Foundation Repair Bethesda
As a major suburb of Washington, D.C., Bethesda has a long history that stretches back even farther than our nation’s capital. Until the 20th century, that history mostly consisted of being a small rural community, but as city centers started to grow, Bethesda became one of the first suburbs in America. Some of Bethesda’s neighborhoods date back over 100 years, and the population has been stable at around 60,000 for the past half century.
Because of this long history, consistent population, and the community’s proximity to Washington, Bethesda has some of the most expensive real estate in the entire country. But because of how long Bethesda neighborhoods have been around, many of the foundations are starting to show their age. Because of these two facts, it’s incredibly important to stay on top of foundation repair in Bethesda.
Time Takes Its Toll
No part of a home is so stable and permanent that you can forget about it forever. Some things you need to clean and dust every week to keep things looking their best, other things need a monthly inspection to see if they’re still working correctly, and a few things can work fine for decades, but everything will eventually start breaking down and decaying.
Building foundations fall into that last category. The concrete slab and sturdy walls can be perfectly fine for 20, 30, or 40 years and more, depending on local soil conditions, but even a high-quality slab can’t go on forever. Eventually, the water and oxygen in the air starts to wear at the cement that binds concrete together, and in most cases the soil and the installation aren’t so perfect that this is the first problem you’ll have. As such, you may need to perform some foundation repair in Bethesda no matter how old the building is.
Water is very likely the single biggest danger to concrete. It can work its way into cracks and force them open wider thanks to the way it expands and contracts with the temperature. It can slowly dissolve cement, especially if the concrete winds up completely immersed in water.
That’s why a lot of construction work is a matter of keeping water away from concrete. Streets have a protective layer of water-resistant asphalt that keeps the concrete underneath safe from rain. Houses and other buildings have a long list of waterproofing measures to keep both the interior and the foundation safe from water: these can include rain gutters, a gravel backfill that lets water pass through the soil without building up against the foundation, and several different water-resistant materials construction workers can add to the exterior of basement walls.
A complete foundation replacement can be very expensive, but there is some good news. In the first place, foundation replacements are becoming less expensive with every year, at least when you compare it to the overall cost of the building. This is thanks to the way technology is advancing and making foundation replacements easier than ever before.
In the second place, most cases of foundation repair in Bethesda and elsewhere don’t require a full replacement. You can patch the cracks, redirect water seepage, and reinforce any tilting, bowing, or settling in the foundation slab or basement walls.
In many cases, it’s not water that’s the problem so much as the way soil can move around, and this can cause lateral earth pressure on the walls. If this happens to walls made from concrete blocks, you’ll see cracks starting to form along the seams.
You can stop this from getting worse by installing carbon fiber beams to reinforce the wall, or by anchoring the wall to bedrock or the nearby soil with steel rods. If the soil beneath the foundation is settling unevenly, you can level it out by filling the space with a concrete grout, or by driving piers down to the bedrock below to prop up the foundation slab.
If you need a foundation repair in Bethesda, you should contact AA Action Waterproofing right away for a free initial inspection and estimate. We serve communities throughout Maryland and beyond, and in all the years we’ve been at this we’ve never come across a foundation we couldn’t help. From basements to crawlspaces and from foundation repairs to waterproofing and mold remediation, we can handle it all.