Why is the short wall on the front of my garage entry cracked and twisting?

Friday, August 9th, 2013 by Tim Warchol

Street creep causing brickwork to crack and twist where driveway meets garageStreet creep is what happens when concrete laid end to end expands.  When concrete gets hot enough, it will expand and push against whatever is adjacent to it.  Concrete streets laid against concrete driveways, then butted to concrete garage slabs can begin to move when the hot sun hits it directly.

Driveways are often laid wider than the garage opening and against the garage foundation walls.  As the expansion occurs, it pushes against the foundation walls and moves them in towards the garage.  This movement results in cracking of the foundation walls, and any brick façade above the foundation.

A common solution to address this situation would be to install an expansion joint through the driveway near the street.  This would allow the street to continue to expand, but not put pressure on the driveway slab.  The expansion joint material can be asphalt, sand, rubber or any other compressible material that would continue to allow vehicle traffic.

The concrete expansion also can push the rear foundation walls that abut the garage slabs out of plumb.  When this occurs, it may be necessary to install lateral restraints, to hold the foundation walls from tipping further.  The restraints can be installed back under the garage slab, to restrain the foundation wall, and prevent further damage to the house above.

A common approach would be to install an earth anchor system, such as the Geo-Lock wall anchor system from Foundation Supportworks, Inc.  This anchor system consists of a steel wall plate, threaded rod and a steel earth anchor plate.  The installation process begins by creating a series of holes through the garage slab, and excavating the holes approximately 4 feet deep.  Then a series of holes are drilled through the foundation wall and the threaded rods are pneumatically driven out into the holes excavated through the garage slab. Once the rods are in the holes, the earth anchor plate is attached to the threaded rod and the holes are back-filled and tamped.  Once this process is complete, the holes in the garage slab are repaired.  With the installation of this system, there is no concern that the walls will continue to move.

Woods Basement Systems provides foundation repair services to homeowners throughout Missouri and Illinois. We are a trusted family-owned and operated contractor, specializing in street creep repair, basement waterproofing and finishing and more. Think street creep might be damaging your foundation? We can help! Get a free quote today to learn more about all of our professional solutions.

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