Common Misconceptions About Concrete Foundations: Insights from a Park Ridge Concrete Contractor

When it comes to building foundations, concrete is truly an amazing material. Thanks to its versatility and durability, concrete is certainly a major improvement over traditional materials used in building foundations, such as stones, bricks, and cinder blocks. However, some myths and misconceptions surrounding concrete often confuse homeowners in Park Ridge when they run into foundation problems. In this blog, we will try to clear up some of that confusion. Without further ado, here is everything you’ll need to know about concrete foundations:

“Cement” is not the same as “concrete.”

Concrete and cement are two terms that are often used interchangeably, even among building professionals. But are these two the same thing?

Cement — or to be more accurate, Portland cement — is actually an ingredient that is contained in concrete. A typical concrete mix is made up of some basic ingredients such as cement, air, water, sand, and gravel. However, additives may sometimes be used to alter handling, curing, or strength characteristics.

Concrete ingredients by volume include the following:

●     7% – 15% Portland cement

●     8% or less air

●     60% – 75% coarse and fine aggregates (gravel and sand)

●     14% – 21% water

Reinforced concrete can still get damaged.

Steel reinforcement bars (more commonly known as “rebar”) are used as a tensioning device to reinforce poured concrete structures. To increase the concrete foundation’s strength, fibers are sometimes mixed into poured concrete as well. However, if soil conditions impose lateral loads on walls and vertical loads on poorly supported slabs, even reinforced concrete can crack, crumble, shift, and settle.

Concrete has a pretty impressive compressive strength, but where it lacks is its ultimate tensile strength. In other words, it can’t bend or stretch. If the soil beneath a concrete slab settles, creating a void, the slab can’t flex downward to follow the contour of the recess, and it will likely crack and sink. In the same way, soil that pushes in on a foundation wall can cause the wall to crack because concrete can’t flex.

Concrete absorbs and releases moisture.

Though you might see many basements in Park Ridge homes that are made from concrete, concrete is not waterproof. On the contrary, concrete absorbs and releases water like a sponge. Some of the moisture from the soil outside a concrete foundation is likely to make its way inside the foundation, either leaking in through cracks or simply making the basement or crawl space damp and humid. Sealing (or sealcoating) can help make any concrete surface watertight, preventing water or moisture from seeping into the surface and causing the concrete to develop more cracks.

Concrete crack repair isn’t permanent unless underlying causes are addressed.

You can fill and seal cracks in your concrete foundation with modern epoxies and patching mortar compounds. However, if the underlying cause of cracks is not addressed, even your best attempt at repairing your concrete cracks will eventually fail. This is where it is best to hire a concrete contractor in Park Ridge to inspect your concrete foundation and correct any problem areas to ensure a permanent repair.

Need Concrete Foundation Pouring Services in Park Ridge, Illinois?

Are you looking for a professional concrete contractor to pour concrete foundations on your property in Park Ridge, Illinois? If so, then Via Galante Cement Contractors is the company to call. With over three decades of experience in the concrete industry, we have proven our ability to deliver the highest quality of concrete foundation installation and crack repair services throughout the Chicagoland area.

Contact us at (773) 589-9893, or email us at viagalante77@gmail.com to speak with one of our representatives today!