Cement Foundation Repair
Cement foundation repair and cement floor repair are done for aesthetic, preventative, and structural reasons. Understanding the cause of the cracks is critically important in determining whether costly repairs are worth the investment.For stress cracks caused by combined earth and hydrostatic pressures or settlement cracks caused by ground settlement, repairs are much more involved because they are for structural reason.
Cracks due to shrinkage on concrete surfaces are very common and there is very little that can be done to prevent them. According to Portland Cement Association (PCA) cracks on concrete surfaces are expected and unavoidable.
The cracks that PCA is referring to are non-structural meaning they are not threats to the structural integrity of the building foundation walls, slabs, footings, piers, beams, etc.
Foundation wall shrinkage begins at the face or surface of the wall because it loses water at a faster rate than subsurface.
As the face of the foundation dries, it shrinks while just beneath the surface it is resisting to contract along due to it’s higher water content.
This shrinkage and resisting to shrinks create stress that ultimately leads to fractured surface in order to release the pressure.
If the cracks are at interior face of an exposed foundation, the repair will be for cosmetic reason.
If the face of the exposed cracked foundation is at exterior, the repair becomes more important because it helps prevent corrosion.
In areas where the foundations are subjected to freezing, shrinkage cracks tend to widen and deepen over time.
This is due to the trapped water in the cracks increased in volume when freezes thereby widening the cracks.Repairing of shrinkage cracks in most cases are very simple and inexpensive and it can be done by anyone. The tools required are chisel, hammer, wire brush, crack sealer.
Prior to any concrete foundation repair all source of water such as sprinklers, irrigation, downspouts, drainage, etc must be directed away from the foundation.