We have been receiving many inquiries about stair-step cracking on block foundations recently. It is very important to determine the underlying cause of this issue before hiring a contractor to fix it. This is where the structural engineer comes into the picture. If you are a homeowner experiencing foundation issues, your first course of action should be to contact a structural engineer. This isn’t just for block foundations but is true for all foundations. This simple step will likely save you money in the long run.
In this project it was determined by the engineer that the homeowner needed to address not only the cracking and movement of the basement walls but also the drainage issue on the exterior of the home. Doing so helped to relieve the pressure exerted on the walls of the home during heavy rains. Soil saturated with water expands and exerts pressure on the foundation if it has no where else to go. If this pressure is left unbalanced it can lead to foundation failure, resulting in wall movement and water infiltration. Had the homeowner not addressed the drainage issue, they would have continued to experience water infiltration at some point down the road.
Still not convinced you should hire an engineer for your foundation concerns? Check out our article “Concerned About the Integrity of Your Foundation?”