The observation of foundation cracks can be frightening for most people.
There are cracks that can be fixed.
Foundation cracks are not a big issue. The long vertical hair-line cracks are a result of the drying out of the concrete interior basement waterproofing. Within the first three years, this phenomenon can be seen on new homes.
There may be cracking in a diagonal formation. The cracking doesn’t widen to a point where one can put a coin. If the crack hasn’t increased in width after six months, it’s safe to assume it’s not a problem.
The observation of horizontal cracks is a point of concern on poured concrete foundations. The foundation may be shifting due to soil erosion.
It’s important to see both the exterior and interior areas when inspecting for foundation cracks. If there is evidence of cracks on the interior wall beneath the exterior grade, this may mean that the foundation crack itself will need to be repaired.
It is common for older homes and buildings to settle over time due to soil erosion. Poor drainage can lead to foundation cracks. It is important to grade the soil away from the walls.
Downpipes which carry rain off the roof are located to exit away from the foundation wall, a distance of five feet. It is important to make sure that the drainage pipes are in good shape and that the downpipes are clear from obstructions.
Many older Toronto homes had clay tile pipes. The clay pipes break down frequently. The result is large volumes of water exiting at the break point and freezing against the walls.
The cracks in the foundation can be repaired. The best way to fill smaller cracks is by a professional who has experience in this field.
The facts that a professional foundation contractor has access to the best products, experienced and efficient labour, and proper insurance coverage are some of the best reasons to use them. It’s important to have a warranty if you want to sell your home. If the property owner wants to sell, it is always a good idea to inquire if the warranty is still valid.
Major house components such as foundations, roofs, plumbing, and electrical work are sensitive to by new home buyers and their home inspectors.
Horizontal cracks on interior walls, doors or windows that stick when trying to open or close, and interior cracks which appear near the wall to ceiling junction are some key indicators of foundation problems.
It is a sure sign that structural foundation repairs are needed if the interior basement wall is bellying inward. The wall needs to be pinned or strapped until repairs can be made.
There are cracks in the stair step pattern on the block foundation walls. This can be a result of foundation settlement or shifting, or a problem with the exterior of the wall.
There are circumstances where a foundation wall is in bad shape. The site of the wall that is affected will usually need excavation of the adjacent earth and be dug down to the footing.
When homes are very close to each other, digging may have to be done by hand, which adds to the costs of doing such work. There needs to be a place to keep the excavated earth. If the lawn or driveway storage space is limited, the only option is a disposal bin.
An important consideration when dealing with homes in close proximity to each other is the integrity of the neighboring home’s foundation. A major foundation repair needs to be done by a client and they need to have a good relationship with their neighbour.
One doesn’t want to be blamed for the cracks in the basement at the other home after completing their own foundation work. It is a good idea to have the neighbour’s basement walls inspected. It will often be found that the neighbour will have the same perils. It is their most economical opportunity to repair and water proof their foundation wall and complete their own side.
The final grade usually runs from front to back of the properties. Proper support and shoring of associated foundation walls to guard against collapse is another important consideration. It is a good idea to use a qualified contractor that has the proper insurance and to agree with your neighbour to use the same one.
Once the excavation of the foundation wall is complete and the correct shoring work is done, the repairs can begin in earnest. As deficient block or concrete is sawn out, the wall may require temporary supports in the form of jacks and or support posts as the damaged wall section is removed and reformed and poured with new concrete of the right type. The masons will knit the block back into the wall if it is a block.
Proper time is needed to allow for curing of poured concrete. The contractor will be concerned about keeping rain water out and having to pump out residual ground water while the project is underway
It is necessary to contact a utility locating provider who will mark the locations of gas lines, water lines and under-ground hydro for the contractor.
It is suggested to apply a fresh parging of cement over the exterior wall surface as an added measure of protection after the structural block foundation wall is done.
Water-proofing work can be completed once the parging is done. Restoration of weeper /drainage systems and installation of drainage aggregate can be done as part of the process.
The final steps include placing back existing soil and adding additional soil. Ground surface finishes such as grass, poured concrete walkways or brick paver walkways may be re-layed or constructed as the case may be
Visit www.avenueroadmasonry.com to learn more about foundation crack repairs, parging, water-proofing or masonry and stone work.