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One of the key signs of problems beneath your home in Lakeside is floor cracks. This foundation problem often occurs as a result of foundation sinking or settling. If nothing is done, floor cracks will become bigger, leading to leakages.
Why Floor Cracks Happen
Some of the leading causes of floor cracks are
- Soil shrinkage. If the foundation is installed in a very dry area, it can cause your foundation to shrink. This may interfere with the foundation wall’s support causing it to shift or move.
- Ground heaving. The ground tends to expand and heave as a result of freezing and thawing. This results in the cracking, shifting, and movement of the concrete beneath. Finally, cracks will occur.
Signs of Foundation Problems
Floor cracks can be caused by movement and shifting of the foundation. If the cracks occur on the basement floor or upper floors of the home, there could be foundation problems. The foundation may have settled as a result of poor construction, the weight of the home, or uneven soil. If there is a foundation settlement, these can have devastating problems.
With time, the floor cracks will worsen and may require repairs worth thousands of dollars. The home may also begin to suffer from other problems like sinking floors, wall cracks, bowing, or leaning walls.
How to Handle Foundation Cracks
There are certain similarities between slab cracks and floor cracks. However, floor cracks are mostly as a result of foundation problems. In the moisture in the soil is too much or too little or keeps on fluctuating, you will end up with an unstable foundation. Drainage and plumbing problems may also begin to occur. You will probably start to experience clogging.
To prevent foundation problems, your masonry contractor will direct water away from the foundation.
How to Seal Concrete Cracks
Even after you have handled the foundation problem, you will still need to seal the cracks. The masonry contractor should work with a hammer and cold chisel to remove the large pieces in cracks in a process referred to as keying. The goal of the keying process is to ensure the inside or base of the crack becomes bigger than the surface. Keying also assists the patching material to bond well with the surface. After keying, the area should be cleaned to get rid of debris and dust. It would be best if you used a whisk broom before vacuum-cleaning it.
If you will be using concrete filler, all you need to do is to fill the crack. In case you are dealing with a mixed concrete patch, mix it as per the manufacturer’s directions. The patch should then be troweled. Check after a few minutes to see if the filler is tight. If it doesn’t look right, you may need to add some more.
You should then give the filler time to cure overnight or as per the manufacturer’s specification. You should check one more time to determine if there is a need for an additional patch.
Seal the Concrete and Patch
Once the concrete has been patched, you should seal it. This is important as concrete tends to absorb stains. The goal is to prevent this from happening. Several products are needed for concrete sealing. However, one of the best options is a strong water-based polyurethane. In case the floor is made of a rough finish, a brush or broom should be used in applying polyurethane, with the bristles helping to get the sealer inside the rough surface. A roller is a good choice for a rough surface.
One of the benefits of polyurethane is that it doesn’t take long to dry. Therefore, you can always put a second coat several hours after your first. Polyurethane also smells better as compared to other sealers.
We have the tools and skills to give your floor the lost shine.
For all your floor cracks repair, you can get in touch with Encinitas Pro Concrete Co. at (760) 283-6733 for free estimates.