A Porch Under Pressure
This homeowner had a room under the porch that was bowing inward from hydrostatic pressure. As a result, a long horizontal crack ran across the length of it. Even if there is no bowing in the wall, a horizontal crack like this is evidence that the wall is in need of repair. Do you have a crack in your foundation that concerns you? Read more about foundation cracks in this post.
Rust and poor drainage
The rebar had rusted inside the two-way slab that made up the porch landing. When steel rusts, it can expand to 130% its volume, in turn causing more stress and cracking. Additionally, one of the downspouts discharged right next to the home and onto the driveway. Without proper drainage, the hydrostatic pressure against the walls will more than double.
What causes foundation walls to fail like this?
In this case many factors led to the failure of the room under the porch; things like winter salt, water damage and corrosion, all likely contributed to its structural failure. This is one of the reasons why we are always telling people to keep up with routine home maintenance.
So, how do you fix it?
When a porch has a room under it or a structure on top of it, repairs must be designed by a structural engineer. The engineer from Cole Engineering Solutions recommended the porch slab, the steps, and the surrounding concrete, be removed and replaced. Their designs specified that the northern wall be reinforced with steel and repaired with epoxy injections. It was further suggested that the drainage be addressed, to help prevent further problems down the road.
Replacing the two-way porch slab is a bit more complicated than your average concrete job. It is important to appropriately shore up the slab from underneath for the pour and while the concrete is curing.
The photo below shows how we did this:
This project took Hughes Construction a little over two weeks to complete and this porch now has the support it needs to keep it standing for a long time.
Do you have a room under your porch showing signs of failure? Contact us and we will be more than happy to see how we can assist you.