The foundation and its structural integrity is the heart of a home, and when it is compromised the value of that property is greatly depreciated. Each issue is evaluated to see what the best solution will be. For the most part, addressing these types of problems in the early stages yields the best results and may save $1,000s-$10,000s in further damage.
When foundations are first built they are very strong. But over time as they sit in the ground without proper drainage & protection they begin to weaken, until eventually they can fail under the pressure. There are many contributing factors to their breakdown.
- One is “Hydrostatic Pressure”, which is water build up outside the foundation walls. Water is also very erosive & can undermine the footings by washing away the soil that they sit upon. When that happens the footing can sink and crack causing the walls to crack & buckle.
- Another problem for foundations is corrosion from acidic soils which counter acts with the lime base holding the concrete together. The more “Efflorescence” you see (white powdery substance), the weaker the structure is becoming, making it vulnerable to cracking.
- Another issue is the expansion & contraction of clay soil. Which we have tons in NJ. When clay becomes wet & saturated it can expand up to 20 times its size, and applies tremendous pressure on the foundation walls. Then when it dries out it shrinks pulls away from the walls. It’s that constant back & fourth over time the weakens the foundation walls. Remember your foundation walls support the entire house, the basement floor does not.
- Finally, in our climate in the Northeast we also encounter the freeze / thaw cycle. So when wet soil or water freezes, it expands, which is why many foundations will crack about 24-30” down from grade level, typically where the frost line is located. Block foundations are the most commonly built and they have (2) distinct weak areas. They are- “the mortar joints”, wherever blocks come together is a cold joint and a weak spot, & “the center of any given length wall”, the further away from the corners the weaker the wall becomes.
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Eco-Dry Waterproofing covers all of Northern NJ including Sussex, Morris, Warren, Passaic, Essex, Union and Bergen Counties.