I wanted to write a blog article about block foundations.
I really feel this part of the country it’s not a good idea to have a foundation made out of block. Time and time again I see foundations that have horizontal cracking. It’s not so critical when you see cracking that is vertical but when you see horizontal cracking typically it means there is too much pressure on the foundation.
In New Hampshire our foundations go through a lot more than just water pressure, ground freezing every winter puts a huge toll on foundations that are made out of block.
You are much better off having a foundation that is poured concrete. I think you really need to watch out for a foundation that is made out of block in a finished basement. The finished basement will not show you the problems that you have with your foundation. Just the other day I had an inspection that I could see one wall and it had horizontal cracking but the front wall of the home had a new drywall wall in the basement and I could not see the block foundation, in this situation, there is no way to tell if the foundation in the front of the home has been compromised.
In a situation like this where you can find cracks in one wall and the other wall is not exposed I would recommend you ask the seller to give you access to the front wall to see if the foundation has been compromised.
There are ways to fix a foundation that has a block wall and it is failing. There is no easy way to make it straight again but if the wall has not gone too far there is a way to stop the progression. Metal rods are tied in through the foundation wall and then extended into the yard with a dead man on the other end. This stops the wall from collapsing any further but it does not fix the wall to be straight again.
One good way from preventing the wall from bowing is to install gutters on your home. If you have gutters and direct the water from the foundation wall, it really relieves a huge amount of pressure in return helps the wall from collapse.
You can read more here about gutter cleaning to help prevent water pressure on your block foundation. gutter cleaning
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