Concrete Block

A block foundation, is constructed by stacking and interlocking blocks of concrete. Mortar is used between the blocks to facilitate bonding, add strength and keep the weather out.

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Concrete Block Problems

1. Cracked
A crack in your concrete block foundation can be a serious problem. A horizontal crack indicates that the wall has a lower tensile strength than is required to support the wall structure. This is a structural issue so we recommend that you jump to heading Bowed or Buckling. A vertical crack can be a structural problem if it has significantly changed in size. If these cracks appear in more than one area, it can be an indication that your house is settling unevenly. A non-structural crack will still have slight movement due to changing soil conditions and thermal changes in the wall itself. Stair-step cracks form when your home is settling unevenly.

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f the mortar that connects the blocks degrades in any one area, it allows water to fill up the empty cavity of the block. It then travels into surrounding block cavities until the water finds a way out to the inside. You may see efflorescence,a white chrystaline structure that results from the water leaching minerals from the concrete followed by a susequent evaportion of the water. In most case though, the water will present as significant dampness on the wall or more often, as an active flow out onto the basement floor. There are two permanent solutions that qualify for DryBasements.com's best in the industry Lifetime Warranty: Internal Breakout and Exterior Excavation. Your Estimator will show which methods will guarantee that you will no longer have a wet basement.

2. Bowed or Buckling
If you see that one or more blocks have actually moved, it is the result of soil pressure Buckling block wallagainst a wall. It may have originated from heavy trafic or frost pressures. This leaves the wall with inadequate tensile strength. It has lost its integrity to withstand continued lateral pressures. Once the process starts, it will not self-heal, it is better to address it immediately. The longer the process continues the bigger the job (and the cost to you); it will take to correct it. We strongly recommend that you act immediately. If ignored, it can result in complete wall collapse. Please continue to our Foundation Stabilization page.

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Concrete Block History

With the invention of a new style of cement in 1824 called Portland, it would not be long before innovative people would begin making decorative blocks that were designed to look like stone. These first precast, concrete blocks were cast in wood frames, dried like brick and then laid like bricks with mortar. The first house constructed entirely with this new concept was in 1837on Staten Island, New York. Production was improving, prices were dropping and at the turn of the 20th century the first mechanized production of blocks began. Recipes varied and the quality of the resulting blocks varied as well.

3. Weeping Tile
Depending on the age of your house and the type of soil around your home, you will likely find weeping or drain tile around you house. For an explanation and history of weeping tile, please read our BLOG. Over time, weeping tile will become plugged with soil or roots. As a temporary measure, it may be possible to flush out the tile and allow it to pass water until sediment again blocks it up. Root obstructions may be able to be removed using a sewer machine but this also is a temporary fix and canresult in significant damge to already compomised areas of the tile system. Trees need water and the weeping tile around your house is an excellent source. There are really two options, replace the weeping tile or abandon the weeping tile.

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If the mortar that connects the blocks degrades in any one area, it allows water to fill up the empty cavity of the block. It then travels into surrounding block cavities until the water finds a way out to the inside. You may seeefflorescence,a white chrystaline structure that results from the water leaching minerals from the concrete followed by a susequent evaportion of the water. In most case though, the water will present as significant dampness on the wall or more often, as an active flow out onto the basement floor. There are two permanent solutions that qualify for DryBasements.com's best in the industry Lifetime Warranty: Internal Breakout and Exterior Excavation. Your Estimator will show which methods will guarantee that you will no longer have a wet basement.

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We call the process to replace the existing tile an Exterior Excavation which as its name implies, is done from the outside. Abandoning the tile does not mean ignoring it and letting it leak, or filling in the basement with concrete. It means installing a new weeping tile system on the inside of your home. Hence the name Internal Breakout.

4. Window Wells
Any time a window, air vent, or chimney etc., is located below grade a well of some sort is required. A window well is a shaped piece of corrugated galvanized steel, built on-site wood or concrete or a custom prefab Galvanized Window Welldesigner material that acts as a retaining wall around the window etc. A basic galvanized well may seem like a simple item with simple installation, however if that were true, fixing window wells would not feature so prominently in DryBasements.com Ltd.'s business. Improper sizing, placement, installation, drain structure are some of the problems remedied on a regular basis by DryBasements.com. Visit our Window Well page for more information.

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Exterior Excavation