Why do concrete foundations crack?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Construction Litigation

Few parts of your home are more critical to its structural integrity than its foundation. After all, the foundation provides a strong base for your home to sit on and might even form some of your basement’s walls. Consequently, you want your concrete foundation to be in good shape for as long as your own your house.

That is not always the case, though. Indeed, over time, cracks can form in concrete foundations. While superficial cracks should not cause you to lose sleep, larger ones might affect the habitability and value of your home. Why do concrete foundations crack, though?

Natural causes

According to This Old House, many concrete cracks are due to natural causes, such as normal settling, soil contraction or moisture. These cracks are usually not concerning to homeowners, especially if they are small and do not affect structural parts of the foundation. Luckily, small cracks from natural causes typically only require superficial repairs.

Design causes

It is possible for your home’s designer to make critical mistakes when planning the foundation. Indeed, to ensure the foundation is stable, engineers and architects should account for drainage, contraction, weather conditions and other factors. If a designer overlooks a critical area, though, your home’s foundation might crack or even deteriorate prematurely.

Installation causes

Moreover, the contractors who built your home might not follow established protocols for building foundations. If they skip steps or otherwise make mistakes, your home’s foundation might not be as solid as it needs to be to support the weight of your home.

Ultimately, if there were problems with the design or construction of your home, you might have grounds to seek financial compensation for any foundation issues that arise.