Why Do Cracked Bricks Occur?
Weak soils below your foundation cause a foundation to shift and settle into the weak dirt. When this happens, exterior foundation walls may begin to separate. Usually, this cracking appears in the mortar, which gives it a stair-step-like appearance as the bricks begin to move.
If cracking bricks or other outdoor wall materials are ignored, it can lead to expensive, unsightly, dangerous damage to the structural integrity of your home. It’s obvious that cracked foundation walls will not support your home properly if left unchecked. In worst-case scenarios, this could lead to foundation failure–something no one should have to deal with.
It also exposes your home to elements from the outside, serving as an entrance for animals, pests, or unwanted outside air to get into your home. Foundation damage left untreated can have serious consequences for many homeowners. Your home might decrease in market value, or structural damage could become more costly to repair.
Plus, repair costs can add up as homeowners will have to constantly spend money repairing walls and floors around their home. Most homeowners can save at least a thousand dollars (often times more) in repair costs when they fix foundation problems quickly.
Can I fix Cracked Bricks on My Own?
Cracks in brick run deeper than just the surface of the foundation wall. Many homeowners simply fill the space with new mortar. Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the root problem. While it may offer a temporary cosmetic fix, your foundation will continue to settle, and the wall will continue to shift.
When you call Alpha Foundations, our team can provide your cracked brick walls with a permanent solution. Using our advanced foundation repair tools, your home is protected against settling, and the stair-step cracks running along your exterior walls can be closed for good.
Solutions to Cracked Bricks
Since cracked bricks are caused by foundation settlement, Alpha Foundations implements pier systems to stabilize a settling foundation. Our piers are hydraulically driven into the soil beneath the foundation using specialized mechanical equipment.
In some cases, special tools designed to “screw” the piers into place below the soil have to be used. In other situations, push piers need to be installed straight into the ground for the pier system to stabilize your home’s foundation.
The piers are driven deep until they reach stable soil below the building that is able to support the weight of your home. Alpha Foundations uses special equipment to accomplish this task. Because this equipment is not readily available to the average consumer, completing this installation method on your own is impossible without professional support.
After piers are installed, your sinking foundation is stabilized and further cracking in brick foundation walls will be avoided. Our pier systems use galvanized steel. Galvanized steel protects piers from rust damage from wet soil or heavy storms.
We offer the following pier systems depending on your home’s unique situation:
No matter what your unique foundation problem is, our team has the solution for you.
Cracked Bricks FAQs
Cracked bricks are usually an indication of a larger foundation issue. If the bricks around your home are starting to show signs of wear and tear, you’re likely dealing with a foundation problem. Hydrostatic pressure causes significant damage to your home, generating cracks, leaks, sinkage, and unwanted settlement within your foundation.
By the time you spot a cracked brick, foundation damage has likely spread. This type of damage is only going to get worse the longer you ignore cracked bricks or attempt to fix them on your own. It will be more cost effective in the long run to hire a foundation specialist to fix the problem for you.
Foundations are vulnerable to all kinds of moisture damage. For instance, the soil supporting your Florida or South Georgia’s foundation is made of loose sandy backfill soils that are susceptible to washout. Even just one large storm can easily wash away sandy soil and cause the foundation to lose the support it needs and sink. The already loose nature of sandy soil does not help. In fact, loose soil can start even before your home has been built.
When your home was being built, contractors dig a large hole in the area where they plan to lay down the concrete slab foundation or crawl space. After each component is completed, some space remains, contractors will then backfill in with some of the soil they initially dug up. This leads to the clay bowl effect. When this occurs, the much looser fill soil is far more susceptible to washing out as a result of the contractors’ construction methods.
Another way your foundation becomes damaged is through hydrostatic pressure. Florida or South Georgia’s consistent rainfall can lead to the soil absorbing far more water than it is realistically capable of holding. This can create immense pressure against the foundation walls and cause it to shift from its original placement or even crack apart.
Pier systems can be a little confusing to those who are not familiar with their function. Basically, these systems are long, galvanized steel rods that are driven into the deepest layers of soil underneath your foundation. In this way, they offer additional support to your home and foundation as the rods transfer the compact strength of the soil to the underside of your foundation. These piers can also lift the foundation back into its original position and close cracks that have formed in your brick wall.
Alpha Foundations can provide your Florida or South Georgia home with our two most common pier systems – helical piers and push piers. The main difference between the two lies in how they are installed under your home. Helical piers have spiral-like attachments along the bottom that make it easier for the expert to hydraulically drill them down into the deeper layers of soil. Then, they are attached to your foundation via a sturdy bracket. Once this is complete, the entire system can protect your foundation against any future settling.
Push piers are manually pushed into the soil by our experts rather than drilled in. Additionally, both pier systems will not be visible from the outside or mess up the landscaping around your home.