If you’re looking for a Louisville foundation repair by Aqua Lock, you’ve come to the right place. A foundation is crucial to the longevity and general structural integrity of a house. However, it may sustain unexpected damage, meaning you have to get it repaired promptly. This guide explains the main causes of a crumbling foundation and how to go about repairing it.
What Causes Your Concrete Foundation to Crumble?
There are several phenomena responsible for a crumbling foundation. These include:
Your foundation is made of concrete. When such concrete is continuously exposed to water, the freezing and thawing action of the water will ultimately lead to the peeling or flaking of the concrete surface, a process known as scaling. Scaling can be caused by regular pressure washing or age and is detrimental to house foundations.
Aggregate is a crucial part of concrete comprising small pieces of pummeled rock, sand, and gravel. The rocks used in aggregate may contain minerals like pyrite, an iron compound. It can leach out of these tiny rock particles and gradually weaken the foundation structure. Silica compounds and mica are the other minerals that can cause foundation deterioration too. While contractors have largely avoided this mineral problem these days, older houses may still be susceptible to it.
3) De-Icing Salts
Many de-icing salts contain a form of sodium chloride. They are used to promote ice melting during winters when the ground is covered with a layer of ice. While this may help to give traction on surfaces like your driveway, these salts can also weaken your foundation. It is usually advisable to use de-icing salts that contain chlorides of magnesium and potassium instead of sodium. This helps to avoid the problem of a weakened foundation.
4) Excessive Water
While water is crucial for concrete to set and harden, adding too much of it will mean the chemical bonds needed for subsequent rigidity won’t form as required. If a foundation is constructed using concrete with too much water, it will inevitably crumble with time.
Preparation for Concrete Foundation Repair
Before starting to repair your foundation, you need to do some prep work.
Preparing the Surface
Ensure to get rid of all crumbled or deteriorated pieces of concrete from the foundation surface to be repaired. Remove all things like grease, oily materials, or anything that may inhibit the bonding of the repair mixture later on.
Ensure to use a high-pressure water blast for the preparation. The stud pull test is used to gauge the tensile strength of concrete. It should be used here to guarantee effective decontamination of the foundation area to be worked on.
Ensure that the surface to be worked on is frost-free. Equally, dry any water prior to the application of the repair mixture.
All steel reinforcements within the foundation structure should be thoroughly cleaned. This is to eliminate things like rust. If necessary, pressure washing should be performed when there is corrosion on the steel surface.
Repairing the Foundation
1)Use a stiff brush to get rid of all loose concrete particles and dust that may be present on the surface where you’ll apply the repair material. Be careful not to break any more concrete than is already present. If necessary, use a hammer or a chisel to remove larger pieces of concrete. A garden hose can provide water under high enough pressure to clean any tiny concrete particles and dust. Use a brush along with the water from the hose if necessary. Once you’re done with this phase, give the foundation surface 24 hours to dry.
2) After the 24-hour wait, get the concrete surface slightly wet. You can spray some water on its surface or use a wet sponge.
3) The patching material is what you’ll use to repair the crumbling foundation. Before applying it, you should apply an adhesive primer or cement paint. Such a primer ensures the patching material can bond effectively with the old concrete surfaces of the foundation. If you don’t have cement paint readily available, use clean water to dissolve some cement. This gives you cement paint. Ensure that this mixture has the same texture as latex paint. A medium-sized paintbrush is ideal for applying cement paint.
4) Your patching material should be ready to use. You want to apply it immediately after applying the primer or cement paint. This patching material contains concrete, making it ideal for filling large holes in the foundation surface. Sunlight is an enemy of the patching material. If you’re working outside the house, it’s best to do it early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t up. You won’t have such an issue if you’re doing the foundation repair in your basement.
5) Wait for two hours before applying another round of patching material. The cure time of concrete is the duration it takes to get strong enough to withstand force. Allowing the first coat of patching material to cure for at least half an hour is necessary to achieve optimal results.
6) Cover the patched area with a tarp. Spray this area lightly with water once or twice each day.
It’s crucial to remember that elements like rain, sunshine, and frost can decrease the effectiveness of the patching material.
All in all, repairing your crumbling foundation should be a simple task if you follow all the above instructions.