Causes of Foundation Damage and Retrofitting | Settlement in the ground

Causes of Foundation damage and Retrofitting 

In one of my previous articles, we discussed various steps in which the survey of the foundation has to be done in order to be considered for retrofitting.

In this article, we will discuss various reasons or causes for the damage of the foundations.

Types of foundation damage can be classified as follows:

Erosion

  1. Natural rock
  2. Brick

Rot

Insects

Moisture damage

  1. Frost wedging
  2. Salt bloom

Settlement in the ground

  1. Groundwater lowering
  2. Limited bearing capacity of the ground (land)
  3. Uneven bedrock depth
  4. Excavations performed below the foundations and poor quality of backfill
  5. Increased load on the ground leading to failure
  6. Damage to the neighbouring houses
  7. Horizontal movement occurring in the ground

 Frost heave/adfreezing

Alum shale

Now we will move on with the discussion in detail on the types of foundation damage occurring due to Settlement in the ground.

Lowering in the Groundwater level

When the buildings are built on compressible soils, the resulting stress on the soil causes the soil to compress. Raft foundations are used in these kind of soils.

Since the soil undergoes compression the upper portion of wooden piles rot when groundwater level sinks.

There are various conditions which can cause the changes in the groundwater level or pore water pressure. They are as follows:

  • Ice Static Rebound
  • Dewatering (seen in cities)
  • Ditches and pipes below the groundwater level
  • Deep Foundations and Basements (causing further drainage of the ground
  • Tunnelling
  • By the removal of foundation sills
  • Construction of non-permeable surfaces such as roads, pathways causing the least amount of natural precipitation
  • Use of deciduous trees should be avoided in areas with low groundwater. They require a lot of water for their growth. They pull all the water that is available around them causing the lowering of groundwater.

Foundation Damage and Retrofitting

Causes of Foundation damage leading to Retrofitting

In one of my previous articles, we discussed various steps in which the survey of the foundation has to be done in order to be considered for retrofitting.

In this article, we will discuss various reasons or causes for the damage of the foundations.

Cracks in foundation
Cracks in foundation

Types of foundation damage can be classified as follows:

Erosion

  1. Natural rock
  2. Brick

Rot

Insects

Moisture damage

  1. Frost wedging
  2. Salt bloom

Settlement in the ground

  1. Groundwater lowering
  2. Limited bearing capacity of the ground (land)
  3. Uneven depth of the bedrock (varying bearing capacities of the soil in the same patch of land)
  4. Excavations performed below the foundations and poor quality of backfill
  5. Increased load on the ground leading to failure
  6. Damage to the neighbouring houses
  7. Increased load
  8. Horizontal movement occurring in the ground

Read moreFoundation Damage and Retrofitting

Causes of Foundation Damage | Fungus Rot and Insects

Causes of Foundation Damage and its  Prevention

In my earlier articles, we discussed one of the important causes of foundation damage “Erosion”. Getting a clarity on the subject helps you prevent your structure from further damage or any damage that might happen in future. We have also discussed “how analysis of foundation damage is to be carried out”.

In this article, we will discuss in detail the foundation damage occurring due to Rot and Insects. These elements are also responsible for foundation damage and if ignored or left unnoticed can cause severe damage resulting in structural failure.

Fungus rot causing Foundation damage
Fungus rot causing Foundation damage

Types of foundation damage can be classified as follows:

Erosion

  1. Natural rock
  2. Brick

Rot

Insects

Moisture damage

  1. Frost wedging
  2. Salt bloom

Settlement in the ground

  1. Groundwater lowering
  2. Limited bearing capacity of the ground (land)
  3. Excavations performed below the foundations and poor quality of backfill
  4. Increased load on the ground leading to failure
  5. Damage to the neighbouring houses
  6. Increased load
  7. Damage (by removing) to the neighbouring houses
  8. Horizontal movement occurring in the ground

Frost heave/adfreezing

Alum shale

Let us move on with the discussion on Rot and Insects causing foundation damage.

Read moreCauses of Foundation Damage | Fungus Rot and Insects

Causes of Foundation Damage | Moisture

Foundation Damage caused due to Moisture absorption

In my earlier articles, we discussed some of the important causes of foundation damage.

Getting a clarity on the subject helps you prevent your structure from further damage or any damage that might happen in future. We have also discussed “how analysis of foundation damage is to be carried out”.

In this article, we will discuss in detail the foundation damage occurring due to Moisture. This element is also responsible for foundation damage and if ignored or left unnoticed can cause severe damage resulting in structural failure.

Types of foundation damage can be classified as follows:

Erosion

  1. Natural rock
  2. Brick

Rot

Insects

Moisture damage

  1. Frost wedging
  2. Salt bloom

Settlement in the ground

  1. Groundwater lowering
  2. Limited bearing capacity of the ground (land)
  3. Excavations performed below the foundations and poor quality of backfill
  4. Increased load on the ground leading to failure
  5. Damage to the neighbouring houses
  6. Increased load
  7. Damage (by removing) to the neighbouring houses
  8. Horizontal movement occurring in the ground

Frost heave/adfreezing

Alum shale

Let us move on with the discussion on damage caused by moisture to the foundations.

Moisture damage

In older buildings, the walls were covered with clay and lime as mortar. These building materials are moisture absorbent. The walls do not undergo severe damage as long as the lime and clay walls are not treated with any other building material.

For example:

In an old building where the plastering has been done using lime and clay suffers from some chipping and damage. This calls for locals repairs which are to be done to maintain the aesthetics of the structure.

Since, cement mortar is a modern material and is available in abundance, the repairs are done with Cement mortar.

Before initiating such tasks, it is to be remembered that the coefficient of expansion of different materials is different. When cement mortar is used as a repair material over lime mortar, due to different moisture absorption properties and coefficient of expansion, the combination does not work very well.

Read moreCauses of Foundation Damage | Moisture