Basements become an important social space within the home and must be healthy.
THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR HOME SHOULD BE IN EXCELLENT AND HEALTHY CONDITION FOR A LONG TIME, EXTENDING INTO THE CENTURIES.
Some settlement is expected to occur in a foundation, especially during the first 2 to 3 years, moderate hairline fissures could also appear. However, if your basement or foundation moves or shifts more than usual, cracks will appear, if they increase in size, it is reason for concern and requires corrective action.
A foundation requires a stable, well-compacted and immobile soil. Common elements to impact and damage a foundation over time are: soils with low density, improperly compacted soils, and, expansive and highly plastic soils that expand and contract causing damage. Excessive transpiration, evaporation and especially improper drainage will also impact your foundation and become a problem.
Uneven settlement of a foundation wall builds up stress within the wall, leading to cracks. Under this condition, if the amount of steel installed was insufficient or the quality of the concrete not up to standards, it won’t be long before symptoms become obvious.
When a foundation is constructed properly, it tends to resist all elements around it. If the impact of elements on the foundation is constant and overwhelming, deterioration
will eventually start to show and corrective measures must be taken.
In cases where the amount of steel installed was insufficient or the quality of the concrete not up to the requirements, symptoms will start to appear.
If compaction was not proper and thoroughly done before the foundation was poured, the soil could shift, causing problems.
Improper grading away from the home, lack of gutters or French drains, can cause the soil beneath to saturate, erode and create conditions for uneven settling. Uneven settlement of a foundation wall, builds up stress within the wall, leading to cracks.
Moisture in the soil, can cause it to swell up and through the thaw/freeze cycles impact the foundation. When this happens, it places a great amount of pressure on the base of the home. Eventually, the force may cause cracks to develop. Moisture may occasionally come from a leak from a toilet, shower, tub, or sink. Over time, it will contribute to the growth of unhealthy mold and bacteria.
Prolonged hot and dry weather can cause the moisture within the earth to disappear causing the soil to shrink. The foundation may lack enough support underneath.
Sanitary plumbing and water supply plumbing systems can leak for years without being detected. Moisture constantly leaking into the ground can generate conditions to affect the foundation.
When doors or windows start to jam or do not align, it may well be an indication of settlement or structural problem with the foundation, which is then being reflected in the upper floors.
Cracks in the siding or around doors and windows can be an indication of a foundation which is in the process of shifting.
When you start to find cracks in the tiles or flooring of the house, it is likely there is a foundation issue, there could be settlement, shift or upward movement.
These cracks may be indicators of a settling problem and can be easily repaired. Should they reappear, the cause should be investigated and corrected.
can be caused by a chimney pad or foundation that is settling, it usually is a slow process and should be monitored.
Large openings for doors and window frames usually reveal pressures caused by settling foundations. It is important to determine what is causing it.
If the bottom of the garage door is not parallel to the slab, it is an indication that some settlement has taken place.
This is a problem commonly caused from excessive hydrostatic pressure in the soil surrounding a home. Whenever a home is built in expansive soil, such as clay, it will swell up when moisture is present and shrink during dry seasons. When a water table rises and falls constantly, the foundation of the home may tend to move along with it.
In the long run it will impact the structural integrity of the foundation. The development of wall cracks in the basement, and when the force of the water in the earth eventually proves to be too much for the wall to handle, it will cause it to lean into the home.
These photos show how we not only stopped water from entering but restored structural integrity to a wall after a major failure. In this case a one sided 12’ tall reinforced wall was poured next to it.
Once a wall loses its structural integrity under hydrostatic or other pressure, additional measures must be taken to save the foundation. Structural failure occurs when a material is stressed beyond its strength limit, in this case the mortar between the CMUs and also the CMUs failed.