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Should I be concerned with foundation cracks as well as cracks in the concrete slab in the basement?

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Posted by: from Markham
2/15/2014 at 10:25:25 PM

Hi,

My home is 8 years old and have intentions of finishing my basement. I have 2 visible cracks on the foundation wall but thankfully no signs of water penetration. The other concern I have is regarding the number of cracks in the concrete floor in the basement. Is this normal? should I get it addressed before I finish my basement? Why does this happen?

I also have a porch (cold cellar) which measures roughly 4X7. I recently noticed a significant crack that runs horizontally on the exterior and interior. Initially I thought it was the parging that was cracked but upon further investigation, I had noticed it was much more than a simple crack. I realize the Canadian climate is very unpredictable and how the frost can impact a concrete foundation. I am rather concerned about the structural intergrity of the foundation.

Should I seek the opinion of a Structual Engineer? If so, what type of cost am I looking at? Should I also wait to let the ground defrost and let things settle before addressing the issue? I have attached a couple of pictures highlighting the cracks.

I look forward to your advise.

should i be concerned with foundation cracks as well as cracks in the concrete slab in the basement?
REPLIES (6)
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Mark from CMJ Renovations in Oakville
Date/Time2/16/2014 at 8:15:47 AM

Given the winter we have had there will be some serious shifting. Markham is generally an area of red clay which means it freezes and thaws different that regular soil. Cracks are normal but generally not very wide. The crack in your picture is a little worrisome. You should call a local foundation expert to see if it can be filled.

Hairline cracks on the floor are normal, it is just due to settling these cracks generally appear where the drain lines are running under your house. If you are not in a hurry to finish the basement you should wait till the spring to see if you have any issues when the snow melts.

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Date/Time2/17/2014 at 9:44:13 AM

Those are some massive cracks! Yikes. It never hurts to get it looked at by an engineer. Some companies specialize in foundation repair, and they don't cost as much as you'd think.

It worries me that it's horizontal, and not a vertical crack. Cracks can usually be injected with a sealant, and it seals them forever.

Don't leave it! It won't get better. The most I think a structural engineer would charge is around $1000 I think (depending on what needs to be done). Hopefully it turns out to be simple.

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Bridget from EllisPIper Homes in Chilliwack
Date/Time2/17/2014 at 10:39:24 PM

If it's moved/cracked this much, it will in time only get worse and water will eventually enter the basement. The walls can be "stitched" with carbon rods and the acacia sealed. I would defiantly sort this out before contemplating finishing the basement.

We have recently had this done by a specialist very successfully for a client, water was seeping in in quite large volume, it solved the issue instantaneously.

Good luck

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Bridget from EllisPIper Homes in Chilliwack
Date/Time2/17/2014 at 10:45:54 PM

If it's moved/cracked this much, it will in time only get worse and water will eventually enter the basement.

The walls can be "stitched" with carbon rods and the acacia sealed.

I would defiantly sort this out before contemplating finishing the basement.

We have recently had this done by a specialist very successfully for a client, water was seeping in in quite large volume, it solved the issue instantaneously.

Good luck.

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Date/Time2/18/2014 at 8:32:09 PM

Hi Rocco,

Water intrusion can be a serious problem. Have a look on the interior side of the foundation. If any cracks are appearing or enlarging below ground level, you have a potential problem.

If the cracks are small, I would go ahead with your basement plans. But only if you plan to leave enough money for the foundation sealing of any outside wall of the foundation the cracks are forming in, if going or are below grade. This will mean excavation to the weeper. then sealing the foundation with the proper materials down and over the lip of the footing. This can be costly.

A number of companies will suggest quick fixes with a number of products from the inside of the foundation. With my many years of experience, these only last from seven years and less before the leak will re-appear.

Hope this helps.

James Fram

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Melissa in Fort Wayne
Date/Time4/18/2016 at 7:01:08 AM

Hello, I have a similar problem and I am just wondering what approach you took to solve your issue.

Thank you.

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