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Most Serious Crack in Foundation - Horizontal Cracks

In general, there are three major classification of foundation cracks- horizontal cracks, vertical cracks and diagonal cracks. Among the three, horizontal cracks are the most serious and biggest nightmares to the occupants. 

Fig.1. Horizontal Cracks in Foundation

Horizontal cracks are the cracks that run sideways in the foundation as shown in the fig.1 above. They cause severe damage to the foundation and structural integrity. Let's look in detail at the important features of horizontal cracks in foundation and how to deal with it?

Also Read: What is Outgassing in Concrete? How to Prevent Outgassing in Concrete?

Causes of Horizontal Cracks in Foundation

Horizontal cracks are found commonly in residential foundations that are made out of concrete blocks or masonry. Large horizontal cracks that run across the basement of the foundation wall is a great concern. 

Fig.2. Causes of Horizontal Cracks in Foundation

Also Read: How to Correct Hairline Cracks on a Concrete Surface?

  1. Horizontal cracks are mainly caused due to hydrostatic pressure that pushes the foundation wall inward.

  2. Water pressure on foundation walls is mainly due to high water table, rainwater, snow melt or those factors that make the ground expand.

  3. When the foundation is subjected to lateral force that runs parallel and perpendicular to the direction of gravity pull, it results in cracks. 

  4. The main cause of horizontal crack is inadequate drainage and gutter systems which fail to direct water away from the home

Fig.3. Bulging of Foundation due to Lateral Force


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