Should I Worry About Wall Cracks?

Should I Be Concerned About Wall Cracks_

Yes, wall cracks are a concern that should be addressed. If left unchecked, these cracks can progressively deteriorate, posing serious safety risks. They often signal potential problems with your property’s foundation or structural integrity, which might require underpinning restoration services.

In this blog, we’ll discuss ways to assess wall cracks and learn about their causes.

How to Assess House Wall Cracks

You can assess house wall cracks by performing the following:

Visual Inspection

Begin by conducting a thorough visual inspection of the wall cracks. Look for patterns in the cracking, such as horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines. Note the width and length of each crack.

Wide or growing cracks might indicate serious issues, like property foundation movement. Observe if the cracks are isolated to one area or spread across multiple walls, which could suggest different underlying causes.

Physical Examination

Next, move to a physical examination of the cracks. Gently probe the cracks with a tool like a screwdriver to assess their depth. Be cautious not to widen them.

Feel for any loose material or signs of moisture, as these can be indicators of deeper structural problems. Checking the solidity of the wall around the crack is crucial to determine the extent of any potential damage.

Check for Other Signs

Finally, check for other signs that might accompany the wall cracks. Look for doors or windows that stick or won’t close properly, as these can be symptoms of shifting foundations.

Observe any gaps where walls meet floors or ceilings, and note any uneven flooring. These signs, combined with wall cracks, can provide a clearer picture of the overall structural health of your home.

What Causes Cracks in My House?

Cracks in your house can be caused by various factors, often related to the natural settling of the building over time. As your house ages, it’s common for minor cracks to appear due to slight movements in the earth beneath the structure.

Should I be worried about wall cracks_

Seasonal changes in temperature and moisture levels can also cause materials like wood and plaster to expand and contract, leading to cracks. In some cases, more significant cracks can result from property foundation movement, often triggered by changes in soil conditions, such as excessive moisture or soil erosion.

Structural alterations can likewise strain the building’s integrity, leading to cracks. Monitoring these cracks to ensure they don’t indicate more serious structural issues is important.

Who Should I Call for Help Regarding Wall Cracks?

You need to call a foundation repair specialist to help with wall cracks. These professionals are adept at diagnosing and fixing structural concerns, particularly when addressing wall cracks stemming from foundational issues.

Wall cracks may frequently hint at more profound foundation complications. Foundation repair specialists have the skills and tools to diagnose the root cause of these cracks and resolve them.

Signs Your Home Needs Foundation Repair

Signs Your Home Needs Foundation Repair (1)

The most common signs that your home requires foundation repair include cracks in walls or ceilings, uneven floors, and doors that stick. These issues and gaps between the wall and floor or exterior brickwork cracks suggest that the structural integrity is compromised. When these happen, it is best to seek help from expert foundation underpinning contractors.

Addressing these signs early can prevent more severe damage and ensure the longevity of your home’s foundation.

In this post, we’ll discuss more regarding the signs that indicate your home needs foundation repairs.

How Will I Know When My House Needs Foundation Repair?

The following are the most common signs indicating your house needs foundation repair:

Cracks in Walls or Ceilings

Cracks in walls or ceilings are often the most noticeable signs that your house may need foundation repair. These cracks can appear either as minor hairline fractures or significant gaps. They are usually found around doorways, windows, or where the walls and ceiling meet. Such cracks often result from foundation shifts due to soil movement or moisture variations.

Regular inspections and understanding how to minimise foundation movement can help identify these issues early, reducing the risk of extensive damage.

Uneven or Sloping Floors

If you notice your floors are uneven or sloping, it might be an indication of foundation problems. This issue is often caused by the settling or shifting of the foundation, leading to a distortion in the level of the floor. You may also observe gaps between the floor and interior walls or floors that feel bouncy and less supportive.

It’s crucial to address these signs promptly to maintain the structural integrity of your home.

Sticking Doors or Windows

Sticking doors or windows is a common symptom of foundation issues. When a house’s foundation shifts, it can warp the frames of doors and windows, making them difficult to open or close. This problem is more than just a nuisance; it signifies that the foundation may be moving or deteriorating.

Indications that your house needs foundation repair

Timely intervention by professionals can prevent further damage and restore the proper functioning of doors and windows.

Wall and Floor or Ceiling Gaps

Gaps appearing between walls and floors or ceilings are a significant indicator of foundation distress. These gaps are typically a result of the house settling unevenly, causing parts of the structure to pull away from each other. Such separations can lead to more severe structural problems if not addressed quickly.

Monitoring these gaps regularly can help in early detection and remedial action.

Exterior Cracks

Exterior cracks, especially in brickwork or the foundation itself, clearly indicate foundation issues. These cracks may range from small and superficial to large and deep, indicating different levels of severity. Causes include soil contraction and expansion, poor drainage around the house, or even tree roots disturbing the foundation.

Identifying and repairing these cracks early is essential to maintain the safety and stability of your home.

Is Getting Foundation Repair Expensive?

Getting foundation repair can be expensive, depending on the extent of the damage and the required repair method. Factors such as the size of your home, the severity of the foundation issues, and the geographical location can significantly affect the cost. It’s important to consider the foundation repair time, as delaying repairs could lead to more costly damage.

Who Do I Call for Foundation Repairs?

You need to contact a professional foundation repair contractor or a structural engineer for foundation repairs. These experts have the knowledge and equipment to assess the damage accurately and recommend the appropriate repair methods.

How Long Does Foundation Repair Take?

How Long Does Foundation Repair Take_

It can take between 1 to 3 weeks to complete foundation repairs on a property. However, the exact duration will depend on various factors.

If they’re only minor issues, the repairs can take Adelaide underpinning experts just a week to finish. The more severe problems can take as long as 3 weeks to complete.

In this blog, we’ll talk more about the main factors affecting the timetable for foundation repairs.

Factors That Affect Foundation Repair Timeline

The factors that affect the foundation repair timeline are the amount of damage, its location, and the overall size of the house.

Amount of Damage

The extent of the damage significantly impacts the duration of foundation repair. Minor cracks or settling may require only simple fixes, taking days to complete. However, extensive damage, like major structural issues, can take weeks or even months to repair. Recognising the signs you need foundation repair early can often lead to quicker and less invasive repairs. The longer the damage is ignored, the more complex and time-consuming the repair process becomes.

Location of Damage

The location of the damage on the foundation plays a crucial role in determining the repair time. Damage in easily accessible areas can be repaired more quickly compared to damage in hard-to-reach places like under heavy, built-in structures. Foundations with damage in multiple locations or in areas that require extensive excavation for access generally lengthen the repair process.

Home Size

The size of the home is a significant factor in foundation repair time. Larger homes not only have bigger foundations but may also distribute weight unevenly, leading to complex damage patterns. Consequently, repairing foundations under larger homes often involves more extensive assessment and more elaborate repair strategies, which can extend the overall time needed for effective and safe foundation restoration. Smaller homes typically result in shorter repair times due to their less complex structures.

How Much Time Does Foundation Repair Take_

How Long Does a Specific Foundation Repair Approach Take?

When considering the duration of specific foundation repair techniques, it’s essential to understand that each method varies in complexity and time requirements.

Pier Systems

Pier systems are a common solution for settling or sinking foundations. This technique involves driving steel piers into the ground until they reach a stable soil layer, followed by lifting and securing the structure to these piers.

Typically, this method takes about 1 to 3 days to complete for a standard-sized home. However, this timeframe may be extended if multiple piers are required or unexpected complications arise.

Crawl Space Supports

Crawl space supports are used to rectify sagging floors above crawl spaces. These supports, usually made of steel, are strategically placed to provide necessary lift and stability.

This process can be completed for homes with noticeable sagging areas within 1 to 2 days. But, if the entire crawl space needs extensive support adjustments, the duration might extend up to a week.

Basement Wall Repair

Basement wall repairs are crucial for reinforcing walls that are bowed or cracked. Minor cracks can be sealed and reinforced within a single day. More extensive repairs might take anywhere from 2 to 4 days.

It’s vital to choose from the various underpinning types based on the specific structural needs of the building to ensure effective and lasting repairs.

Can I Minimise Foundation Movement on My Property?

Can I Minimise Foundation Movement on My Property_ (1)

Yes, it’s possible to minimise foundation movement on your property. Effective methods to prevent this issue include ensuring adequate drainage around the property, being cautious with the types of trees planted nearby, and promptly addressing any plumbing issues.

For businesses, commercial underpinning in Adelaide offers a robust solution, reinforcing the stability of a building’s foundation.

This blog will discuss more on preventing foundation movement and soil classifications in your area.

How Can I Prevent Foundation Movement?

You can prevent foundation movement by doing the following:

Install Proper Drainage

Ensuring your property has proper drainage is crucial in preventing foundation movement. Excess water can lead to soil expansion and contraction, which in turn affects the foundation. Installing gutters, downspouts, and proper grading is important to direct water away from the foundation.

Also, consider installing a drainage system around the perimeter of your home, especially if your area is prone to heavy rainfall.

Monitor Plant Growth

Planting trees and shrubs near your property can inadvertently impact the foundation. As roots grow, they can extract moisture from the soil, causing it to shrink and potentially leading to foundation movement. It’s vital to monitor and manage plant growth near the foundation.

Opt for plants with smaller, less invasive root systems, and keep larger trees at a safe distance from your home.

Fix Plumbing Issues

Plumbing issues, particularly leaks, can significantly contribute to foundation movement. Water from leaks can soften or erode the soil beneath the foundation, leading to instability. It’s essential to fix any plumbing issues promptly to avoid such problems.

Regular inspections of your plumbing system can help identify and address leaks early. This preventative approach not only protects your foundation but also helps in understanding if cracks on walls are a result of plumbing issues.

Minimizing foundation movement of my property

Choose a Strong Foundation

Selecting the right type of foundation is a fundamental step in preventing foundation movement. The choice depends on various factors like soil type, climate, and the structure of your building. Deeper and more robust foundations might be required for areas with expansive soils or extreme weather conditions.

Investing in a strong, well-designed foundation can save you from future problems and expenses.

What Are the Soil Classifications in My Area?

These are the soil classifications in Adelaide:

  • A – Sites with sandy or rocky terrain exhibit minimal movement from moisture changes.
  • S – Locations experiencing slight ground movement due to moisture change, with surface movement ranging from 0 to 20 mm.
  • M – Areas with moderate ground movement due to moisture change, showing 20 to 40 mm of surface movement.
  • H1 – Zones with a high rate of ground movement, experiencing 40 to 60 mm of surface movement.
  • H2 – Sites facing a very high rate of ground movement, with movement between 60 and 75 mm.
  • E – Regions subjected to an extreme rate of ground movement, exceeding 75 mm in surface movement.
  • P – Areas with soft soils, filled sites, collapsing soils, and other problematic or unclassifiable sites.

Is It Normal For Footings to Move?

Yes, it is normal for footings to move within certain limits. Footings, the structural base that supports a building, are designed to accommodate some level of movement due to various factors like soil conditions and climate changes.

Wall cracks under 1mm are generally considered normal, reflecting standard foundation movement. However, when these cracks range between 1mm and 5mm, they warrant closer observation over all seasons for a year. This kind of movement can be a subtle foundation repair sign, indicating adjustments or monitoring may be necessary.

For properties over a decade old, consulting the original builder is a wise first step to understanding the context of the movement.

What Are the Different Types of Underpinning?

The different types of underpinning are pier and beam, mini-piled, screw pile, and pit method. Each method guarantees the stability and safety of structures, especially in cases of subsidence.

These methods vary depending on the structural restoration services required from specialists.

This post will expand more on the various types of underpinning commonly used these days.

Types of Underpinning Methods

The most common types of underpinning techniques used today are pier and beam, pit, mini-piled, and screw pile methods.

Pier and Beam Method

The pier and beam method involves elevating a building above the ground, creating a crawl space that aids in both ventilation and access for repairs. Sturdy piers, usually made of concrete or steel, support the structure’s beams. This approach significantly mitigates risks related to soil movement.

An important consideration for homeowners is understanding how long does foundation repair take with this method. The time it takes typically varies based on the structure’s size and complexity of the underlying soil conditions.

Pit Method

The pit method of underpinning requires the excavation of pits at strategic points beneath a structure. These pits are then filled with concrete to strengthen the foundation. It’s particularly effective for shallow foundations needing modest enhancement.

The method is advantageous for its minimal disruption to the building’s usage and its environment. Its effectiveness, however, is based on the accuracy of pit placement and the quality of the concrete used.

Mini-Piled Underpinning

Mini-piled underpinning is a technique employed where traditional underpinning is not feasible due to the depth required or limited access. It involves drilling small diameter piles to transfer the building load to a more stable soil layer.

This method is ideal for complex soil conditions or when working near existing structures. The precision and depth achieved through this approach ensure a robust and long-lasting foundation solution.

Different types of Underpinning (1)

Screw Pile Method

The screw pile method incorporates steel piles with helical blades that are screwed into the ground. This innovative technique allows for a quick installation with minimal soil disturbance.

It’s highly suitable for sites with variable soil conditions or in areas where traditional excavation methods are impractical. The strength and stability provided by screw piles make them a reliable choice for both new constructions and retrofitting existing structures.

What is the Best Type of Underpinning?

The screw pile method is the best type of underpinning. It’s the most ideal solution because it can be completed quickly while being minimally invasive. It’s also environmentally friendly since no excavation is necessary.

After installing the screw piles into the ground, they can immediately bear the load of its assigned structure, minimising the risk of further settlement. The screw pile method is designed for handling various soil types and loads, which is why they have been the go-to solution for many builders.

Subsidence: What Is It And Why Is It A Concern. Top 6 Causes

Subsidence_ What Is It and Why Is It a Concern_

Subsidence is a silent yet deadly concern that increasingly affects many properties including properties in Adelaide. This sneaky threat can weaken the foundations of a building, which leads to costly and complex repair work if overlooked.

By identifying the early signs and understanding their causes, expert underpinning contractors can anticipate and prevent the potential effects of subsidence.

For this post, we’ll talk more about subsidence, why it’s a concern, and its top 6 causes.

What is Subsidence?

Subsidence is the gradual sinking or downward settling of the ground’s surface, typically due to underground material movement. It can occur naturally, through processes like soil compaction or human activities, such as mining or excessive groundwater extraction.

Subsidence may lead to significant damage to structures and infrastructure and can also contribute to environmental challenges, like increased flooding risk in low-lying areas. It’s a concern for property owners and urban planners, who must address its potential impact on development and maintenance strategies.

Why is Subsidence a Concern?

Subsidence is a concern because it can lead to serious structural damage, particularly evident in a sinking house. This ground movement can cause cracks in foundations, walls, and roads, resulting in costly repairs.

Furthermore, subsidence affects infrastructure integrity, leading to disruptions in utilities like water and gas lines. It also increases the risk of flooding, especially in low-lying areas, as the changed ground levels alter natural water drainage patterns.

The issue necessitates careful land use planning and regular monitoring to mitigate its impact on built environments and natural landscapes.

What are the Top 6 Causes of Subsidence?

The following are the top 6 causes of subsidence:

Poor Soil Compaction

Poor soil compaction occurs when soil is not adequately compressed during construction. This leads to uneven settlement over time, as the less compacted areas of the soil compress under the weight of buildings or other structures.

It’s particularly problematic in areas with variable soil composition, as differential settlement can cause significant structural damage.

What is Subsidence and Why is it a concern_

Underground Excavations

Underground excavations, such as mining or tunnelling, can cause subsidence by removing support from the earth’s surface. The voids created by these activities can lead to the collapse of overlying soil layers, especially if the excavations are extensive or close to the surface.

Water Leaks

Water leaks from broken pipes or poor drainage can lead to subsidence by washing away or softening the soil beneath structures. Over time, this can create voids or lead to soil instability, sinking the ground.

Tree Roots

Tree roots can contribute to subsidence by extracting moisture from the soil, causing it to shrink and lose volume. This is particularly evident in clay soils, which are highly susceptible to changes in moisture levels.

Soil Shrinkage

Soil shrinkage typically occurs in clay soils, which shrink and expand in response to changes in moisture content. During prolonged dry periods, the soil contracts, creating gaps and leading to subsidence.

Soil Erosion

Soil erosion, often caused by water or wind, gradually wears away the topsoil and underlying layers, weakening the ground’s support capacity. This is particularly concerning near coastlines or riverbanks.

Are Certain Areas More Prone to Subsidence?

Yes, certain areas are more prone to subsidence. The main cause for this would be soil variations and local environmental factors. For example, places that have clay-rich soils are especially susceptible to subsidence.

Best Ways To Prevent Your House From Sinking

Best Ways To Prevent Your House From Sinking

The best ways to prevent your house from sinking are to ensure a solid foundation, perform regular inspections, maintain effective drainage, stabilise the soil, and repair regularly. Foundation repair specialists can help you decide on the right approach. Out of all methods, soil stabilisation is particularly crucial to prevent foundation movement that can cause a structure to sink.

In this blog, we’ll expand more on these methods to stop your house from sinking.

How to Prevent Your House From Sinking

You can prevent your house from sinking by performing ensuring a solid foundation, performing regular inspection, maintaining effective drainage, and stabilising the soil.

Ensure a Solid Foundation

To prevent your house from sinking, a solid foundation is crucial. This involves selecting appropriate materials and construction techniques suited to your specific soil type and environmental conditions.

It’s vital to consult with a structural engineer to ensure the foundation is designed to withstand local geographical and climatic challenges. For instance, in areas prone to excessive moisture or dryness, special attention must be needed to counteract the potential shifting or settling of the ground.

Perform Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are key in identifying early signs of potential sinking. This includes checking for any visible changes in the structure, such as cracks in the walls or uneven floors.

If you notice cracking walls, it may indicate an issue with the foundation. Engaging a professional to conduct these inspections can help catch problems early, preventing more significant and costly damage in the long term.

Great ways to prevent your house from sinking

Maintain Effective Drainage

Proper drainage around your home is essential in preventing sinking. Water accumulation near the foundation can lead to soil erosion or expansion, both of which can compromise the stability of your house. Ensure gutters and downspouts are functioning correctly and direct water away from the foundation.

Additionally, the landscape should slope away from the house to facilitate effective water runoff.

Stabilise the Soil

Soil stabilisation is a proactive measure to enhance the ground’s bearing capacity and reduce the risk of sinking. Techniques such as compaction or the use of stabilising materials can be employed, depending on the soil type and condition.

It’s beneficial to consult with soil experts to determine the most effective method for your property, ensuring long-term stability.

Maintain and Repair Regularly

Consistent maintenance and timely repairs play a significant role in preventing your house from sinking. Address any plumbing leaks, cracks, or other structural issues promptly to avoid exacerbating underlying problems.

Regular upkeep helps maintain the structural integrity of your home and contributes to preserving its value and safety.

How Can I Tell If My House Is Sinking?

You can tell if your house is sinking by observing signs such as cracks in walls, doors and windows that stick or won’t close properly, and uneven or sloping floors. These symptoms indicate foundation movement.

Additionally, gaps between walls and the ceiling or floor and visibly slanted exterior walls are strong indicators. Addressing these issues promptly is crucial, as they suggest underlying structural problems that could worsen over time.

Is Hiring a Builder Necessary for Home Repair?

Is Hiring a Builder Necessary for Home Repair_

Yes, hiring a builder is necessary for home repair. They bring knowledge and expertise, making sure that they complete any job the right way. Leveraging the experience of professional builders means saving time and potentially minimise extra costs in the long run.

For this blog, we’ll answer some of the most essential questions when hiring a builder for home repair.

When Should I Consider Hiring a Builder?

You need to consider hiring a builder when the repair work in your home can no longer be addressed through simple DIY efforts. This is especially true for complex tasks such as structural modifications or significant repairs.

For example, if you notice large cracks in the wall, require electrical fixes, or need substantial changes to your home’s layout, a professional builder is essential. Their specialised tools and expertise are vital for intricate and risky jobs.

Importantly, a builder ensures compliance with building codes and safety standards, which are crucial for preserving your home’s structural integrity and value.

What Are the Benefits of Professional Home Repairs?

The benefits of professional home repairs are guaranteed safety, improved home value, and helping you save time. Let’s take a closer look at each benefit below:

Ensures Safety

Safety is paramount when it comes to home repairs, and this is where the expertise of a professional becomes indispensable. A professional, especially a remedial builder, is trained to handle various risky situations that can arise during repairs, from electrical hazards to structural instabilities.

They have the necessary equipment and know-how to mitigate these risks effectively. This expertise not only protects the workers but also ensures the safety of the inhabitants by adhering to building codes and standards.

Hiring a professional minimises the risk of accidents and structural failures, thereby safeguarding your home and family.

Hiring a Builder is necessary for Home Repair

Improves Home Value

Professional home repairs can significantly enhance the value of your property. Expert workmanship ensures high-quality results that stand the test of time, making your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Professionals also have an understanding of current market trends and can suggest repairs or upgrades that are in demand. This could mean anything from energy-efficient installations to modern design upgrades.

Furthermore, professional repairs come with warranties and guarantees, adding to the home’s value. In the long run, investing in professional repairs can yield a higher return on investment when selling your property.

Saves You Time

Opting for professional home repairs can save you an immense amount of time. Professionals have the experience to efficiently handle repairs, often completing tasks much faster than an average DIY enthusiast could.

This efficiency comes from their streamlined processes, familiarity with common issues, and immediate access to the necessary tools and materials. Moreover, handling the repairs frees up your time, allowing you to focus on other important tasks or leisure.

Additionally, professional repairs are typically more durable, reducing the frequency of future repairs and thus saving you time in the long run.

Is It Cheaper to Hire a Builder or DIY Fix Wall Cracks?

Yes, it is cheaper to hire a builder than to DIY-fix wall cracks. Expert builders know what to do and provide a long-term solution to structural issues.

Furthermore, builders can access the right materials and tools to effectively complete home repairs.

Wall Cracks: How Do You Fix Them? A Step By Step Guide

Wall Cracks_ How Do You Fix Them And A Step By Step Guide

You fix wall cracks by preparing the area, widening cracks, applying filler, smoothing it down, and painting or finishing as needed. This process guarantees a complete and thorough repair.

This post will expand more on the steps in fixing wall cracks.

Steps to Fix Wall Cracks

The steps to fix wall cracks include prepping the area, widening the cracks, applying filler, and smoothing and finishing. Let’s have a closer look at each step below.

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Before addressing wall cracks, it’s crucial to prepare the area properly. This involves cleaning the crack and surrounding wall surface to remove any dust, debris, or loose paint. Use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner for thorough cleaning.

If the wall crack is due to a a sinking house, it’s essential to address this foundational issue first, as merely fixing the crack won’t solve the underlying problem. Ensure the area is dry and free from moisture before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Widen the Crack

Widening the crack may seem counterintuitive, but it’s necessary for a lasting repair. Use a chisel and hammer to gently widen the crack, creating a slightly inverted “V” shape. This shape allows the filler to adhere better and provides a more stable repair.

Be careful not to damage the surrounding wall. The goal is to create enough space for the filler to bond effectively, not to enlarge the damage.

Step 3: Apply Filler

Select a suitable filler for the wall material and the size of the crack. For plaster walls, a plaster-based filler is ideal, while for masonry, a masonry filler is recommended.

Fill the widened crack with the chosen filler using a filling knife, ensuring it’s packed tightly. Overfill slightly to account for shrinkage as the filler dries.

Is hiring a builder necessary for this step? It depends on the severity of the crack and your confidence in DIY tasks. For large or complex cracks, professional help is advisable.

Step 4: Smooth the Filled Area

Once the filler is applied, it’s important to smooth it out while it’s still pliable. Use a wet filling knife or a similar tool to smooth the filler flush with the wall surface.

This step requires a bit of finesse to ensure the filler blends seamlessly with the wall. Allow adequate time for the filler to dry completely, which may vary depending on the type and thickness of the filler used.

How do you fix wall cracks and a step by step guide

Step 5: Paint or Finish as Needed

After thoroughly drying the filler, sand the area lightly to ensure a smooth surface. Remove any dust from sanding before proceeding. Now, repaint or finish the repaired area to match the rest of the wall.

This might involve applying a primer before painting, especially if the wall is porous. Choosing the right paint and finishing tools will ensure a professional-looking result, restoring the aesthetic appeal of your wall.

Why Are My Walls Cracking?

Your walls may be cracking due to a shifting foundation, expansion of building materials, moisture damage, structural damage, or building wear and tear.

  • Shifting foundation: Natural movement of a house’s foundation over time can result in the emergence of wall cracks.
  • Expansion of materials: Changes in temperature can cause building materials to contract and expand, leading to cracks.
  • Moisture damage: Excess moisture can weaken walls and cause them to crack.
  • Structural damage: A damaged building structure, such as from substandard construction or an earthquake, can form wall cracks.
  • Wear and tear: Old buildings may develop cracks as their materials age or due to long-term wear and tear.

What Happens If I Don’t Fix Wall Cracks?

Large wall cracks will become worse if you don’t fix them. You can expect more structural issues if you fail to address these problems as soon as possible.

Can Leaking Water Cause a House to Sink?

Can Leaking Water Cause a House to Sink

Yes, leaking water can cause a house to sink. When water is constantly leaking, it can cause damage to a property’s foundation by eroding the soil that keeps it together.

As time passes, the erosion will cause the house to sink, leading to serious structural risks that will require professional Adelaide structural restoration services.

For this blog, we’ll expand more on how water leaks affect foundations and what you can do to stop them.

What Happens When Water Leaks Near House Foundations?

Water leaks near house foundations will often lead to significant structural damage over time. The constant moisture can weaken the foundation, causing it to crack or shift. This is particularly concerning when considering subsidence, where the ground beneath the structure sinks due to soil erosion.

Such water-induced erosion can destabilise the foundation, potentially leading to uneven settling of the building and extensive repair costs like underpinning. Moreover, the damp environment fosters mould growth, posing health risks.

Want to learn what is subsidence? Find out by reading our post today.

What Long-Term Damage Can Water Leaks Cause to Foundations?

The following are the types of long-term damage water leaks can cause to foundations:

  • Structural weakness and cracking: Persistent water leaks can severely compromise the structural integrity of a building. Over time, the constant exposure to water weakens the materials used in different house footings and the foundation.
  • Mould and fungal growth: Water leakage in and around the foundation creates an ideal mould and fungal growth environment. These organisms thrive in damp, poorly ventilated spaces, and their presence can lead to a host of problems.
  • Soil erosion and subsidence: Water leaks can have a detrimental impact on the soil surrounding the foundation. Continuous water exposure can lead to soil erosion, where the soil supporting the foundation is washed away or weakened.
Leaking Water Cause a House to Sink

Is House Sinking the Same as Subsidence?

Yes, house sinking is the same as subsidence. Subsidence results from the foundation’s downward movement caused by changes in the soil.

How Can I Prevent Foundation Damage from Water Leaks?

You can prevent foundation damage from water leaks through a thorough plumbing leak inspection, proper drainage maintenance, and sump pump installation.

Plumbing Leak Inspection

Regularly inspecting your home’s plumbing system is crucial in preventing foundation damage from water leaks. This involves checking all visible pipes, fittings, and appliances for signs of leaks or moisture.

Even small drips can indicate bigger issues. Hiring a professional plumber for a thorough inspection is advisable, especially for hard-to-reach areas. They can detect hidden leaks within walls or under the foundation, which, if left unchecked, can cause significant damage over time.

Proper Drainage Maintenance

Maintaining proper drainage around your property is essential in preventing water accumulation near the foundation. Ensure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and functioning properly, directing water away from the foundation.

The landscape should be graded to facilitate water runoff away from the house. Regularly inspect and clean drains to prevent blockages that can cause water to pool.

Sump Pump Installation

In areas prone to high groundwater levels or heavy rainfall, installing a sump pump can effectively prevent foundation damage. A sump pump removes water that has accumulated in a sump basin, typically located in the basement or lowest part of the house.

Choosing the right size and capacity for your property and regularly maintaining the pump to ensure it functions effectively when needed is essential.