When moisture infiltrates a concrete foundation, the particles in the material start to weaken, causing the concrete to deteriorate. As a result, cracks develop on the foundation and the building's walls. In severe cases, moisture underneath the foundation can cause the structure to settle. If your foundation is crumbling, you should repair it immediately to prevent extensive damage to the building. Below are three repair methods you should consider for the project.
Concrete Crack Injection
Concrete slab injection is a technique that uses cement patches to fill cracks in a concrete foundation. The patches comprise adhesive materials, such as vinyl, hydraulic cement, epoxy resins, and polyurethane. When injected into a crack, the patch seals the fissure, preventing further moisture infiltration into the concrete. The sealant dries quickly; therefore, it is suitable for fast repairs.
Concrete crack injection is only ideal for minor cracks in the foundation. Also, patches should only be used to fix dormant cracks—if the cracks are active, the foundation will develop new fissures after repair. Therefore, you must address the underlying moisture problem to prevent further damage to the foundation. Concrete patches may fail to work where a foundation has large cracks.
Once a slab foundation settles on one side due to moisture damage, you must level it to prevent the structure from collapsing. Slab jacking is suitable for a leaning foundation. Small holes are drilled through the slab in the faulty areas. A resin product is pumped through the holes, and the slab foundation is lifted to its original position. Once the resin hardens, it holds the foundation in place.
Slab jacking works well with slab foundations only. It isn't ideal for basement and pier foundations. Also, this technique doesn't fix existing cracks in the concrete. However, you can use patches to fix the cracks. Slab jacking doesn't address the cause of foundation settling. Unfortunately, your foundation will settle if you don't deal with the underlying problem.
Steel or Helical Pier Repair
Steel piers are steel metal beams, while helical piers are steel beams with helix-shaped designs. With the pier repair method, you must excavate around the foundation to create access points for the beams. The steel or helical beams are driven deep into the ground beyond the foundation depth. This repair method fixes all forms of foundation damage.
Steel and helical piers create new footings or support for the foundation. With the new support beams, the foundation is less likely to experience future structural issues, even when exposed to moisture or soil erosion. Therefore, the pier technique addresses the root cause of the damage and provides a long-term solution to foundation issues.
Consider the above factors when choosing a repair method for your crumbling foundation. Contact a company like Risen Foundation Solutions to learn more.