Sometimes freezing water isnâ€™t the culprit when concrete is pushed up or in by soil pressure. Clay-rich soil absorbs moisture rather than allowing it to drain through. The expansive force of clay-rich soil when it absorbs water can be just as destructive as frost heaving.
To remedy this problem, a foundation repair specialist is likely to recommend improving drainage and replacing expansive soil with soil that drains well because of higher sand and gravel content.
Frost heaving can damage many types of concrete and masonry, including sidewalks, patios, slabs, retaining walls foundation walls. To repair heaved concrete and prevent concrete heaving in the future, rely on the expertise of a foundation repair specialist.
Cold temperatures cause most materials to contract, or become smaller, while heat does the opposite, triggering expansion. But water behaves in a different way. Yes, it will expand slightly when heated and its volume will decrease as it cools. But when water freezes, it expands, taking up 10% more volume than it had as a liquid. In situations where freezing water occupies a confined space, it can exert tremendous expansive force â€“20,000 to 80,000 pounds per square foot. Such extreme force can heave sidewalks, break apart a concrete patio, crack a foundation wall or push a deck post up out of the ground.
If a concrete or masonry element has been damaged because of frost heaving, itâ€™s not enough the repair the damage. An experienced foundation repair contractor will work to determine how the heaving occurred and how different repairs can be made to avoid heaving in the future. In many cases, drainage techniques will be used to prevent nearby soil from getting saturated with water. In other situations, it may be necessary to install steel anchors or piers that connect the wall or slab to more stable soil that isnâ€™t subject to freezing temperatures. Sometimes both preventative measures are used.
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