Horizontal foundation cracks located high on a foundation wall and horizontal foundation cracks located in the upper third of a concrete block wall (presuming most of the wall is below grade) are most likely to have been caused by vehicle loading or in freezing climates, by surface and subsurface water combined with frost. In Northern climates, if we see cracked mortar joints in the top third of a block wall, at about the same depth as the frost line in that area, the damage is almost certainly due to frost. Often outside we will find corroborating evidence such as drip lines below the building eaves confirming a history of roof spillage against the building. Back inside we may see that the foundation damage is occurring only at the building walls below roof eaves and not at the gable ends of the home. In cold climates the cause is most likely from frost, possible displacement inwards or vehicle loading. 

Horizontal foundation cracks located at mid-wall height on a foundation masonry block or stone walls which are cracked and/or bulging inwards at mid height on the wall are likely to have been damaged by vehicle traffic or earth loading. Possible vehicle loading (look for a driveway near the wall or site history involving movement of heavy equipment near the wall). Backfill damage - excessive height or premature backfill before the first floor framing was in place. Hillsides - earth loading or earth loading exacerbated by water or frost Areas of wet soils - likely to be earth-loading or earth loading exacerbated by water or frost.

Horizontal foundation cracks located low on a foundation wall-- The forces exerted by soils against a foundation wall increase geometrically as we move from surface level of the soil against the wall to the areas near the bottom of the wall. In other words, earth pressure is greatest at the bottom of the wall. This fact helps us distinguish between frost or water-related cracking and simple earth loading in some cases since a wall which has become dislocated laterally only at or near its bottom is likely to have been damaged by earth load
ing. Earth loading, especially if in an area of dense or wet soils Horizontal dislocation of a masonry block or brick wall may appear first as a crack and then later as horizontal movement as a wall is pushed inwards by earth or wet soil pressure.



Carbon fiber straps are commonly used to reinforce bowing walls. They are cost effective to install because there is no digging outside. The repair is made from the inside of the basement.  Area Wide Waterproofing is a certified carbon fiber strap installer.   

High tech carbon fiber straps will permanently repair cracked or bowed foundations without steel I-beams or tie-backs, leaving your walls with no unsightly obstructions and ready to paint. The repair is permanent and guaranteed for the life of the home, when installed by a certified installer. In most cases, certified installers can finish an installation in one day, leaving the wall ready to be painted.