Category Archives: Crack Repair

Types of Foundation Cracks & Their Repairs

Cracks in your foundation are likely a bad sign. Foundation cracks almost always appear due to soil movement or poor construction. However, the methods used to repair these foundation cracks differ depending on the kind of foundation crack. Read on to find out which type of foundation crack you have and to see which repair solution Affordable Foundation and Home Repair recommends as a solution.

How to Determine Your Foundation Crack Type

Walk around your home to check for foundation cracks. You should check both the exterior of the foundation and the interior. If you have a basement or crawlspace, you will have to enter that area to look for interior cracks in the foundation walls. Examine the shape and size of the crack as well as the number of cracks. Also be aware of the placement of the crack on the foundation – it is near the corner, or is it near a window, door, or opening?

Once you have examined the foundation cracks, check the list below to find out what kind of crack you have and what kinds of repairs you should invest in:

shrinkage crackConcrete Foundation Shrinkage Cracks
If the concrete that makes up your foundation was not mixed properly, shrinkage cracks may result. These cracks usually appear when the concrete is new, as it cures. They often appear randomly throughout the concrete and are typically very fine, hairline cracks. You might see them in the exterior or interior of the foundation. These cracks do not usually require any type of structural foundation crack repair, but you may want to have them filled with a sealant so that they do not widen and allow water to leak inside.

vertical crackVertical Foundation Cracks
These cracks run up the foundation wall and sometimes continue onto the floor or ceiling of the basement. They are rather common and usually appear due to tension on the concrete when the soil around it shifts or settles unevenly. The uneven soil movement causes the wall to shift or settle, leading to crack formation. Pressure from an overly heavy load in the above house and hydrostatic pressure in the soil can also contribute to vertical foundation cracks. Cracks larger than 1/4 inch should concern you, as they might be structural. Even if these cracks are deemed not to be structural, they should be repaired to prevent water leakage. If these cracks were caused by soil movement, foundation pier installation may help lift and level the foundation and close cracks. If the vertical cracks are accompanied by a bowing foundation wall, helical anchors may be installed to pull the foundation wall back into place.

diagonal crackDiagonal or Stair-Step Shaped Foundation Cracks
Much like vertical cracks, these cracks usually form as a result of differential foundation settlement or soil movement. These cracks might form near the corner of the foundation due to frost damage or foundation heave. Diagonal cracks take a stair-step shape pattern in concrete block and brick foundations. Again, the wider the crack, the more serious the issue, even if it is only because wider cracks allow water to enter the home. These cracks can be repaired in the same manner as vertical cracks – be sure to seal the cracks once the foundation is re-leveled.

horizontal crackHorizontal Foundation Cracks
These are probably the most serious kind of foundation crack. These cracks occur due to pressure from the soil outside or due to settling and shifting soil. Wider cracks are words, but no horizontal foundation crack is a good sign. The repair methods for these cracks should be helical pier installation to lift the foundation or polyjacking to raise the foundation if it is a concrete slab foundation. If the horizontal crack appears in a basement foundation wall, we can install helical anchors or a wall plate anchor system to reverse bowing walls and pull the cracked wall straight, closing the crack. Follow up with sealant if the crack is still visible to prevent leakage.

Spiderweb Foundation Cracks
You might also notice cracks in a spiderweb pattern on your foundation, especially if you have an older foundation. These are usually a sign of normal foundation aging and are usually very fine. If you notice severe foundation deterioration as well, contact an expert. Otherwise, enjoy the character of your old home.

Affordable – Foundation Crack Repair Experts in Alabama

The foundation crack repair experts at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair are known as the Crack Guys. We can handle all types of foundation cracks to get your Alabama home back to normal in no time. The reason that we are so well-equipped to handle any kind of foundation crack is that we offer a variety of services. We provide underpinning with helical pier installation, concrete lifting with polyjacking, or bowing wall repair with plate anchors and helical anchors. We also offer various methods of crawlspace repair, waterproofing, and mold remediation to keep your home healthy all over.

Call us as soon as you see a foundation crack in your home.

Affordable Tip of the Month: Watch for Concrete Problems this Summer

Be on the Watch for Concrete Cracks this Summer

summer concrete issues, concrete repair contractorsThe Birmingham forecast for the next few days shows increased temperatures and chances of rain. As temperatures rise this summer, homeowners have several things to worry about. What if your yard or plants wilt or dry up? What if summer storms cause damage to your home? What if there is a problem with your air conditioner? What if humidity causes moisture-related issues in your home? The last thing homeowners want is to have one more thing to be concerned about this summer.

Unfortunately, there is another part of your home that may be affected by the warmer weather- your foundation. Concrete slab foundations may develop cracks due to dry and hot summer days as well as the upcoming summer rains. Any other concrete slabs on your property – driveways, sidewalks, patios, etc. – could also suffer damage from extreme heat or excess water. Foundation cracks and other issues can lead to major structural damage to the rest of your home, and should not be left to worsen. Uneven concrete slabs are also dangerous, as they are a major cause of trips and falls. Contact Affordable Foundation and Home Repair today to ensure that you, your home, and your family stay safe – our expert concrete repair contractors can help.

Prevent Summer Concrete Problems in Your Alabama Home

You can help to prevent concrete slab issues this summer by taking some of the following steps:

  • Water around your concrete foundation during summer droughts to prevent shrinkage and keep the water level consistent throughout the year.
  • Protect against excess moisture in the foundation with proper waterproofing, such as French drains and sump pumps.
  • Ensure that your landscaping does not endanger your concrete by keeping large plants from growing too close and ensuring the yard is properly sloped to allow water to drain away from the foundation or slab.
  • Have concrete patios or sidewalks sealed to keep water from being absorbed into the concrete and weakening it.

Try these tips to keep your concrete in good condition. If you already have concrete problems in your Alabama home, contact Affordable for a free repair estimate.

Summer Concrete Problems in Alabama

Some concrete problems may not be preventable. That is why it is important to examine your home for signs of an issue and call a professional if you have concerns. The most common concrete problems to appear during the summertime are cracks and shifting of the concrete. Read below for more details on why these problems might occur and what to look for during the warmer months of the year:

Concrete Cracks

summer concrete crack repairThere are a variety of ways that concrete cracks may develop in your foundation or concrete slab this summer. If the weather is particularly dry and hot, it may cause the soil under the concrete to shrink. This causes the foundation to shift, and uneven pressure on various portions of the concrete may lead to cracks. Build up of hydrostatic pressure in the ground due to excessive amounts of rain can also cause cracks. The added pressure applied to the concrete from the surrounding soil can cause it to crack or shift. Excess water might also collect around the foundation or slab, soaking into the concrete and weakening it, making it more likely to develop cracks. While fine concrete cracks may be a sign of normal home aging, cracks 1/8 inch or wider, cracks accompanied by uneven settlement, or vertical foundation cracks should be repaired by a professional as soon as possible. Affordable’s concrete repair contractors are known as The Crack Guys and can handle any cracks in your concrete.

Concrete Shifting

Your concrete might start to shift if the soil underneath it shifts, or if something puts added pressure on it. In many cases, concrete shifting in the summer is due to hydrostatic pressure. When it rains, the soil will soak in water and expand, putting added pressure on the concrete and causing the slab to shift. If there are trees, shrubs, or other large plants growing near the foundation, the roots may push on the concrete and cause it to shift.If your foundation is shifting, it may cause walls to bow or lean, and gaps may form between the walls and floor or the walls and ceiling. Shifting in concrete slabs may create an uneven surface and lead to tripping hazards.

Concrete Settlement/Heaving

summer settling slab repairIn addition to causing concrete cracks or shifting, hydrostatic pressure or soil shrinkage can cause the foundation to settle or heave. Foundation settlement can also be caused by poor soil compaction. If the soil that the concrete rests on was not properly packed down before the concrete was poured, it may start to compact settle unevenly, taking the above concrete slab down with it. Erosion might also be a cause of slab settlement. If sudden, heavy rains wash away soil under the concrete, voids and empty spaces will form. Since these voids cannot support the above concrete, the slab will settle unevenly, creating a dangerous or sloped surface above.

Repair Options from Our Professional Concrete Repair Contractors

Known as The Crack Guys, the concrete contractors at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair provide several solutions to fix all sorts of concrete issues that may arise this summer, whether they are caused by heat or summer rains:

  • Steel Piers: Underpinning the foundation with steel push piers or push piers can help lift sagging concrete and restore strength back to the concrete slab.
  • Plate Anchors/Tiebacks: Plate anchors and helical tiebacks are solutions used to straighten and secure shifted concrete foundations.
  • Polyjacking: If your slab has sunk and cracked, it may be fixed with polyjacking, which involves injecting an expansive foam under the slab to lift and steady it.

If you find an issue with any concrete slabs in your home or on your property, contact Affordable Foundation and Home Repair for concrete repair solutions.


Can a Cracked House Foundation be Fixed?

Is there a Solution to Cracked Home Foundations in Alabama?

cracked house foundation fixOne of the most concerning issues for homeowners is the appearance of cracks in the home. Cracks commonly appear in walls, ceiling, concrete flooring, and brickwork of many Alabama homes. Sometimes these cracks can be fixed be filling them in and painting over them. However, particularly concerning are cracks that develop in the foundation of your home. These cracks usually indicate that your foundation is deteriorating or that the home is structurally unsound due to some sort of foundation failure. Even cracks in other areas of your home, if they are wide or if they result in uneven faces (the cracked surface does not feel smooth, but instead one side is higher than the other), could indicate a foundation problem.

Foundation problems can mean trouble for your home. Because the foundation supports the entire structure, cracks and other types of issues with the foundation can result in structural damage and major issues throughout the house. The question then, that many homeowners have is:

Can my cracked house foundation be fixed?

The answer to this question is YES. In most cases, cracked foundations can be repaired. Only in very severe cases would foundation cracks require total foundation replacement. For all other cases, The Crack Guys repair experts at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair offer effective foundation crack repair services.

Solutions for Cracked Foundations from The Crack Guys

They type of solution that we employ to fix cracked foundations in Alabama homes depends greatly on what is causing the cracks. Some of the most common solutions we use are listed below.

Cracked Foundation Walls are usually caused by soil pressure around the basement or foundation. This is common when there is an unusually high amount of water in the soil around your home. As the soil absorbs more water, it will expand, increasing the hydrostatic pressure in the ground and pushing against the foundation walls. This can cause the foundation walls to bow and crack. To fix this cracks in basement walls, we use plate anchors or helical tiebacks. Both of these devices use different methods to anchor into the soil adjacent to the cracked basement wall and pull the wall straight to stabilize the foundation and close cracks in the foundation wall.
cracked foundation wall


Vertical Exterior Foundation Cracks are usually of less concern than some other kinds of foundation cracks. Some vertical foundation cracks, especially thinner ones, appear a few years after construction due to normal pressures and tension on the concrete. These kinds of vertical cracks can be sealed using epoxy injection. If these foundation cracks are larger than 1/4 inch, they may be a sign of foundation failure. In addition, vertical foundation cracks may allow water to seep into the home, resulting in moisture issues. For more severe foundation cracks, our team can use underpinning or polyjacking to fix underlying foundation issues and can then install appropriate waterproofing and drainage systems such as surface drainage and exterior waterproofing or crawlspace vapor barriers to prevent water from leaking through cracks.
vertical foundation crack


Horizontal Exterior Foundation Cracks are a more serious problem. If you see horizontal or diagonal foundation cracks in your home, your foundation is likely suffering from significantly uneven settlement or shifting. This can happen due to increased hydrostatic pressure pushing on the foundation. Other causes include erosion and soil shrinkage, which create voids underneath the home that lead to foundation sinking, and poor compaction under the foundation when it was built. The most common repair solution we use to fix these issues is underpinning. In this method, we install steel push piers or helical piers (based on the type of foundation and the severity of the issue) under the foundation. These devices drive into the ground beneath the home until they anchor into stable soils far underground. They are then attached to the foundation and hydraulically lifted to raise and stabilize the sinking foundation and close and cracks. We also offer polyjacking, which utilizes the injection of expansive polyurethane grout under the home to fill voids, lift the concrete, and close cracks.
horizontal foundation crack

Why Choose The Crack Guys at Affordable for Crack Repair in Alabama

Here at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair, we specialize in all kinds of crack repair for Alabama homes. In addition to foundation crack repair, our solutions will fix cracks in your ceiling, drywall, brick or masonry, concrete slabs, and basement floors or walls. Our team offers the following benefits:

  • Over 20 years of foundation repair experience
  • Financing options provided
  • Free estimates available
  • Serve a wide area in Alabama and southern Tennessee
  • HomeAdvisor screened and approved and top-rated
  • Family-owned company

These are just a few reasons to choose Affordable Foundation and Home Repair, The Crack Guys, to repair your cracked house foundation. Contact us today to learn how we can fix cracks in your Alabama or Tennessee home.

Droughts Can Cause Water Leakage?

Drought-Related Foundation Problems Can Lead to Spring Water Issues

Even though much of Alabama remains in a drought, it is important to prepare your home and foundation for the rainy days that often accompany springtime. It may seem contradictory to prepare for rain and moisture in the midst of a drought. However, several drought-related foundation problems could have made your foundation and home more susceptible to water leakage.

drought-related foundation leaksThe continuing drought in areas of Alabama has caused several issues for homeowners, business owners, and farmers – increased forest fires, interruption of winter planting cycles, stressed plants, lack of water, etc. However, another problem that may have occurred due to the drought is foundation damage.

When the soil becomes extremely dry, it will shrink. This shrinkage causes the soil to settle and shift. If the soil under your foundation settles, the above home will settle as well. This can cause cracks to form in your walls or ceiling and gaps to appear between the walls and the floor. Soil shifting that results in voids forming under your foundation can cause the slab to settle unevenly or to shift to one side. This movement can also lead to exterior foundation cracks, interior cracks, or gaps and spaces opening in your home. If any of these problems occur in your home, you may see

The more cracks and gaps that form in your home, the more susceptible your home is to water entry. This is just one of the problems that can affect your home if sudden spring rains occur during a drought. Erosion can also become an issue if significant precipitation occurs, as sudden rains will wash away dry soil instead of soaking into the ground gradually. This water can leak into your home or put pressure on your foundation.

Protect Your Home from Water Seepage Caused by Drought-Related Foundation Damage

Here at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair, there are a number of things that we can do to reduce the chances of moisture damage in your home. A few solutions that we offer to repair drought-related foundation damage and protect your home from water entry:

  • Repair Foundation Problems: The first step in protecting your home is to fix the foundation problems that are making your home susceptible to water leaks. This means repairing foundation cracks and leveling settled foundations. We offer several underpinning solutions to complete these tasks efficiently and affordably.
  • Ensure Proper Exterior Waterproofing: The next step is making sure that you have adequate exterior waterproofing to reduce the surface water that collects near your home when it rains. This involves gutters, drainage wells, and various surface drainage techniques to keep water from pooling near your home.
  • Invest in Interior Waterproofing: Investing in an interior drainage system composed of drainage pipes and channels that connect to a sump pump system may be wise. This system will catch any water that seeps inside through cracks and remove it from the home to prevent water damage and mold growth.
  • Encapsulate Your Crawlspace: Make sure that your crawlspace is protected from water seepage by installing a vapor barrier. Our crawlspace encapsulation with premium vapor barriers helps to keep water outside the area to prevent mold growth and other issues.

If you see cracks or other signs of foundation damage that may have resulted from the recent drought conditions in your home, call us now. Our team will work to repair your foundation and ensure it is equipped to handle rain and water seepage.

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