One of the biggest concerns homeowners have is, the condition of their home’s foundation and how to prevent or address any existing problems that will affect their home’s condition, stability and value. The most common cause of foundation and stem wall problems is, exterior water damage. Although this may be hard to believe living in Arizona, it’s true. Water damage is the leading cause of foundation problems and failure in Arizona.
This can happen from number of reasons. Poor landscaping, no rain gutters to provide adequate runoff from the home, low lying areas allowing water to collect near the stem wall, are just some of the common causes that create problems to your home. Left untreated, this can result in costly repairs to your roof, ceiling, floors, garage floors, and your home’s stem wall foundation.
Most of the homes built in Arizona have poorly treated foundations that allow water to penetrate the concrete used to create the foundation and stem wall that supports the home. When the home’s foundation was poured, metal rebar is put in place to give the concrete additional support and strength. Over time, water leaves efflorescent salt deposits, attacking the paint causing it to peel, chip and delaminate from the foundation, leaving exposed spalled concrete which is highly vulnerable to moisture absorption. Moisture begins to attack and oxidize the metal rebar inside the stem wall, like a cancer. As this happens, the rebar expands and forces the concrete outwards causing horizontal cracks in the stem wall. This will cause the stem wall to fail and be pushed outwards, separating the interior tile, carpet, or wood flooring from the stem wall at the base. This type of problem will not simply just stop and go away, and left untreated, will continue to become a more serious, more expensive, and will become structural. Damage such as this will certainly affect your home’s resale value.
Things you want look for are chipping paint, cracks, paint bubbles, spalled concrete or any other signs that things aren’t quite right. If the paint just falls off as you touch it or inspect it which means there is excessive moisture in the concrete. Other things to look for are horizontal cracks, fractures or separations in the concrete. Signs of vertical movement problems you will notice on the inside of your home would include any cracks in the floor or walls especially around windows and doorways. Don’t be lead astray by other contractors who will give you the excuse, “Your home was built on expansive soil” or “Your home was built on farmland” which are the two most widely used excuses given by inexperienced contractors, and structural engineers, yes, engineers, who aren’t sure how the elements affect your home. Expansive Soil is real, but only affects a very low percentage of homes. Get the facts before you spend $500, or more, on a engineers report that suggest a “scientific solution,” that has nothing to do with solving the actual problem.
The staff at Concrete Repairman LLC. are experts when it comes to foundation inspections and repair. We understand the issues that Arizona homes have when it comes to issues protecting your home and the investment you have made. Concrete Repairman LLC’s founder, James Belville, is a Third generation concrete repair specialist, with over 32 years of experience in the foundation repair and inspection industry. We are a licensed, bonded and insured commercial and residential concrete contractor in Arizona, Concrete Repairman LLC, has a full range of services and more.
If you are concerned about your home’s foundation or buying a home and worried that there may be a problems regarding its foundation, call James and get the answers, not excuses.
James Belville – Concrete Repairman Foundation Repair Expert
Horizontal Cracks are Signs of Foundation Problems
Efflorescence salt deposits are spalling this vertical stem wall.
Exposed Rebar and Failing Concrete on the Home’s Foundation