiling or in the middle of the walls. Often you will see interior walls that are perpendicular to the foundation walls pushed sideways.
- If you have brick veneer on your house, you may see the brick overhanging the foundation wall in the middle of a long wall and sitting flush with the edge of the foundation at the corners.
Lateral Movement Repair Example
Watch the below videos to see progress and final completion of the foundation repair for lateral movement issues on a Arvada, Colorado home.
Van Matre Construction
If your windows or doors used to open and close easily and are now tight or rubbing,you could be experiencing foundation movement.
Call Van Matre Construction for a free assessment.
Lateral Foundation Movement FAQs
Are Horizontal Cracks Worse Than Vertical Cracks?
Are horizontal and vertical cracks equivalent or is one more concerning than the other? Generally speaking, horizontal cracks are usually much worse than vertical cracks. Vertical cracks are caused as a result of foundation settling, which is common. On the other hand, horizontal cracks are caused by soil pressure and will often quickly compromise a wide span of your foundation. Horizontal cracks require immediate professional inspection and repair if spotted.
Should I Be Concerned About Tiny Cracks In The Foundation?
Are all cracks in the foundation a problem or is there a distinct point at which cracks become problematic? Cracking concrete is common and may not necessarily be a cause for concern. When concrete or mortar shrinks, it can create tiny cracks that are so small you can’t even slide your fingernail into them. These tiny shrinkage cracks won’t diminish the strength or stability of the foundation, so they aren’t really cause for concern.
If the crack is larger than a shrinkage crack, you likely have a problem worth remedying. If you’re unsure about whether or not the crack in your foundation is a shrinkage crack or something larger, our foundation experts can review your foundation to help you determine whether or not it is structurally sound.
How Do I Find Foundation Cracks With A Finished Basement?
If you have an unfinished basement, it’s very easy to spot cracks or irregularities on the exposed concrete surfaces. However, a finished basement can complicate the assessment process. As mentioned previously, cracks in the drywall or interior walls pushed sideways could be signs of lateral foundation cracks.
If you have the ability to check the studs behind the finished walls, you can check for moisture or evidence of past water seepage, which would indicate a potential crack.If you can’t check your studs there are other ways to check for foundation issues outside of the basement. Signs of a failing foundation include:
- Cracks in the walls of the main floor of the house (especially near windows, doors, or where the wall meets the ceiling)
- Doors or windows that are more difficult to close than they used to be
- Cracks in the house’s brickwork
- Rising or popping tile or vinyl flooring
- Separation of the chimney from the home
If you notice any of these signs in your home, it’s to your benefit to schedule an inspection with a foundation specialist. A foundation expert can review the interior and exterior of the home to figure out the cause of the issues and the best possible solution to remedy them.
If you have foundation repair questions or would like to a
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