Archive | August, 2017

After Your Hair Sheds Or Falls Out, How Long Does it Take it to Start Growing Back?

I’m asked this question quite a bit. After going through the trauma of seeing shedding hair all over your clothing and home, many people are more than ready to begin regrowing their hair and to have this process finished and over. People want to know when they should starting looking for small signs of regrowth. Many people will look, see nothing, and worry that their hair just isn’t going to grow back. Knowing the correct time frame will help you to determine if everything is happening as it should. I will discuss this more in the following article.

Typical Hair Regrowth Rates: Sometimes people confess to me that they think hair that has shed out or been involved with telogen effluvium (TE) regrows differently than hair that comes out as part of a normal follicle cycle. This really isn’t entirely accurate. Once a hair comes out of the follicle, it generally then reverts back to the growing phrase (so long as there is not some autoimmune or androgen mechanism taking place as in disorders like alopecia areata or AGA where the follicle is being attacked or compromised.) So, once the shaft is forced out of your scalp and falls out, then the follicle will begin it’s regrowth phase and this process happens quite rapidly.

However, what’s not so rapid or fast is human hair regrowth rates. For most people, this is about 1/2 a millimeter per day so that over a month’s time, you’re looking at about 1/2 inch or regrowth. A good rule of thumb is that most people should start seeing decent levels of regrowth at around 2 – 3 months after the worst shedding took place. Some people see this earlier and some see this later, but 1/2 inch per month is considered typical or average.

If you’re not seeing any new hairs coming in, try spraying some dry shampoo right at the top of your head by the part line (or any other area where you’ve been particularly hard hit.) This will coat your strands and should make those new regrowth strands that are just coming in stand out from the rest. Yes, these hairs will be quite short, but if you give them a little time, eventually they will begin to fill in and to give you some volume. In about six months to a year, your hair should resume a normal appearance.

Another thing to try to see the new hairs is to pull your hair straight back or to comb it forward or against the grain. This will make those new little hairs stand up where you should be able to see them. So what happens if you’re not seeing anything? You may have somewhat slower grow rates. Recheck every week. Hopefully, in the next few weeks you should begin to see some little sprouts coming in. If you don’t, you may want to consider that perhaps your hair loss was caused by something other than TE or common shedding.

Because in TE or seasonal shedding, the follicle is just being reset into the shedding phrase, but nothing has happened to damage it. There are other causes of hair loss (like androgenic alopecia or AGA) that will compromise regrowth. Another potential indication that something else might be going on is seeing miniaturized or very fine or flyaway regrowth that is coming in, but not really providing any volume or coverage.

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TMJ Pain Causing Dizziness, Ear Fullness and Crackling Sound and Temple Headache

Do you experience jaw pain? Or do you clinch and grind your teeth? If so, then you’re not alone. It’s estimated that over 20% of the general population at one time or another have symptoms relating to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Your jaw or the TMJ is the most frequently used joint in the body. It’s also one of the most complex joints. Much like the knee joint, a small disc of cartilage cushions and separates the TMJ so the jaw may move easily. Each time you talk, chew or swallow you move the TMJ.

The jaw has three functional motions: opening / closing, side-to-side and protrusion / retraction. When the mouth is opened, the TMJ first rotates around a horizontal axis. And as you open your mouth wider, the motion is then combined with gliding of the jaw forward and downward. When you close your mouth the motion is reversed.

A common jaw problem is TMJ dysfunction syndrome. TMJ dysfunction syndrome typically occurs in women between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Early signs and symptoms include jaw clicking, tenderness to the muscles in front of the ear and back of the teeth and dull aching pain in the joint. These symptoms are often followed by spasms of the jaw muscles characterized by pain on movement of the jaw during chew and talking. Gradually, the pain becomes worse and is accompanied by decrease mobility.

Chronic and untreated TMJ dysfunction syndrome can displace the cartilage that causes pressure and stretching of the associated soft tissues and sensory nerves. The displaced cartilage can get trap in certain position when you open your mouth causing your jaw to lock up.

When you clinch and grind your teeth, you increase the wear of the cartilage lining of the joint. You’ll also increase the stress and strain of the associated jaw muscles including the pterygoid, masseter, temporalis and digastric muscles. These muscles are often tight, sore and pain sensitive to touch.

Typical symptoms of TMJ dysfunction syndrome include ear pain, sore jaw muscles, temple headache, jaw pop or clicking, difficulty opening mouth and neck aches. However, people who clinch their teeth a lot may also experience dizziness, disequilibrium and feeling of pressure or fullness in their ears and hear crackling sounds.

Regular clinching of the jaw may also affect the tensor tympani and tensor veli palatini muscles. The tensor tympani muscle controls the movement of the ear drum. When it spasms you’ll hear rumbling and crackling sounds. You’ll often feel that your ear drum is trembling and vibrating like when you’re jumping on a trampoline. The tensor veli palatini muscle controls the diameter of the auditory tube. And when it spasms, you’ll often feel pressure or fullness in your ears.

There are a few things you can do to relief TMJ pain. Avoid chewing gums and eat softer food until the pain subsides. Wearing a mouth guard when you sleep may reduce the stress and strain associated with teeth clinching and grinding. And stretching your mouth may relief your TMJ pain.

Sit in a relax and comfortable position. Now place your tongue in contact with the hard palate as far back as possible while keeping your jaw in a retracted position. Maintaining your tongue and jaw in this position, slowly and rhythmically open your mouth in a limited range ten times. When you finished with this warm up exercise, open your mouth as wide as possible within the pain-free limit and hold this open mouth position for about five seconds. Now relax and close your mouth for five seconds. Repeat this exercise two to three times a day.

If you continue to experience TMJ pain and associated problems despite D-I-Y remedies, consider consulting with a chiropractor specializes with TMJ disorders.

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8 Effective Weight Loss Tips

You may have read some common weight loss tips, such as taking in fewer calories, burning more calories and avoiding junk food. However, the sad truth is that the majority of fast weight loss plans and diets don’t work. If you are struggling to shed a few pounds, you may want to try the following tips.

1. Go For a Glucomannan Supplement

According to several studies, glucomannan helps you lose weight. Actually, this fiber absorbs water and stays in your colon for a while. As a result, you don’t feel hungry for a while. And you don’t eat a lot of calories. Some studies show that glucomanna can help with weight loss if consumed on a regular basis based on your doctor’s advice.

2. Reduce your intake of Added Sugar

In today’s diet, added sugar is one of the worst ingredients. The majority of people are having too much of it. According to some studies, the consumption of sugar may lead to obesity, heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.

So, if you want to shed some pounds, we suggest that you reduce your intake of added sugars. However, don’t forget to read labels as some health foods are heavy with sugar.

3. Consume Refined Carbs Wisely

Typically, refined carbohydrates are grains or sugar that doesn’t have nutritious or fibrous parts. According to research studies, refined carbohydrates may increase your blood sugar quickly, leading to cravings and hunger. As a result, you end up eating a lot more a few hours later. As a matter of fact, consuming refined carbohydrates may lead to obesity. So, if you want to eat carbohydrates, you may want to consume them with natural fiber.

4. Go on a Low Carbohydrate Diet

You may want to stick to a low carbohydrate diet if you want to enjoy the benefits of carbohydrates restriction. According to many studies, this diet can help you shed twice as much as weight as you can lose with a standard diet. At the same time, this diet can improve your health.

5. Use Smaller Plates

If you eat in smaller plates, you can consume fewer calories, according to some studies. This weird trick does work. If you eat in bigger plates, you will end up eating more. This is common sense.

6. Apply Portion Control

For many reasons, portion control can be helpful. According to experts, if you maintain a food diary to record what you eat, you will be able to lose weight fast. As a matter of fact, anything that can increase your awareness of the foods that you should eat is helpful.

7. Brush Your Teeth Before Bed

This tip is not backed by any studies, but many experts recommend that you brush your teeth after dinner. This will help you avoid eating the late-night snack. So, you may want to make it a habit to brush your teeth before hitting the bed.

8. Eat Spicy Foods

You may want to go for spicy food every now and then. For instance, you can opt for Cayenne pepper that is rich in Capsaicin. This compound can boost your metabolism and help you control your appetite.

Hope these 8 tips will work for you.

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Bodybuilding – When And How To Take Your Creatine

Potentially the most popular bodybuilding supplement on the market is that of creatine. Creatine has been used for many years by those looking to help build muscle mass and get more from their workouts.

By helping to restore the CP stores in the muscle, taking creatine allows you to work out longer in the gym and for an extended period of time. Without it, you may find your workouts begin to lag, and as such, you don’t experience nearly the same muscle building results as you would have if you were

using it.

But one question that many ask themselves is exactly how they should be taking creatine. Is it best to take before a heavy weight lifting workout? Or should it be spread out throughout the day? And what foods or drinks should you have it with? All are common questions that are asked.

When To Take Creatine

For most people, taking creatine immediately following a workout will be the best method since this is when your muscles are going to be most receptive to taking up nutrients – the creatine along with them. Creatine gets stored better in the muscle cells when an insulin spike is present, and as such, if you are drinking a post-workout beverage with dextrose, adding creatine is a very smart idea.

Taking it with juice also works, but keep in mind that juice is about 50% fructose, which has no effect on insulin levels at all. Taking it with straight dextrose is a more effective approach.

When you are in the loading stage though and taking 20 grams per day for the first five days, then you’ll want to spread this out into 4 even dosages so that you are not as likely to experience stomach upset.

Creating and Low Carb Diets

For those who are trying to build muscle while following a bodybuilding lower carb approach, creatine can still definitely be used, but keep in mind it might be taken into the muscle cells slightly slower than if you had taken it at another point in the day.

Keeping Muscle Creatine Stores Full

Finally, the last critical thing to know about creatine is that in order for it to actually be of benefit for you, you must keep your muscle creatine stores full after the loading phase. If you are going to approach your supplement protocol in a haphazard effect, taking it just every now and then, you likely are not going to see many benefits from supplementing with it.

After the loading phase is complete, you must be sure to then continue on to maintain yourself by taking in 3-5 grams of creatine per day thereafter, depending upon your current body weight (heavier individuals will need more).

So, if you’re currently contemplating creatine – or are taking it but not in the right way, give these points some consideration. Taken correctly, creatine can make a big difference in the results you get from your workout.

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Ringworm? It Makes Me Itch!

Contrary to the beliefs of other people, ringworm is not caused by worms. It is an infection caused by different types of fungi, depending on the infected body part. Generally, fungi that cause the ringworm itch tend to be found on moist areas of the skin. This is because fungi live in warm and moist environments.

The classic signs of ringworm are rashes or lesions accompanied by scaling. The infected area is also itchy. The rashes have red edges, which are usually elevated. Sometimes, the edges form a crusty surface. The center of the rash looks like a normal skin which can be sometimes scaly or shiny. With these characteristics, the rashes look like a ring on your skin. Thus, forms the name ringworm.

The ringworm infection can spread all over your body.

It can make your head itch. Ringworm of the scalp or tinea capitis infects the head area. It can spread out up to the back of your neck that causes swelling of your surrounding lymph nodes. Tinea capitis can be seen as patches on the head. This is really itchy, and it causes hair loss of the affected area. If left untreated, permanent scarring of the scalp can happen -permanent hair loss on the area too. This is commonly seen in children. In addition, ringworm can also infect your face (tinea faciei) and beard (tinea barbae).

It can make your body itch. Ringworm of the body or tinea corporis is characterized by the classic signs of ringworm. It is usually seen on the areas of abdomen, chest, shoulder, and back. This type of ringworm can rapidly increase in size if left untreated. In addition, your jock itch is also a type of ringworm. Its medical name is tinea cruris. It grows on the area of the groin which can spread up to the thighs. The color of the rashes in this area is reddish-brownish. It is scaly and shiny. You can have intense itch because the groin area is warm and moist.

It can make your hands and feet itch. Ringworm of hands (tinea manuum) and feet (tinea pedis) manifests the same characteristics. The infection is located on the areas between fingers and toes. These are scaly and itchy rashes. Sometimes, the infection can spread on the soles and make them thicker. Ringworm of feet is commonly known as Athlete’s foot. Additionally, your nails can be infected too. It presents a different set of symptoms that include yellowing and thickening of the nails. The infection can be itchy too. It is called tinea unguium.

The treatment for milder form of ringworm is usually anti-fungal cream. Some common medications that are used topically for ringworm are ketoconazole, miconazole, and cotrimazole. For more severe ringworm infection, oral antibiotics and antifungal medications are required. Selenium sulfide is also used for tinea capitis. Another medication used to relieve ringworm itch is tolnaftate. This cools down the ringworm and also prevents it from spreading.

These hassles can be avoided if you take measures to prevent contacting ringworm. As much as possible, avoid places that are hot. This may cause you to sweat more which make your body the perfect habitat of fungi. You also have to temporarily stay away from people infected with ringworm. But the most important prevention you can do is to have a good personal hygiene. Taking a bath everyday can wash off all the fungi and bacteria on your skin. Handwashing will also prevent you from getting ringworm. These measures, even though they are simple, will surely take you away from ringworm.

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Overcome Your Anxiety With Phosphatidylserine

Almost all of us deal with stress on a daily basis. Its clammy, familiar grip wrecks havoc on our insides: our hands get sweaty, our heart races, our stomach gets tied up in knots. None are immune. At home, at work, at school, worry can overwhelm us because stress-induced biochemical reactions are often beyond our control. They are an automatic response to some internal or external stimuli that puts our bodies on high alert. And in our hectic world, worry is all around us.

A modern malady

Like most bodily functions, stress has a positive, or at least protective, role to play in our lives. When we are in harm’s way, powerful stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin are released from the adrenal glands to give us the strength and energy we need to survival an ordeal. Called the fight-or-flight response, it has served humankind well – until now, that is. Why the sudden change?

Some experts believe that the frantic pace of modern life and all the stressors we are subjected have put us in an endless emergency state; one where stress hormones are coursing through our bodies when we don’t need them. This prolonged period of chronic stress can have both short and long-term effects on our health. One of them is the increased risk that we will develop an anxiety disorder.

The most common mental illness in America, more than 40 million adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. Most receive treatment in the form of powerful prescription medications designed to treat depression and related disorders. Although popular, these mood-altering drugs have a laundry list of serious side effects, including toxicity. In fact, nearly 30 percent of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. involve prescription antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications! With numbers like those, it’s no wonder a growing group of anxiety suffers are embracing natural supplements.

What is phosphatidylserine?

Clearly, we need to find a way to manage our stress that does not involve addictive, potentially-deadly prescription medications. Both exercise and meditation have proven effective at inducing the release of hormones that reduce stress. However, they cannot combat the stress hormones that are already in our systems. To control cortisol and adrenalin from within, we need to fight it from without, through nutrition. One popular and effective treatment option is a nutritional supplement called phosphatidylserine. How does it work?

A vital chemical that is in every cell of the human body, phosphatidylserine plays a key role in maintaining cellular structure, especially in the brain. By keeping the billions of nerve cells in our heads healthy and secure, the nutrient helps them complete their signal-transmission functions. One of the many benefits of this action is enhanced memory, which can be compromised with age, injury, or disease. Because the body does not make enough of the chemical on its own, we must get phosphatidylserine from other sources, such as food and dietary supplements.

Well-tested for stress reduction

In addition to memory enhancement, clinical trials also found that phosphatidylserine helped alleviate mental and emotional stress. This unexpected discovery suggested that the supplement might be helpful in treating anxiety disorders. Of course, more testing was needed. At last count, there have been at least 3,000 research papers and 60 clinical trials on the benefits and function of phosphatidylserine, making it one of the most studied supplements around.

After cognitive benefits, the most common finding was a positive effect on mood when test subjects were put in stressful situations. These reports and observations were confirmed by significant reductions in stress hormones by subjects who were taking 400 mgs a day of phosphatidylserine. In particular, one study found that the nutrient helped reduce stress in young adults because it helped them better regulate fluctuations in cortisol levels. (The link between elevated cortisol levels and a reduction of stress-relieving hormones and neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, has been firmly established.)This observation was corroborated by another study that found that phosphatidylserine kept cortisol levels induced by exercise and muscle stress comparatively low.

Effects

Because elevated cortisol levels over protracted periods can result in numerous health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, it behooves us to regulate them when under stress. Although its mechanism of action is poorly understood, testing has confirmed that phosphatidylserine can help lower cortisol levels, which may help alleviate anxiety by inducing the release of stress-relieving chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.

Dosages and side effects

As we mentioned, the nutrient is found in every cell of our bodies, making it completely safe for regular consumption. The only reported side effects are mild stomach issues from users who took more than the recommended dosage, which is 400-600 mgs daily, according to most sources. It should also be noted that there are natural food sources for phosphatidylserine, including herring, tuna, soft-shelled clams, and white beans. However, the average American gets far less than the recommended dosage just 75 to 184 milligrams a day, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, supplementation is an attractive option for most folks.

Conclusion

A safe, natural, and ostensibly effective treatment for anxiety, phosphatidylserine is an increasingly popular alternative to powerful prescription medications. By regulating cortisol to healthy levels, the nutrient can help prevent a whole host of health issues, from heart disease to diabetes and high blood pressure. Not to mention the fact that phosphatidylserine acts as a neuroprotective in the brain, enhancing memory and recall in patients with cognitive impairment. All of this makes phosphatidylserine supplementation a no-brainer… Pun intended!

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Bodyweight Training – The Feared 8 Count Bodybuilders

Why do so many people fear the dreaded 8 count body builder? Because they are a brutal bodyweight exercise that have been used in the military by the Elite Navy Seals.

I have read and bought many books on military training on every part of the military. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and they all show the exercise the 8 count body builder as one of the exercises that help get them in great shape.

But one book a Navy Seal training manual talks about how every Friday they would have to do 1×100 of this brutal exercise. And how the Seals hated it, I read this many years ago when I was just making a transition from weight training to bodyweight training.

I thought how hard could it be? First time I did it I managed 60 of these bodybuilders and thought about never doing them again. But, there was no way that was going to happen I was on my own mission to do 100 in 10 minutes and accomplished it.

What made me want to know more about these and the fact that the author of the book left out the feared 8 counts out of the workout section because how brutal they are. I liked that. If he left it out because he hated them I wanted to do them.

It’s been many years and I still do them and it is still a feat to accomplish 100 in under 10 minutes. My best was 600 in 1 hour and 100 in under 15 minutes wearing a 40 lb weight vest.

These are tough workouts and the exercise will work your body pretty complete. I have combined 8 counts with bodyweight squats and also used a combo using bodybuilders and a jump rope, both are amazing fat burning and strength building workouts.

If you just managed 50 of these beast the average man would not be average anyone who is a little skeptical drop down for some right now and see how many you can get in 1 minute or 2 minutes I think you will be surprised.

The only down fall is that most people will never do them as a regular part of their workout, and the reason is they are very demanding. You can be like everyone else and do everyone else s workouts; you know the workouts designed by the average man for the average man.

You want to be elite? You train and do the exercises that the elite train with!

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The Truth About Hair

Getting your hair done is “energy” work, just like massage or touch therapy (such as Reiki or Raindrop). Think about how good you feel when you wash your hair. Do you feel a difference when you bathe and wash your hair, or just hop in the shower and don’t? The act of washing your hair makes you feel more balanced because you are working on your crown center (or crown chakra).

Your hair carries energy or vibrations in every strand–not just nutritional information or the drug residue we often hear about. Hair encompasses cell memory. Think about the length of your hair and contemplate a moment about what you are holding onto within your life. Do you have your hair cut regularly, or just trim the ends? Do you shave your head? I spoke with a beautiful woman about losing her hair due to cancer treatment. Rather than viewing it as a loss, I suggested she look at it as a “reset button” since her body is bringing in new vibrations and shifting the cancer consciousness. It is an excellent opportunity for her to bring in new energy and to “program” that energy (hair) with positive thoughts and affirmations.

I recently watched an old movie, “An Officer and a Gentleman.” I suddenly realized the military shaves all the old energy from the recruits! There are other circumstances where the head is shaved; perhaps a threat of lice infestation in prisons. But the other impact involves replacing one’s identity and cell memory with a new consciousness. As the affirmations “indoctrination” process takes place, the hair grows back with that shift in consciousness.

Back in the early sixties, Catholic women were required to cover their crown chakra with a hat or a veil. Monks would have the crown center shaved to open their crown to the God energy. Remember the stories of Samson and Delilah, or Repunzel. They symbolized strength and the power of hair.

Start paying attention to individuals who have changed their styles or kept their hair cut short. Consider those who shave their heads and those that never cut their hair. Are they part of a religious sect, or is it because of personal preference?

Why do I drive 35 miles from home to a particular salon to have Bryan apply my color and Tomi cut my hair? There is an amazing combination of expertise and personal energy on the premises. The energy they emit and the consciousness they hold influences my energy field while they work on my crown center. The crown center is the most open and powerful energy center on the body. Additionally, there is an exchange of energy within our conversation.

The energy of your hairdresser should resonate with your own personal energy. While you are sitting, the heart center and throat center of the hairdresser are in direct contact with your crown chakra and your third-eye center. This position creates the perfect environment to attract and absorb different energies from others. Pay attention to how you feel after you have had your hair styled. Does your hairdresser uplift your mood, or feed your fears? What is happening in that exchange?

Corporations, such as salons, strive to achieve a form of consciousness. They perpetuate energy into their products, their image, and their brands. Ultimately, their employees and customers reflect that same energy. Their products and designers reflect and use the products to provide a positive environment, making you aware of whom you allow into your energy field. Do you feel good and uplifted after getting your hair done? Or do you feel drained and tired; exhausted; or poor? Pay attention to the correlation, and make a shift to another salon, if needed!

Patronizing an upscale salon allows you to feel special as well as increasing your abundance/wealth consciousness. Are you spending adequate time and money on yourself? When you look and feel wealthy, you open yourself up to accept even more abundance, wealth, and opportunities into your life. Remember to take extra care of yourself–because you are worth it!

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Your Weight Loss Cheat Sheet

On your journey to the perfect body, your diet will make up most of your efforts. In fact, your diet will be about 75% of all effort that you put in! That is why it is so important to make the correct decisions on your diet.

Feel welcome to use this list as a cheat sheet for making healthier decisions. All food plays a part in your weight loss but those listed at the top will be of least importance and those listed at the bottom will be the most important.

Sweets

This group includes anything that has sugar such as candies, cakes, cookies, pies, doughnuts and other desserts. You don’t have to cut this food group out altogether on your weight loss journey, as long as you keep the portions small. Foods in this group are often high in calories and low in nutrients so limit your intake to about 80 calories a day or about 560 calories a week.

Fats

The truth is that some fats are good for you, while others are really bad for you! Try avoiding fats such as saturated fats and trans-fats as these have often been linked to heart disease amongst other diseases! Instead, focus rather on the good fats that are found in olive oil, avocado, nuts and nut butter.

Protein

The best low-fat proteins you can find are low-fat and fat-free and include fish, skinless white-meat poultry, dairy foods, egg whites and legumes. Also, as an added benefit, proteins can also be a great source of fibre to help with the weight loss process.

Carbohydrates

This food group is primarily grains or food made up of grains. Whole grains will naturally be the better choice as they include more fibre. Examples of carbohydrates are whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal and brown rice. Just be on the lookout for the term ‘whole’ and you will be on the right track!

Vegetables

Vegetables are high in nutrients and fibre which and low in calories which is why they are a big part of any weight loss diet. Try sticking to fresh fruit, but failing that canned fruit will work just as well!

Fruit

Include as much fresh fruit in your diet as possible as this is the most important food group out there. Just like vegetables, try to stick to fresh fruit and avoid fruit canned in sugary syrup. If you can, stay away from fruit juice and dried fruit as these tend to have more calories and fewer nutrients.

No one type of food group can ever be discounted in the weight loss process as they all play their role in burning fat. Just remember that exercise can never be overlooked in any weight loss program And you should be aiming to get at least 30 minutes of exercise about 3 – 5 times a week.

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Foundation Wall Cracks, Cause, Effect and Solution

There are no perfect houses and that would include its foundation. Whether you have a new home or one that’s a hundred years old, house foundations crack. Houses shift and settle after construction. Houses will have cracks in either the cosmetic finishes or structural components. Most of these cracks have no structural significance. The common types of cracks in foundation walls will include;

Vertical (or near vertical) cracks; Just because a wall has cracked doesn’t mean that it has failed or that corrective action is required. If the crack is narrow (1/8 inch or less), is nearly vertical, has no lateral separation between the adjacent portions of the wall, and no water is leaking through the crack, no action generally is required. This is a shrinkage crack and occurs as moisture in the wall evaporates causing the wall to shrink into the voids created by the escaping water. This type of crack is controlled, or minimized but not eliminated by, using horizontal reinforcement steel, which helps distribute the stresses in the wall. If horizontal steel is present, you are more likely to get several very small cracks instead of one or two much wider cracks. Another method of limiting shrinkage cracks is to control the amount of water used in the concrete mix.

Reentrant Cracks; Whenever a concrete element has a sharp angle, there is a concentration of stress. This almost always results in a crack called a reentrant crack that emanates from the inside corner. It may be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal as it exits the corner. This phenomenon exists in nearly all materials. Round openings can dissipate the stress but this is not practical in concrete wall construction. The typical remedy to reduce this type of crack is the placement of steel reinforcement in the corners. It will not eliminate these crack but keep they tight and controlled.

Horizontal cracks; Horizontal cracks require greater scrutiny. Most residential foundation walls are designed to span from the footing or floor slab to the connection of the floor structure above. An 8-inch concrete wall in normal soil conditions usually is strong enough to withstand the forces exerted on the wall with no vertical reinforcement. Exceptions include areas with high ground water conditions or in expansive soil conditions. If there is vertical reinforcement in the wall, a horizontal crack is probably not a concern. An expert should be consulted when a horizontal crack appears to evaluate whether there is a structural risk.

These cracks typically result from one or more of the following;

1. Soil settlement beneath the footing resulting in downward movement of the footing, and shifting is common to most newly constructed homes.

2. Alteration of the local water table whenever a new home is built. Specifically, the soil beneath the home dries; the resultant soil shrinkage causes minor settlement of the footing which can result in hairline cracking in the foundation walls.

3. A new home, without of furniture and effects, does not impose a significant load on the foundation. Once all of your furniture and appliances are moved in, the weight borne by the foundation, and the structure in general, increases and causes some flexing (or movement) of structural members throughout the building. This increased load can cause hairline cracks in the foundation.

4. Drying shrinkage. While poured concrete is dries and hardens, it will shrink. The major factor influencing drying shrinkage is the total water content of the concrete. As the water content in poured concrete increases, the amount of shrinkage increases. Significant increases in the sand content and significant reductions in the size of the coarse aggregate used in poured concrete increase shrinkage because total water content is increased and smaller size coarse aggregate provide less internal resistance to shrinkage.

5. Thermal expansion and contraction of concrete. Concrete poured during high daytime temperatures will contract as it cools during the night, this can be sufficient enough to cause cracking if the concrete is restrained.

6. Restraint; The restriction of free movement of fresh or hardened concrete subsequent to the completion of placing (pouring of concrete) in formwork or within an otherwise confined space; restraint can be internal or external and may act in one or more directions.

7. Subgrade settlement or movement. The dropping of soil or the footing due to their mass, the loads imposed on them, or shrinkage or displacement of the underlying support.

Most foundation cracks are minor and insignificant; they are common to both poured concrete and block foundations. Structural cracks (horizontal) in residential foundations are usually the result of settlement and/or horizontal loading. They can be the result of hydrostatic pressure or the use of heavy equipment next to the foundation. The possible implication of cracks in your foundation is moisture penetration, moisture that can ruin finished wall coverings, floor coverings and furniture.

Water will leak through a foundation crack if there is enough hydrostatic pressure to force water through the crack. If a waterproofing system was installed during construction, the basement may not leak even if there is a large crack. Keep in mind that waterproofing is not the same as damp-proofing. Installing an exterior waterproofing system after the wall has been backfilled can be cost prohibitive. The best solution is the use of an epoxy injection system. It will adhere to the side of the cracks and actually may strengthen the wall. These systems can be DIY but is it highly recommended that they be applied by a professional.

If you take anything away from this article…take this. All foundations crack, your foundation, my foundation and most of these cracks are insignificant and have no structural implications. If you do have a concern about the size and type of crack call a professional to evaluate.

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