Skip to Main Content

Foundation Wall Crack

Foundation wall cracks have several different causes, and each has its own unique solution.

Schedule Free Inspection

At Mount Valley Foundation Services, we inspect your foundation at no charge, providing you with a written solution that’s warrantied to permanently stabilize your home’s structure.

In many cases, we may even be able to close the cracks, straighten doors and windows, and return your foundation to its original position.

Are Foundation Cracks Common?  

Yes! Over time, your foundation walls will likely crack a result of foundation settling or excessive hydrostatic pressure. Understanding the problem signs of a cracked foundation wall will help you as a homeowner know when to take action.

Signs that You May Have a Foundation Wall Crack 

Although foundation wall cracks can be common, you may not always notice them right away. But your home still has ways of signaling the impending damage. Aside from spotting the crack yourself, here are more subtle problem signs that point to cracks in your foundation walls:  

  • You notice leaks coming from the walls of your foundation 
  • Your floors are uneven 
  • Your doors or windows become hard to close, or stuck 
  • There are weeds growing close to your foundation, as a sign of excess moisture in the soil 
  • Your basement or crawl space is humid and damp 
  • Floor tiles in your home are cracked without an obvious reason 
Offer ends 11/30/2022

Save up to

$525

off any service

Learn More About This Promotion

What Causes Foundation Wall Cracks? 

Well, it depends on the type of crack. Soil, weather, drainage, and the weight of your home all play a factor in how cracks will appear in your foundation wall. Below, we explain how different types of foundation cracks are caused.  

Vertical Cracks  
Vertical cracks are commonly found on the outside of the home or on basement walls. This is due to the weight of your home sinking and settling into the soil below over a long period of time.  

Horizontal Cracks on Your Basement Wall 
Horizontal cracks found in your basement wall indicate the presence of hydrostatic pressure in the soil beneath your home and surrounding your basement. Hydrostatic pressure occurs when the soil around your basement wall swells with rainwater. This exerts enough heavy pressure to cause bowing, buckling basement walls. This is especially common in areas with clay soil. As water drains from the soil around your home, it will shrink to its original position, causing shrinkage cracks as well.  

Stair-Step Cracks Or Diagonal Foundation Cracks 
Diagonal cracks occur on a foundation wall or even on drywall  as a result of differential settlement. Differential settlement is a name for when different parts of your home settle faster than others. This forces part of the home to sink, and the pressure causes a diagonal crack. The term “stair-step” comes from the appearance of stair steps as mortar in between concrete blocks or bricks crack.  

Hairline Cracks  
Concrete walls may experience small cracks, also known as “hairline cracks,” as they cure. These are normal, but should be monitored to make sure they don’t progress into legitimate foundational cracks.  

How Serious Are Foundation Wall Cracks? 

It depends on the crack, but generally all foundation cracks should be taken seriously. This type of structural damage will unfortunately never “work itself out”– it will only progress to be more obvious and even dangerous. Many homeowners put off repairing foundation repair services because of the cost; however, the cost will only grow higher as the structural damage becomes more complex with time. It’s always well advised to address the problems as soon as possible, to save even more in the future.  

Cracks form in foundation walls for three main reasons:

As concrete cures, it is common for small cracks to appear in foundation walls. These cracks are very common, and they’re not a sign of a major foundation problem. Shrinkage cracks tend to be very small “hairline” cracks that are usually 1/16″ wide or less. They generally occur near the center of a span and maintain a consistent width for the length of the crack.

A Word Of Warning:
 Be careful not to assume that a crack in your foundation is merely a shrinkage crack! If you see cracks in your foundation walls, monitor them regularly. If the cracks widen enough that you can fit a dime in them, or one end of the crack grows wider than the other, you should consult a foundation contractor right away.

Whether the problem is expansive soils or unstable soils underneath your foundation, there are effective solutions that can permanently repair your structure. At Mount Valley Foundation Services, we use the following methods to restore structural integrity to compromised foundations.

Foundation Pier Systems are an excellent way to stabilize and potentially lift a foundation that is resting on soils that cannot support the weight of the home. Foundation piers are a permanent solution for homes that are settling, and they can be installed year-round.

Push Piers stabilize foundations by transferring the weight of the home deep below the foundation, reaching to bedrock or competent strata.

Helical Piers are an excellent way to stabilize foundations when there is sufficient knowledge of local soil conditions. They are advanced into the soils underneath the foundation via a helical blade.

Wall Anchor Systems are ideal for stabilizing and potentially straightening foundation walls that are buckling due to pressure from expansive soils. Wall Anchors use the soils beyond the foundation walls to exert counter-pressure on failing foundation walls. This holds the walls in place in the short term, and it allows your contractor to attempt to straighten the walls back to their original position over time.

This solution requires access to the soils beyond your foundation walls. If exterior access is limited or not possible, we recommend installing the IntelliBrace Wall Repair System as an effective solution.

Many contractors will try to earn your business by suggesting a cheap solution that they know will not permanently solve your problem. Solutions that hide your issues, such as painting over drywall cracks or tuck-pointing cracks in brick are short-term solutions only. If the cause of the problem is not addressed, the cracks will soon reappear, and more covering up and patching will be needed.

Additionally, attempts to seal drywall or mortar cracks are easy to identify, due to variances in the finish or workmanship. When tuck-pointing brick veneer, it’s especially difficult to match original mortar colors. And if you decide to properly repair your foundation later, these “patches” may need to be removed before the repair can properly restore your walls.

So in the end, you’re not hiding anything! Plus, you have to disclose the problem anyways if you ever plan to sell the house.

Repairing Foundation Wall Cracks  

Foundation wall cracks have several different causes, and each has its own unique repair method.  If your walls are cracking due to foundation settlement issues, foundation piers may be your solution. If your foundation walls are failing due to expansive soils, a wall anchor system may solve your problem. 

Whether the problem is expansive soils or unstable soils underneath your foundation, there are effective solutions that can permanently repair your structure. At Mount Valley Foundation Services, we use the following methods to restore structural integrity to compromised foundations. 

  • Foundation Pier Systems are an excellent way to stabilize and potentially lift a foundation that is resting on soils that cannot support the weight of the home. Foundation piers are a permanent solution for homes that are settling, and they can be installed year-round. 
  • Push Piers stabilize foundations by transferring the weight of the home deep below the foundation, reaching to bedrock or competent strata. 
  • Helical Piers are an excellent way to stabilize foundations when there is sufficient knowledge of local soil conditions. They are advanced into the soils underneath the foundation via a helical blade. 
  • Wall Anchor Systems are ideal for stabilizing and potentially straightening foundation walls that are buckling due to pressure from expansive soils. Wall Anchors use the soils beyond the foundation walls to exert counter-pressure on failing foundation walls. This holds the walls in place  and it allows professional installers to attempt to straighten the walls back to their original position over time.This solution requires access to the soils beyond your home’s foundation walls. If exterior access is limited or not possible, we recommend installing the IntelliBrace™ Wall Repair System as an effective solution. 

Temporary Fixes for Foundation Walls 

Many companies will try to earn your business by suggesting a cheap solution that they know will not permanently solve your problem. Solutions that hide your issues, such as painting over drywall cracks or tuck-pointing cracks in brick are short-term solutions only. If the cause of the problem is not addressed, the cracks will soon reappear, and more covering up and patching will be needed. 

Additionally, attempts to seal drywall or mortar cracks are easy to identify, due to variances in the finish or workmanship. When tuck-pointing brick veneer, it’s especially difficult to match original mortar colors. And if you decide to properly repair your foundation later, these “patches” may need to be removed before the repair can properly restore your walls.  

You may need to disclose any DIY or other repairs if you decide to sell your home. Having professionals assess foundation damage can ensure that your problem is fixed at the source, and you won’t have to redo any hard work.  

Can I Have a Settlement Issue If My Foundation Walls Aren’t Cracked? 

Do you have cracks on the drywall on the inside of your home but no cracks on the outside of your home? Your problem may be a sagging crawl space, and not settlement of your foundation walls. Alternatively, your floor could be sinking down or experiencing upheaval. 

There are several foundation problems that can occur even when your foundation walls themselves are not cracking. 

Sagging Crawl Spaces 

Crawl spaces can sag when the support beams sink into the ground. They can also sink when mold and rot weakens floor joists and girders. As crawl spaces sag, the floor above will also sink. As the floor sinks, it can pull on the partition walls attached to it, leading to drywall cracks. 

Heaving Or Sinking Slab Floors 

When the soils underneath slab floors settle or are washed away, the floor itself will begin to sag. Likewise, when the soils underneath a concrete floor expand, the slab will begin to lift upwards

Either way, the movement of concrete floors can lead to cracks along drywall and the floor itself. 

Contact Us for Foundation Wall Crack Repair in Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach & All of South Carolina

No matter what kind of problems you’re experiencing with your foundation walls, our in-house team of foundation experts are here to help. At Mount Valley Foundation Services, we repair foundations throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia every day. 

We offer free inspections with a repair quote to help determine what solution is best for your home.  

Our foundation repair solutions are tailored to your unique home, to fix structural problems for good. We serve Greenville, Augusta, Columbia, and many nearby areas in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Myrtle Beach, throughout South Carolina & over the state lines. 

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Mount Valley Service Map

Our Service Area

AUGUSTA LOCATION

630 Ellis Street, Suite 2-B
Augusta, GA 30901

CHARLESTON LOCATION

1850 Ashley River Rd
Charleston, SC 29407

COLUMBIA LOCATION

2110 Commerce Drive
Cayce, SC 29033

GREENVILLE LOCATION

300 South Ave
Spartanburg, SC 29306