Thursday, October 6th, 2011 by K. Gulick
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to share horror stories regarding their foundation repair experience. Here, we debunk some of the common myths you may be hearing.
While there are many differing opinions regarding how to repair a foundation and which solution is most effective, we hope to provide a better understanding about foundation repair.
In this article, we examine the most common myths about concrete block and poured concrete foundations, epoxies and polyurethane sealants, and long lasting foundation replacements. If you need more information or have a few questions about something you’ve heard or seen regarding foundation repair please contact your local foundation repair experts, Foundation Systems of Michigan.
MYTH: A foundation made from concrete block is naturally 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 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 a great 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 circumstances 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 simply repairing a damaged foundation.
REALITY: This is a common misconception that needlessly costs homeowners huge sums of money. Concrete gains strength as it ages, so an existing concrete foundation will be stronger than a new concrete foundation due to its age. 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.
Contact the experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan for more truths about foundation repair and to schedule a free estimate for foundation repair in Sterling Heights, Rochester, Livonia and all nearby areas in SE Michigan.