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The Complex Diagnosis of a Foundation Repair Job: Making the Right Decision

The Call

The homeowner contacted us because they noticed a crack in their foundation. They said, “it had just appeared out of nowhere and felt like it was getting bigger by the day.” Cracks in the foundation are not an uncommon problem for homeowners, but if you are experiencing these issues, then it’s essential to find the cause as soon as possible! Many people don’t realize how extensive this issue can be. A lot of times, cracks are caused by weather-related events like rainstorms or hurricanes, which allow water into your basement – so even though one crack isn’t too bad, there may be more lurking under the surface. If you notice any signs of foundation damage, we recommend calling a professional to assess the situation and help point out exactly what needs to be done.

Initial crack exposed

The Problem

Foundation problems are often due to soil erosion under the foundation or soil that has been pushed into or away from the foundation by tree roots. Another cause is hydrostatic pressure (weight of the water) pushing against the foundation walls and floor.

The homeowner received multiple opinions and was told that sealing the crack on the exterior and interior would solve the issue. The homeowner called us out to get another view, and after a thorough assessment, we found the problem was more extensive than just one crack.

The Foundation Repair Assessment

In this particular instance, the crack in the foundation was caused by hydrostatic pressure. The builder’s inferior pressure relief system (also known as a sump pump system or french drain) had collapsed and no longer directed the water around the foundation to the sump pump pit. The additional water was sitting around the foundation with nowhere to go. As a result of the water sitting around/against the foundation, it eventually started making its way through the pores of the concrete foundation. The floor had begun to separate from the wall leaving a small gap between the floor and the wall.

The recommendation to the homeowner was to replace the current system with a new pressure relief system that included the right size drain tile, the correct depth of the system, backfilling the system with the correct stones to act as the filter, the right type of sump pump and drainboard on the walls.

Collapsed Drain Tile (Completely clogged)

The Foundation Repair Solution

On day one of the project, we removed the insulation and found that we had a total of seven cracks. Most of the cracks were vertical, and a couple was horizontal cracks. In addition to sealing the initial crack, we sealed six more and added a new pressure relief system (also known as a sump pump system or french drain).

The homeowner now has a secure foundation for years to come. The amount of water around the foundation is now managed by the new pressure relief system and no longer accumulating and causing havoc to the homeowner’s foundation.

When it comes to foundation repair, you want a team of professionals who are experienced in the industry and know what they are doing. Foundation issues can be complex problems that need an expert opinion to fully assess your options for repairing or replacing the foundation itself. We work with homeowners every day on these types of projects which require specialized equipment, solutions, and contractor expertise. Foundation issues can be a severe problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage and expensive repairs down the road!

If you think that your foundation may have an issue, give us a call at 202-389-9121 for an assessment of your home’s needs. We look forward to hearing from you