It’s quite common for homeowners to share battle stories regarding what went wrong with their foundation repairs. Here, we share some of the common misconceptions otherwise known as myths, and debunk them using our professional advice.
Unfortunately, many homeowners find themselves accepting advice from homeowners with “experience” rather than a trained professional with real experience. While there are many differing opinions regarding how to repair a foundation and which solution is most effective, the below realities are dreamt-up or contrived. These realities are proven fact that we hope will provide a better understanding about foundation repair.
Below we investigate proposed myths about concrete block and poured concrete foundations, epoxies and polyurethane sealants, and long lasting foundation replacements. Need more information or have a few questions about something you’ve heard or seen regarding foundation repair? Continue reading to find who you can contact for the answers to your questions. geotechnical engineer
MYTH: A foundation made from concrete block is inherently weaker and more likely to crack and settle than one made of poured concrete.
REALITY: The type of foundation isn’t as important as other factors, such as soil conditions at the site, the condition of the footing that supports the wall, and how well the wall was reinforced during construction. Drainage details will also factor-in on how well any foundation wall resists soil and water pressure. When properly constructed, a concrete block foundation is no more likely to sustain damage than a poured concrete foundation.
MYTH: Hi-tech epoxies and polyurethane sealants have made it much easier to permanently repair foundation cracks.
REALITY: Modern epoxy and polyurethane sealants designed for masonry repairs do an excellent job of sealing foundation cracks. Because they’re highly adhesive, strong and flexible, these products usually work more effectively than old-fashioned mortar-based patching compounds. However, there’s an important caveat to consider when repairing a cracked foundation.
If the conditions that caused the crack aren’t addressed, further foundation damage is very likely to occur. For example, if a concrete slab cracks because of soil settlement, repairing the crack treats the symptom rather than the problem. Additional cracking will occur as soil settlement continues. To make a permanent repair, a foundation specialist may determine that steel piers should be driven beneath the slab, connecting it to sound load-bearing soil at greater depth.
MYTH: Replacing a damaged foundation with a new foundation is a more long-lasting solution than repairing a damaged foundation.
REALITY: This is a common misconception that needlessly costs homeowners huge amounts of money. Concrete gains strength as it ages, so an existing concrete foundation will be stronger than a new concrete foundation. An experienced foundation repair specialist will be able to determine what caused the foundation damage, and then correct the problem using engineered foundation repair products like steel piers and wall anchors. When these products are installed, foundation elements (footings, slabs, walls, concrete stairs, etc.) that have shifted, cracked or settled can usually be jacked back into their original positions. The end result is a permanent repair that’s completed more quickly and much more economically than a total replacement job.