In this episode, Adam Tracy (aka “The Crack Daddy”) discusses the causes for garage flooring pulling away from foundation walls. Listen and enjoy!
Narrator: The topic of today’s podcast, a Crackman case study: Why is the back part of my Garage Floor pulling away from the Foundation Wall? Today we have Adam Tracy joining us to talk about some very interesting issues he has dealt with concerning garages and foundation walls. I mean it’s really fascinating. So Adam, what’s going on there?
Adam: Oh we’ve had a couple of cases that we’ve dealt with recently, most recent being in Lexington that we dealt with. It’s to deal with a concrete foundation wall that seems to be pulling away from the main portion of the foundation. Understanding why that happens is a critical part of our profession and determines how we approach the repair. Most often we see this is when the grade of the foundation drops off from the front of the foundation to the back. And when you have an attached garage, a lot of times you’ll see cracking develop along that back wall, where you have only maybe 18 inches of concrete showing above grade towards the front, but you may have 4, 5, 6 feet of concrete showing in the back of the foundation where your garage is. Now, when we see a crack here on the wall where the back wall meets the side wall, a lot of times what we’ll see is that that wall starts pulling away from the main foundation. And you may see it with a large gap developing along the back wall, between the floor of the garage, and the back wall of the garage foundation. You may also see a large gap starting to form in the corner of the outside of the foundation where the back of the foundation meets the side foundation.
Narrator: So, what if I was complacent. I just decided I didn’t want to fix this problem and just let it go. What could happen with my home?
Adam: Well this is the first sign of a structural issue that needs to be remedied, so you’re going to be dealing with a much more expensive repair if it goes untreated. Now, the reason why we want to deal with this earlier than later is you have to understand the strength of concrete is really in the compression where it wants to be pushed straight down. And the construction of a garage is a little bit different than a house because obviously, if you’re driving your car into the garage that might be 4, 5 feet above the soil line, they fill that with sand or gravel, they basically fill the void space. Your basement doesn’t have that, so you have a lot of sand, and gravel, and weight, and even the pressure of the cars pushing down onto the soil and it’s going horizontally into the wall, where the strength of the wall really isn’t. If you leave it to go for a long period of time, it can be a much larger structural issue. So, how do we repair this and how do we approach it? The best way to do it in the early stages of this is to anchor it to itself, anchor the foundation back to the foundation, and also the foundation floor to the foundation. And the best way to do that is with rebar. Now, rebar works the exact opposite way that concrete does. All of its strength, it likes to be pulled, just like a paperclip, much stronger being pulled apart than it is trying to be pushed together. So it works in conjunction with the foundation that is trying to get pulled apart. Basically, we’re going to anchor the foundation to itself where the form meets the foundation walls, and also where the foundation meets the foundation where this crack has developed. Now, we can’t get underneath the garage floor because it’s filled with gravel and sand, so the majority of this application’s repairs have to be done from the outside. This will tie it all in together and prevent further movement down the line.
Narrator: Alright. Well, thanks Adam for bringing to light this rather common issue with garage floors pulling away from the foundation walls. It’s good to know that there are guys like you who are experts in fixing this potentially critical issue. If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email rich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.