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Foundation Cracks – What Every Homeowner Needs to Know

foundation cracksThe words “foundation crack” is enough to give any homeowner a headache.  Repair for foundation cracks can be very costly.  So spotting an fixing cracks early can keep costs from spiraling out of control.  But what causes cracks in your home’s foundation? What can you do to prevent it? Below are answers to frequently asked questions about foundation cracks.

How Common Are Foundation Cracks and Do You Really Have to Worry About Them?

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers it is estimated that up to 25 percent of homes in the US contain some degree of foundation damage.

What Causes Foundation Cracks?

Most foundation cracks are caused by changes in soil composition, moisture content, and temperature changes.

- Severe weather: Some foundation cracks can be caused by a sudden weather event like an earthquake or tornado.

- Excessive moisture: When there is a fast influx of water, such as a flash flood or poor drainage during a storm, the soil can swell.  This can cause added pressure to the foundation walls that can make your foundation crack.

- Not enough moisture: Just like too much water in the soil can affect your foundation, an intense dry spell can do the same.  The soil around your foundation will shrink.

- Hot temperatures: Extreme Heat takes its toll on a home’s foundation. During hot temps, the soil shrinks underneath the foundation structure.  Dry soil doesn’t support the soil in the same way.  As a result, the slab settles, sinks, and cracks.

- Tree and shrub roots: In dry weather the roots can pull moisture away from the foundation causing it to crack.

- Uneven settling of the house: This happens more with new construction when the soil is not compacted correctly when pouring the foundation. With the soil not pressed tightly enough it does not provide proper support for the foundation.

A Little Prevention Goes a Long Way When it Comes to Foundation Cracks

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent foundation damage from occurring.  Grading your yard with the proper slope helps water to drain away from the home during storms. Downspouts can direct the water from your gutters to drain farther away with a recommended 5-10 ft clearance from the house. Maintain moisture around the barrier of your home during a drought with a soaker house to prevent the soil from shifting as it expands and contracts. And finally, always plant trees a distance from the house.  Small trees need a distance of at least 10 ft with larger trees needing to be planted at least 20 ft away from your home.

What to Do When You See A Crack in Your Home’s Foundation

Taking fast action will help you minimize the damage the crack in the foundation is causing.  At MD Waterproofing we provide professional Foundation Crack Repair, Basement Crack Repair, Foundation Repair services. We are licensed bonded, and insured and offer quality work at affordable prices.  Contact us today for a free estimate at

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