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Foundation Questions

Cracks have formed in my foundation. How serious is this?
-Cracks form in all types of foundation. Some are small, and some are very large. The first thing to verify is whether theses cracks are forming in the foundation itself, or just in the parging layer of the foundation. The parging of the foundation is designed to take the stress of being exposed to the environment. It will crack and sometimes flake off over time. This is easily remedied. If the cracks continue through to the actual foundation, they may be able to be patched. For more serious cracks, a foundation specialist would have to come in to make the repair.

The outer layer of my foundation is crumbling away. What should be done?
-This is most likely the parging layer that is falling apart. This deterioration is normal since parging is a sacrificial outer layer. This is easily remedied by removing the damaged parging layer, and reapplying a new coat to the foundation.

A crack has formed through my foundation and up into the brickwork.
-This is usually a case of foundation settling. When the foundation itself cracks like this, it is most often a case of uneven bearing soil below the house or possibly a water run-off problem. There are various methods of addressing these problems. One unfortunate aspect of this problem is that the foundation may not yet be done settling, and further cracking may occur.

Large areas of my foundation have deteriorated due to water damage. What can be done?
-This problem often occurs around basement windows, or where downspouts are not properly directing the flow of rainwater. In these situations, temporary wooden forms are used, and concrete mixes are poured into the affected areas. Both chemical and mechanical anchors are used to ensure a proper bond between old and new concrete.

My old stone foundation is falling apart. Can it be rebuilt?
-Yes, often these stone foundations simply require extensive repointing. In older homes, where these stone foundations are usually found, they are built using a lime-based mortar. Lime-based mortars are very soft, and it is not unusual for them to erode at a rapid rate. These foundations can be repaired, and the necessary stones relayed using a Type S mortar, which is more suited to stone foundations. In certain cases, concrete pours can be used to solidify these foundations.