How to Spot Crumbling Foundations and Fix It

David Sherwood Sherwood Inspection Services, LLC Leave a Comment

Crumbling Foundation Concerns

Issues with what I call crumbling concrete, because as you probably know it is not just foundations, it is a characteristic of the concrete itself. Whether it‘s steps, porches, lamp posts, septic tanks or foundations what we are really talking about is the reaction of the concrete that is causing a crumbling effect.

When looking at these crumbling concrete issues there are 3 concerns to watch for. The following will review the 3 concerns:

1- Inspections for foundations should be done by properly trained inspectors. Typically using a spray solution and High powered light will assist in viewing cracks you can’t see with the naked eye. Inspections can tell you what the condition is as of the date of the inspection. It cannot tell you about the future conditions. The old rules of vertical cracks good, horizontal cracks bad no longer apply and so the inspector needs to understand the new rules in which we evaluate these foundations.

2- Core Samples of foundations are very important and many mortgage companies, relocation companies, the state of Connecticut, etc. are requiring them. However, the samples must be taken properly, handled properly, taken from proper locations on the foundation, and labeled properly etc. in order for you to get reliable results. Then there is what results you’re looking for that can determine what lab to use. If you looking for the presence of Pyrrhotite then you can send it to several labs but if you looking more in depth information you may choose to send it to another. We have found many foundation with Pyrrhotite in it with no reaction. Looking at why this happens will come in a following article but just know that it can matter which lab you send it to based on what you are looking for from your results.

3- Interpreting the results can make a difference depending and what you are looking for. You may want help with this. This is a very important decision and understanding the labs findings and who is writing it can make all the difference in the world so choose your help wisely.

Other things to consider: You may repair or replace your concrete. Not all crumbling or cracking concrete has to be replaced including foundations. Applying for state aid can assist in lowering costs. Look to this article on guidance for this endeavor:

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