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3 Reasons To Install A Crack Monitor On Your Foundation

by Sara Cook

Perhaps you walk down the basement stairs one day to look for something in storage and notice the crack in the foundation wall seems bigger than usual. But how can you tell if it has grown, and how will you decide when it is large enough to need professional repair? Learn how accurate crack monitors help you make the right decision before your foundation fails.

Crack Monitor Facts

These devices don't require any electricity or cost very much. Simple designs include pairs of matching metal pins that stick in the walls on either side of a crack, allowing you to make more accurate measurements with a tape measure or caliper. More complicated monitors include rectangles of clear acrylic printed with grids so you can check the direction and amount of crack change with one glance.

Tracking Changes

The most obvious benefit of a crack monitor is accurate tracking of the crack's changes. While some foundation damage increases at an even rate over time, many cracks only enlarge all at once while you're sleeping or out of the house. Monitors help you keep records over the weeks and days so you know exactly how your house is settling. Understanding the rate of change in your foundation cracks is the safest way to wait as you save up for repairs.

Preventing Leaks

Checking on the spread of cracks in your basement or foundation is also the best way to prevent leaks from developing. Whether you are inspecting your crawlspace or trying to preserve a finished basement suite, you need to treat cracks immediately when they reach a width of .064 inches or more. Setting up a crack monitor when a hairline fracture first emerges helps you determine the precise time when the damage needs treatment to keep water out.

Diagnosing Problems

Finally, don't forget about the information that the crack monitor device provides to the technicians repairing your damaged foundation. If the grid shows a steady diagonal movement between two wall sections, it is likely one corner of the house is settling faster than the rest of it. The speed of changes, shape of the cracks, and direction of movements all indicate specific problems with the foundation.

Take care of your foundation by keeping a few inexpensive crack monitors on hand. Even if your basement walls are smooth and stable right now, you don't want to miss the valuable information provided by measuring the damage within the first few days after it appears.

For more information about cracked foundations, contact A-Pro Seal or a similar company.