When dealing with foundation damage, a property owner may encounter an issue known as spalling.
While it may look like a simple cosmetic issue, it can indicate much more serious problems. In fact, if you see signs of it, you need to act right away! Otherwise, you can face massive property damage from flooding and a weakened structure.
Definition of Foundation Spalling
When you notice that the surface concrete has started to crumble, this can indicate a deteriorating structure. Typically, it happens in crawl spaces, but it can also be spotted on concrete slabs themselves.
Spalling is caused by water that’s released from inside the brick or cement, where the base gets pushed out.
It can look like crumbling or flaking, especially around walls and floors.
This is a serious issue and can mean that the integrity of your structure is compromised. In fact, the whole building could collapse.
Signs of Foundation Spalling
When you do a thorough inspection of your foundation, you can notice foundation spalling appear as flaking, chipping, or crumbling areas on your foundation. You can even see it as hairline cracks.
Another indicator is efflorescence, also called salt deposits. When there’s a white stain on your concrete walls, it’s very likely that spalling has occurred or will soon.
Spalling is commonly discovered from inside the house, as it’s a result of excess moisture, especially in crawl spaces where hidden mold can also thrive unnoticed.
If there’s high humidity in the crawl spaces, this can also be indicative of spalling.
Aside from mold, your flooring can also be affected. The joists can become bent, triggered by the increased moisture in the air. This can lead to floors looking warped or wavy.
When heavy rain occurs, the clay soil around your foundation may become filled with water. This can be also a sign of spalling.
Other things you have to keep an eye on is a bowing foundation, cracks on the drywall, and stuck windows and doors (by stuck, we mean difficult to open or close). You might also find countertops or cabinets are drawing back from your walls because of spalling.
On the exterior of your property, if you spot your roofline looking wavy or a chimney leaning, this can be because of water issues and denotes spalling. Be vigilant when looking for these signs of spalling.
Formation of Foundation Spalling
When water is absorbed inside the concrete, foundation spalling can happen. Crystalline salts can form, brought about by the presence of water. They appear as white or gray stains. It indicates damage to the concrete. Thus, flaking and crumbling weakens the structure.
Changes in the moisture levels in your concrete can also be dangerous and create spalling. After a heavy downpour, the concrete can expand and contract.
If your concrete moves or changes due to moisture, this can be hazardous over a long period. The damage will eventually be revealed on the surface.
What Causes Spalling in Concrete?
Spalling is possible in different areas around your home. It can be found on patios, concrete driveways, and walkways. Spalling can be spotted through long cracks and crumbling or flaking on the surface of the concrete.
It can result from improper concrete mixing while the structure was being built. However, it can also be due to drainage problems surrounding the property.
Concrete foundation spalling may be fixed by a straightforward solution, depending on how extensive the damage is.
It could be as simple as identifying the root cause and getting rid of the damaged material in the concrete. The concrete can then be poured again.
Spalling Found in Foundations
Compared to discovering spalling on one’s patio or driveway, noticing spalling in your foundation is a more serious matter.
Obviously, the building sits on a concrete foundation and depends on its stability for structural integrity. If this is in peril, then it can place the whole structure at risk.
While construction can be a reason for foundation spalling, the most common causes are age and drainage problems.
Fixing foundation spalling can be an extensive job, given that it indicates damage to the building.
The first thing to do is to find the core issue and engage the services of a professional to conduct a foundation inspection.
Saving Money on Foundation Spalling Repairs
Having a foundation repair specialist conduct a thorough inspection of your building is one of the best ways to save money on foundation spalling repair.
Although fixing the problem will be an investment, leaving it to get worse is bound to be more expensive, not to mention risky. It’s better to spend money on repairing it now than risking serious damages and costs down the road.
Other ways to solve the root issue include installing proper drainage systems such as more gutters and downspouts or a French drain.
If you want to be sure that your property’s foundation is solid and free of spalling, contact Granite Foundation Repair today for a free inspection.
As an industry leader in foundation repair with a great reputation, you can trust that we will perform an excellent job at solving your foundation spalling problems.
Call us now at (214) 865 8609!