WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO ACT WHEN A FOUNDATION CRUMBLES?
The foundation is the very basis of a building. If its integrity is in doubt, major problems can arise that will affect the rest of the property. Fortunately, when concrete crumbling is detected quickly, it is possible to stop the magnitude of the effects by calling in a foundation expert. This will prevent future problems by preserving the structural integrity of the foundation.
WHAT IS A SPALL?
Concrete is the composition of a set of variable elements depending on the era or the use for which it is intended. When the foundation is affected by moisture, its particles begin to weaken and the concrete crumbles. This deterioration then reduces its resistance and affects its stability. This is when the problems start to appear.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU FIND THAT THE FOUNDATION IS CRUMBLING?
First, take ownership of the situation and not ignore the problem. It is therefore best to inspect the foundation to spot the warning signs:
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF CRUMBLING CONCRETE?
The dangers are above all the significant deterioration of the building. When this situation occurs, it has the effect of reducing the value of the property. If the property is put up for sale, the spalling of the concrete can affect its marketing.
Worse still, a major crumbling can endanger the occupants. Some buildings can even be condemned because of a significant degradation of their structure and their foundation.
WHAT CAUSES FOUNDATION CONCRETE TO CRUMBLE?
1 . THE YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION
The composition of concrete has evolved over the years. During the 1920s, general contractors mixed concrete with various materials they found on site. This often resulted in poor quality concrete, as seen today. Indeed, we note that the properties built in these years have significant erosion problems. Their foundations need to be repaired, and sometimes even replaced.
For several years now, the composition of concrete has been controlled by strict rules. There are even formulas that adapt to the specific needs of the construction project. In addition, steel rods (reinforcing steel) are added to ensure greater resistance.
2. THE GEOGRAPHICAL SECTOR
The durability of concrete is influenced by the geographical area and the composition of the soil. For example, wet soil is more likely to affect the foundation, unlike an area where the soil is dry and mostly sand.
3. URBAN DEVELOPMENTS
Concrete tends to crumble when the house is located near busy driveways, for example. Since the risk of freezing is more present, it can cause the concrete to disintegrate and weaken the foundation.
Over the years, humidity brings out the mineral salts in the composition of the concrete. This can lead to its decomposition and erodes its reinforcement.
HOW TO PREVENT CONCRETE SPALLING?
Hiring a foundation expert will help you tremendously. He will be able to assess the severity and advise you on the work that will restore the structural integrity of the building. You will know exactly what it is and how you can remedy the situation.
Repairing foundations consists of strengthening their components through resurfacing. More precisely, it is a question of cleaning all the crumbling particles, to then apply a new layer of concrete on the affected walls. This repair restores the structural homogeneity of the foundation and the solidity of the property. You should know that this solution is the least expensive and proves to be very effective in the medium and then in the long term.
Sometimes only one part of the foundation is weakened. It is then enough to replace the damaged section to replace it with a formwork connected to the rest of the foundation. We see this type of repair in areas where the ground is on a negative slope, for example, or on a corner affected by frost.
Foundation replacement becomes necessary for major cases. Such work is carried out when the entire foundation is affected and there is a risk to its structure. Foundation repair work consists of lifting or supporting the building, then completely removing the existing foundation in order to replace it with a new foundation that meets current standards. This permanent solution is more expensive and requires the expertise of foundation experts.
ONE LAST PIECE OF ADVICE: THINK ABOUT THE FOUNDATION FIRST
The foundation is so important that it should not be neglected, especially if you have detected signs of crumbling. Even if this is not the case, it is recommended to validate the health of your foundation before thinking about redeveloping your house or before bringing it up to date. You’ll have peace of mind and protect your investment.