Cracks in walls aren’t uncommon and many houses have them. Some people like to embrace their wall cracks and create artwork out of them.
Others can’t look at any imperfections in their walls. However, when you’re dealing with a structural crack, you don’t have an option but to look into ways to fix it.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to fix structural cracks in walls. Let’s begin!
Is It Possible to DIY Fix Structural Cracks in Walls?
Fixing structural wall cracks is time-consuming, expensive, and requires power tools. It can even require special liquids.
It would be difficult to fix these types of cracks on your own. That’s why you should leave this job for professionals. They know how to diagnose the problem and find the proper solution for it.
How Are Structural Cracks in Walls Repaired?
As we mentioned above, fixing structural cracks in your wall on your own isn’t a good idea. However, it’s essential to understand the potential methods to repair them when looking for foundation repair companies.
This helps you get the best repair quote as well as know which company offers the best service for the type of wall crack you’re dealing with.
Some companies may offer some patchwork that isn’t effective. When you have an idea of the right way to fix a structural crack, you’ll avoid falling into the mistake of accepting faulty offers.
Here are possible ways to properly fix foundation cracks in walls:
Crack stitching involves cutting slots in the mortar bed joints of your wall next to the crack, and inserting long, narrow stainless steel helical bars in them.
Then, everything is grouted and concealed. The crack itself gets filled with an appropriate filler.
This method doesn’t only repair the crack but also restores the structural integrity of the walls.
Pressed Concrete Piles
Pressed concrete piling doesn’t take much time if done by an expert. It’s also cost-effective.
In this method, pressed concrete piles are driven down into the ground by force until they reach resistance. That’s when they reach a consistent soil base that your foundation can rest safely on for the long term.
Foam injection is another convenient, time-saving, and cost-effective method. The repair is usually done within a day at the fraction of the cost of other methods.
What happens here is that small holes are dug up about 10 inches apart along the length of the crack.
Then, the foam is injected by using a grout pump. The type of foam used in this method expands to fill the cracks and voids in the concrete creating a strong bond.
Instead of foam injection, some companies inject hydro-active gels that do the same expanding and filling job.
Reblocking or restumping are similar processes where the deteriorated foundation concrete or wooden stumps are removed. Then, they’re replaced with new stumps.
This method may cause some damage to the walls and floors in your house. However, the repair company should fix the damage after they’re done fixing the foundation and the crack.
The repair company usually suggests this method when there’s decaying or deterioration of any kind in the foundation stumps.
Underpinning is used when there’s sinking in certain areas or structural instability that’s causing the cracks in your walls.
The underpinning process requires jacks to support the foundation and pop it up while pouring new concrete around it.
This new concrete should bring back the foundation to its original level solving any movement or instability problems.
Unfortunately, sometimes reconstruction is inevitable in case of a serious underlying structural problem. This is when the repair company demolishes the wall and rebuilds it.
How to Know if the Cracks in My Walls Are Structural or Non-Structural
When you notice any cracks in your walls or ceiling, it’s crucial to identify whether you’re dealing with structural or non-structural cracks.
The reason for that is that non-structural cracks aren’t as serious as structural ones. They’re considered cosmetic cracks and can be easily fixed.
In contrast, if you’re dealing with a foundation crack, you have to act right away. Structural cracks, if left untreated, can eventually cause the wall to collapse, causing a major threat to the residents’ lives.
In addition, both types of cracks can be fixed in different ways.
To identify your wall crack type, the most important thing to check is the width. If the crack is less than 3mm, you’re dealing with a non-structural crack.
Whereas, if the crack is more than 3mm in width, then it’s a structural crack.
Other signs of structural wall cracks include:
-Difficulty closing windows and doors
-What Causes Structural Cracks in Walls?
To fix the cracks in your walls, you need to know what caused them in the first place. Fixing the underlying issue should be your top priority.
Fixing the underlying cause prevents the crack from recurring and protects the structural integrity of your home.
Several factors can cause structural cracks in walls:
Water damage is one of the most common causes of cracks in walls. When water collects around the foundation, it presses up against it, resulting in cracking.
Besides, when the foundation is subjected to consistent water leaks, the water can deteriorate the building materials.
To know if the crack is caused by water damage, you’ll usually notice discoloration around the edges of the crack.
Cracking in walls can be caused by settling. The term “settling” here refers to the natural changes that occur to your house’s foundation over time.
During this process, the house sinks into the ground due to soil expansion and contraction. Settling can cause minor cracks in walls, which can be fixed easily.
However, when significant subsidence occurs under a wall, it may cause severe structural damage that can show up as major cracks.
This can also make the paint on the wall crack.
-Seasonal Climate Changes
Seasonal climate changes can actually cause structural problems in houses. Changes like drought and floods cause major contractions and expansion in the soil underneath the house, leading to wall cracking.
Homes that are left vacant for long periods without any climate control can develop cracks in walls.
This is because the temperatures and humidity fluctuations may lead the building materials to expand and contract, resulting in cracks in the walls.
-Trees and Invasive Plants
Trees can affect the soil’s moisture level. So, when there are large trees planted close to your house, they help to limit the moisture levels in the soil beneath your home’s foundation.
This can cause some structural movement to nearby houses. Similarly, if these trees get removed, minor settling or subsidence might happen.
Nevertheless, trees and other invasive plants develop massive root systems that can contribute to wall cracking and structural damage.
Of course, this only happens if the trees and the plants are planted close to your building.
Major construction work that’s happening next to buildings is a serious cause of structural problems and wall cracking.
The excessive machinery vibration and compaction of the ground can cause wall cracking in nearby buildings.
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, can cause structural problems in some areas. Of
course, the damages become more significant when the building is subjected to stronger earthquakes or if the building is too old.
The Wrap Up
Hope you use our “how to fix structural cracks in walls” guide to get the best quote from repair companies.
Discuss all of the possible repair methods with different companies and compare them depending on your budget, available time, and method efficiency.