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Foundation Cracks In Chicago: What You Should Know

It’s obvious to say that a good foundation holds everything else in the home up—but what happens when it starts to break?  Can it break?  And what can you do to prevent that from happening as much as possible?

Yes, foundations can break—more accurately, they crack.  This usually starts because the foundation wasn’t adequately waterproofed, or it’s gotten more compacted and worn down over time as the home has aged.  Water, sediment, and time are tireless, and they’ll take every opportunity they can to wear down your foundation.

That being said, foundation cracks really aren’t the end of the world; but they are a sign that you’re in need of some good professionals to come on over and take a look at the situation.

Common causes of Foundation Cracks

There are actually a lot more types of foundation cracks than one would expect. A running list of ours includes:

  • Vertical cracks.

  • Horizontal cracks.

  • Stair step cracks.

  • Hairline cracks.

  • Diagonal cracks.

  • Shrinkage cracks.

  • Foundation slab cracks.

  • Non-structural foundation cracks.

  • Wet non-structural foundation cracks.

  • Structural foundation cracks.

Most foundation cracks come from just a few simple environmental or construction factors that, if diagnosed correctly, can help pinpoint how to solve the foundation crack.

Some common foundation problems are:

  • Soil Pressure.

    • The soil beneath or around the foundation can begin to exert pressure over time.  Houses shift and move with the ground they’re set on, and the foundation takes on the brunt of that shifting and moving.  If regular check-ups aren’t done, soil pressure can result in pretty severe structural cracks.

  • Water Damage.

    • If home drainage systems aren’t properly fitted, installed, or repaired, they can begin to seep or accidentally divert excess water down into and around the foundation.  This causes cracks to sprout up like weeds over a long enough period of time.

  • Poor Construction.

    • Sometimes, it’s just how the foundation was laid.  There may have been sections that weren’t well-fitted, whole areas of inadequate reinforcement, weak concrete, and other factors that means the foundation itself may have to be repaired or replaced.

Three major Foundation Crack Fixes

How a foundation crack gets fixed is dependent on what the Parks’ plumber finds during their inspection.   Parks’ has been fixing foundation cracks for over four decades, and we’re certain we can find a way to fix yours.

  • Sealing foundation cracks from inside by injection: Most foundation cracks can be sealed from inside the basement with little or no damage to the finished walls.  If the basement walls are dry-walled or covered with paneling, the wall coverings need to be removed prior to sealing.  We then clean the foundation crack area adequately and fill the entire crack with our state-of-the-art sealing compound.  After the job is complete the wall can be re-covered if needed, and the work is guaranteed for years to come.
  • Sealing foundation cracks from inside with special mortar mix: Occasionally, some foundation cracks—especially the wider ones (1/4″ or more) or the ones that might be still expanding—need to be sealed with a special mortar mix designed specifically for this purpose.
  • Sealing foundation cracks from the outside: In some cases—such as when the basement wall coverings cannot be removed to expose the foundation cracks—we can expose the foundation wall from the outside and perform the sealing work without the disruption of the basement.  We have a variety of materials for outside wall/crack sealing, and depending on the situation we choose the right one.

Parks' Plumbing & Sewer Flood Control Systems

One of the best ways to prevent too much water from getting into your foundation all at once is a good, hardy flood control system.  Lucky for you, that’s our specialty, and we’ve spent forty years designing and building specialty equipment to tackle the job.   Some of our patented technology includes our:

  •  ‘DOUBLE GUARD’ VALVE™: The Parks’ ‘DOUBLE GUARD’™ VALVE is a flood control backwater valve system designed personally by us, for you.   It’s made from red brass, a metal with an average lifespan of over 200 years. It uses two brass flappers that open and close, allowing sewage and wastewater to flow from the house to the street, but preventing sewage and wastewater from entering the house backflowing into your home.  Our valves are all metal, with a cast iron housing and stainless steel parts.  Other companies use a galvanized metal box with plastic parts and Styrofoam pieces.  You definitely don’t want any plastic parts in a valve with that kind of pressure, especially not one that’s supposed to keep your house safe from City Sewer backup.   After over forty years of installations, this system still holds a 99% success rate, and of it, we are justly proud.
  • J-Vault™:  The J-Vault™ is our patented flood control inspection and maintenance vault.  Unlike most other vaults—which are made from concrete—the J-Vault™ is built from fiberglass, which means it has a lifespan fifty years longer than regular concrete vaults, and it’s also prone to less damage.   This vault can be installed simply and with a clean finish that makes it easy on the eyes.

Parks' Plumbing & Sewer Foundation Crack Services

For over forty years, Parks’ Plumbing & Sewer has been servicing Chicago and its greater area with high-quality plumbing, sewer, flood control, and a wealth of other services.  One of our premier products, the ‘DOUBLE GUARD’ VALVE—a backwater flood system that we designed and built, which has returned a 99% success rate after forty years of installations—has even been installed across Chicagoland and remains an industry standard to this day.

We’re honest, straightforward, open plumbers, and we’re proud of what we do, not just because we’re good at it, but because our relationships with our customers really do matter to us, and we make sure to let each and every one of them know.

So whether you need foundation crack help, a trenchless sewer system installed, some service on your backflow valves, or even just some advice on a plumbing problem or two you’re having, give us a call and smile today—we’re on our way!

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