In the Canadian meteorological context, where solages are subjected to the power of several freeze/thaw cycles each winter, it is clear that the foundations are suffering and that cracks may appear at some point. Water infiltration and structural stability problems follow.
VOPAA Inc. Foundation repair specialist implements durable solutions to crack repairs.
What is a foundation crack?
Let’s start by defining what a crackreally is.
A foundation crack is a break in the material along its length, usually following a “zigzag” pattern. It can grow in different sizes, lengths and anywhere. There are vertical and horizontal cracks that can be distinguished into two types:
Active cracks are the most dangerous to the structure and require complete repair.
These worsen over time due to frost, soil subsidence or poor drainage.
You need a foundation expert to quickly make an adequate repair, which goes beyond a simple refill.
Passive cracks, on the other hand, do not grow. According to an expert’s judgment, it is possible to simply fill them up.
When a new crack is seen, it is important to monitor it closely to observe any evolution.
How does a foundation wall crack?
We know that the number one enemy of a foundation is water and moisture. As the foundation is the lowest point of a building, a flooringis inevitably in contact with this threat to varying degrees depending on drainage, terrain relief and other factors.
Over time, a foundation is likely to give way in some places. While cracking a soil can have major impacts, it can also be negligible in nature.
The various causes of ruptures to better understand the phenomenon:
- The strength of the frost
- Poor quality of concrete
- Poor ground lift
- Normal aging
The strength of the frost
This often underestimated force, is capable of doing much damage. In Canada, many foundations are victims of this phenomenon every year. As we know, there is water in the soil and when a very cold winter is this groundwater expands. In a context where a drainage system can no longer perform its role, the expansion of water (in the form of ice) near the foundation will put a lot of pressure on the concrete, which may eventually give way.
It is therefore necessary to check that the gutter exits
- are as far away from the walls as possible,
- they benefit from the positive slopes and,
- drainage system is effective to minimize risk.
Poor quality of concrete
A foundation that has been built with poor quality concrete is more likely to crack. Concrete used to support a house or building must have some resistance to compression.
ApCHQ recommends an MPA resistance of 20 for the sole and foundation wall and 32 for surfaces subject to the freeze and thaw cycle.
Poor ground lift
Some types of soil are more unstable than others. In recent years, many buildings and residences have been built on low-liftfloors.
These are soils that are totally inadequate to carry as much weight. These houses are therefore at high risk of cracking.
Of course, over time a foundation degrades especially if it is exposed to difficult conditions. Whether the flooring is made of the best concrete in the world and on the most stable of soils, the foundation will eventually crack. Good watertight protection and an efficient water system significantly reduce the impact of cracks on the health of a foundation.
You can also read this more complete article: How foundation cracks form
With more than 20 years of experience in repairing foundation cracks, we represent the team with the greatest expertise in Gatineau and Montreal.
Why fix a crack?
The first consequence of a crack is water infiltration. Cracks can sometimes allow a large amount of water to pass through, which can be very problematic.
It is common for customers to call us with a sense of urgency when this happens. It can also be a high presence of moisture in a basement that causes the development of mould.
Large cracks also pose a structural hazard to a building. This can affect other areas of a building.
For example, it is possible that the exterior or interior finish of a building will crack due to the lag caused by the damaged foundation.How to repair a foundation crack?
How do I repair a foundation crack?
VOPAA Inc. recommends that you start with the assessment of the crack by its team of experts. Depending on the type of crack and the environment around it, it will be possible to determine the most durable and simple solution.
The type of foundation must also be taken into account. A concrete block or field stone flooring is built with joints, so the procedure is different. Depending on the context, it is possible to repair the crack from the inside or from the outside.
Generally an active crack that poses a danger to the structure is repaired from the outside. It is clogged, solidified and made waterproof. After excavation and cleaning, the “V” slot is broken and mechanical anchor points installed.
These inkings create a better grip of the new concrete. The slit is then blocked with high-strength concrete (25 to 30 MPA).
In order to reduce the risk of displacement and prevent the crack from moving, steel plates are installed.
Finally, the area must be waterproofed with an elastomer and honeycomb membrane. Below are photos of active crack repairs in Laval.
Passive cracks are used in the same repair process except that steel plates are omitted.
Use VOPAA Inc. for a free estimate. With our 20 years of experience in crack repair, we will achieve an immediate and lasting repair.
VOPAA yards on foundation cracks