Even though foundations are built to code and are checked several times through the process of constructing them, they can still have problems and can crack. When a foundation cracks, the homeowner must then call in the professionals to examine the damage and come up with a plan to fix the foundation. Sometimes, if the damage is extensive, an engineer is also brought onto the project to ensure that the repairs are done efficiently and correctly.
Foundation Crack Repair – How To Do
There are steps that must be followed during cracked foundation repair. Some repairs, if they are minor, can be done by the homeowner. However, since it is dealing with the foundation, larger projects should be handled by professionals. Even the smallest cracks can have major underlying problems that will need to be addressed. Fixing the smaller cracks is just putting a band-aid on the problem.
The Common Problem For Foundations – Water Accumulation
Generally water is the problem and the reason that the foundation has cracked in the first place. Water will accumulate and saturate the soil under and around the foundation which will put immense pressure on the foundation or can cause the soil underneath to shift, causing cracks within the foundation. Keep water diverted away from the foundation by using a good gutter and downspout system that runs water away. Also, be sure to have the soil around the foundation graded properly so that it will slope correctly. The correct slope is six inches for every ten feet. Have the foundations perimeter drainage system checked to ensure that it is not blocked. If the foundation lacks a perimeter drainage system, then one may need to be installed.
Besides water, the foundation itself could be uneven and would therefore easily crack as it settles into the ground. This type of crack will generally cause substantial damage and will need to be reinforced in order to keep the foundation from completely cracking or crumbling. A severely cracked foundation that is not fixed properly can lead to a house being condemned as unsafe and would require demolition if not repaired to code.
Interior walls are able to be repaired by using steel or wood bracing, wall anchors spaced about six feet apart on the entire wall or carbon-fiber mesh. Newer techniques using epoxy spread in strips with carbon-fiber mesh placed in it to keep the wall in place. The wall anchors are placed about eight feet apart and are connected to metal plates placed in the yard. The connectors are then tightened until the foundation is secured.
When Rebuilt is Necessary
If part of the foundation has deteriorated beyond anchoring or patching, then it may need to be re-built. A foundation that has been partially washed-out will also need to be rebuilt. Only professionals should work on rebuilding a foundation as it is labor and code intensive and will require check points to be met along the way.