Is My Foundation Cracked?
There are no good foundation cracks, so they should be addressed right away.
Before answering the question we need to know a little more about your foundation. Have you noticed hairline cracks or spider web cracks in your foundation? Is it really a crack in the foundation or are the cracks in the coating on the foundation? Yes, there is a coating on your foundation called “parging”.
What is Parging?
Parging is a mortar coat or finish coat that is applied to the finish surface of the foundation to act as a finish coat to improve the appearance. Parging can be applied to new or existing foundation.
Most home in Texas have parging, it is a very common construction practice. On the exterior of the house we only see the parging, or stucco, coat above grade where it is visible even though typically it does go all the way down to the footing. Herein lies the problem.
Why does parging crack so often?
Parging will wick water hydrating parging and then drying out, causing spalling (flaking off).
If your area prone to frost during winter months? If so the parging if wetted and freezing maybe the cause of the spalling.
The parging is not the foundation!
As we just discussed, the parging coat is applied to the foundation after it has been poured. The parging is not the foundation, but rather, a coating on the foundation. Think of the wallpaper on a dining room wall. If the wallpaper tears, it doesn’t mean that your wall is no longer sound. It is the same thing with the parging coat on your foundation. When the parging cracks, it is the parging that has cracked and not the foundation itself.
How to fix cracked parging for under $10
- Get an old toothbrush and thoroughly clean the crack. Make sure there is no dirt or debris inside the crack and that the surface is clean.
- Go to Home Depot and buy a quart of pre-mixed stucco patch for under $10.00. and a plastic 2” compound knife. This ready to use product has a granular texture to blend in with the existing stucco/parging.
- Carefully fill the crack with the stucco patch
If the cracks run deeper and you find that it is the not the parging, but rather foundation that is cracked, this is a serious problem which requires the help of a foundation crack repair specialist immediately.