A patio is a great outdoor space that we all love to have as part of our house. However, it’s a great cause for concern when you suddenly realize your patio has begun to separate from the rest of the house. At this point, it is important to call in a Foundation Repair Evaluator who will investigate both the stationary and the moving part of the patio.
In most cases, separation of the patio from the main house is caused by slope failure which is triggered by either slow movement on the hillside or movement of the retainer wall as the soil behind it continues to slide. In the case of retainer wall movement, movements can be sudden or gradual.
Outdoor auxiliary structures such as patios are often at a greater risk of foundation damage because they’re constantly exposed to various elements. Ordinarily, outdoor structures are known to put a lot of pressure and weight on the soil below. In addition, soil erosion caused by rain and wind also removes soil thus weakening the support. Problematic outdoor concrete can also trigger patio separation from the main house or adjacent structure.
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Retaining Walls Failure
Retaining walls failure is a common cause of patio damage and separation. When the weight of the adjacent structure exceeds that of the retaining wall, there is a buildup of static pressure along the wall which causes damage. Some retaining walls usually have weak points because of poor workmanship during construction leading to a collapse.
Retaining wall failure is caused by a number of factors which compromise the strength of the wall. At Granite Foundation Repair, we recommend these issues should be addressed in advance during the construction phase.
Causes of Retaining Wall Failure
- Poor drainage is known to cause a buildup of hydrostatic pressure behind a retaining wall causing weakening or collapse as the wall may not be able to handle the extra load.
- Retaining wall footing should not be shallow. This is crucial in order to safeguard the wall from weight caused by saturated soil.
- Use of substandard materials and failure to ensure adequate reinforcement of bars leads to retaining wall failure.
- When an extra load is placed on top of a retaining wall, it triggers a blowout failure.
Slope failure and Its Causes
When the topography of a slope changes, a retaining wall is often unable to cope up with the pressure it wasn’t initially designed to handle. In addition, structures built on steep slopes often experience foundation problems because steeper slopes are usually unstable and can easily succumb to movements thus affecting the patio.
Sudden earth movements such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, blasting, and hurricanes cause damage to a patio which at times, manifests as visible separation from the main structure.
Water, Drainage and Soil
When it rains heavily, air is replaced by water which causes the soil to become saturated and the earth becomes heavier. Soils with high clay content tend to expand when they come into contact with water causing movements. This is evident especially when the soil underneath the patio is clay. On the other hand, sand is easily eroded when it comes into contact with water. Both scenarios cause patio movement.
Should you realize your patio has separated from your house, you should get in touch with a professional in order to have the issue addressed. At Granite Foundation Repair, we are aware of all these issues and we do a thorough investigation in order to identify your problem and solve it once for all.