The construction industry has experienced many changes over the years. New technology has made it necessary to adapt to new ways of doing things. However, the fact remains; a structure is only as good as its foundation.
While there are several things that affect the integrity of the foundation once the home is completed, much of the burden of ensuring that the foundation is strong rests on the construction contractor. Their construction practices will either make or break the foundation.
The following are common mistakes made during the construction of a foundation that can result in foundation wall cracks:
- Rapid curing of the concrete
Concrete should be given ample time to cure evenly. Curing too rapidly can result in cracking. Rapid curing can be prevented by irrigating the concrete to keep it moist while curing.
- Slab isn’t level
It’s important to ensure that the slab is laid level in accordance with the slope of the land the construction is being done on. If the slab is off-level, it will experience several problems including not settling evenly or the foundation of the home shifting. This can result in foundation wall cracks.
- The concrete is too wet or dry
The ratio for mixing concrete should be done with careful consideration of the environment and climatic conditions of the area. If the concrete is too wet, it may retain a lot of moisture as it cures. This will result in the cracking of the concrete when exposed to cold and freezing temperatures.
If the concrete is too dry, it will lose its flexibility. This will make it more prone to cracking when the foundation experiences natural shifting and settlement movements.
- Uneven density
A slab should be of even density. Voids or hollow spots in the slab are points of weakness. They will result in problems such as minor cracks or even complete failure of the foundation in that section.
- Poor backfilling
Once the foundation has been completed, the soil that was excavated is used to fill the spaces left. It is important to compact this soil properly in order to provide adequate support for the foundation. Failure to compact the soil allows the soil to shift, expand, and contract depending on the conditions. This can spell problems for your foundation.
Ensure that your contractor avoids the above practices during construction. Hire a foundation repair contractor to ensure that your foundation is waterproofed correctly from the beginning.