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FOUNDATION DEFECTS

 

Settlement Cracks

 

Foundation cracks are present on most poured concrete and masonry block foundations.

 

Settlement Crack in Concrete

Sixty six percent of all foundations crack within the first year of being poured

Typically hairline cracks, which are virtually unable to be seen, can occur within the first 2 weeks. These cracks will only get worse and time goes by

Poured concrete is generally required to stay in the concrete forms for about 7 days. However, the removal of the concrete forms is typically done 1-2 days after the concrete is poured. Because of this, concrete cannot meet its strength factor, based on 7 or 28 days, which can result in weaker and cracked concrete

Concrete typically reaches fifty percent of its strength factor in 7 days and ninety percent in 28 days and takes years to fully cure. However, although concrete gets stronger as it gets older it also becomes more brittle

 

Foundation Cracks in Poured Concrete

Concrete cracks give moisture a direct route into your home, however concrete is porous and has air pockets, which act like a sponge. Crack or not, if not protected, moisture will have easy access into your home

Concrete does not require much water to achieve maximum strength. In fact, a wide majority of concrete used in residential work has too much water. Water is added as a labor saving device to make the concrete easier to install. This excess water cannot only promote cracking but it can severely weaken the concrete

60 percent of all homes built on expansive soils suffer from foundation distress and approximately 50 percent of the land in North America contains expansive soil

 

Some foundation waterproofing coatings crack with the foundation and can degenerate or dissipate into the soil within 5-15 years leaving the foundation bare and unprotected

 

Concrete foundations are of two types, poured concrete and concrete block.

 

Poured concrete is a modern manner of laying foundations, while concrete blocks are more traditional. Concrete blocks are preferred for their visual appeal and strength. Yet, as time passes, there may be degradation of concrete. One of the prime cause of cracks in concrete foundation is seepage of water. Such cracks caused due to leakage of water are thin and hairline. They may widen over time, but they are present only in those areas where the seepage occurs.

 

In order to repair leakage cracks, it is necessary first to investigate the source and the point from which the leakage originates. There may be other reasons for concrete foundations to crumble. Soil may lose its moisture content in summer. There may be underground roots which may wither and die. Such natural causes make the soil shrink and hence the foundation may move. Though this movement is gradual, overtime it will cause cracks to occur. These cracks will be large gaping ones, running across the entire length of the foundation. They may even be in the form of tiny holes in certain places. Whatever be the reason, cracks in the foundation are very perilous if ignored. Repair must be done as soon as possible.

 

Difficulties involved in the repair process are influenced by how big the cracks are. For tiny moisture created cracks, the repair is relatively simple and can be done by almost anyone. These cracks must first be brushed clean with a wire brush. A jet of water may be passed to remove any loose concrete particles within the crack. The crack is then allowed to dry completely and filled with concrete caulk. If the crack is large, then it is packed with patching materials that are specifically available for concrete. These patching materials must be wet when applied. They are limestone based, and they expand as they dry, filling up the crack completely. The finishing touch is to apply a sealant to the repaired crack.

Video Concrete Foundation Crack Repair

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