Home Inspections – Foundation Cracks

Posted: February 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Home Inspections - Inspecting Foundation Cracks

If you are a homeowner or are buying a new home do not wait for water to appear in basement before calling A-1 Foundation Crack Repair for an inspection ... especially if you see cracks in basement walls or floors.  You need to determine the underlying cause (or causes) of foundation cracks (and related defects) which otherwise would remain the subject of speculation and ongoing concern/stress.

Fortunately most of the time, foundation cracks do not suggest the need for expensive foundation repair work. Concrete cracks or cracks in masonry, brickwork, stucco, plaster or drywall are not uncommon in structures and often are often tolerated by property owners without consequence.

So why do so many property owners need to consult a foundation repair expert? Because you need the experienced expert to distinguish between what is minor and what is a significant problem. Nobody else wants the liability of perhaps making the wrong call about a foundation crack.

Basement Waterproofing

Posted: February 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Reasons for Basement Waterproofing

Mold and Mildew - will only grow under moist, humid conditions. Waterproofing your basement from the outside will significantly reduce the area available to new mold and mildew growths. This is very important as mold and mildew can damage food, paper, walls, and even cause respiratory problems. Just as taxing is the effort to remove mold and mildew.  Preventing mold growth before it occurs is key for your property and your health.

Damaged Possessions - moisture eventually causes damage to items stored in basements. Obviously, a basement that can only store waterproofed items might not be a very useful basement. If you would like to keep food, books, or anything made out of paper in your basement, then a proper waterproofing strategy is a must.

Structural Damage/Pests - Allowing moisture into the walls of your basement can lead to serious structural damage over the long term. Wet wood is also much more vulnerable than dry wood to a wide variety of problems that will reduce your home's value and your safety to live there.  Termites require a great deal of moisture to thrive and can live happily in damp wood, causing a huge amount of damage to your home. Moist wood is much more vulnerable to ordinary rot as well. While you can try to solve these problems after they occur, you are much better off protecting the walls of your basement with exterior waterproofing.

Reasons a new foundation can form cracks

Posted: February 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
  • The natural drying, hardening, and curing process of concrete creates vertical cracks on some basement walls as the substance dries and hardens - Depending on conditions during the installation of the foundation (temperature of the air, the density of the particulates, the temperature of the concrete, the humidity, and various other factors) concrete curing can take up to ten years. However, curing cracks typically occur in years 1-3. Many of these cracks will not pose a significant structural concern, but all foundation cracks should be monitored and taken seriously.
  • The concrete foundation is subject to severe stress when it’s first put in - To save time and money, foundations are usually back filled before the concrete has time to harden and settle. The impact upon the walls from the sudden pressure of back fill, -combined with impacts from rocks striking the outer foundation wall as the area is filled, can easily damage the wall. Until the construction is complete, the foundation is not protected from the temperature changes from the outside. This forces the concrete to expand and contract with all temperature changes.
  • Vibrating Rods - When concrete is mixed, vibrating rods are inserted that shake air bubbles in the mix to the top. If this is done improperly or too quickly, large air bubbles become part of the concrete in your foundation. These bubbles make poured concrete foundations weaker. To make matters worse, these air pockets expand and cool at different rates than the cement. This causes further deterioration and cracking of the cement.
  • Bad Mix - If too much water is mixed into the concrete, the concrete is weakened and much more subject to early flaking and spalling.