Perma-Pier Project Manager, Josh L, reviewing the Site Map for an Apartment Complex in Lewisville, TX.
No property manager wants to learn their commercial property has a foundation issue. Foundation problems are significant and need to be addressed quickly. If not, a small crack can soon become large and costly.
Living in Texas, you can almost guarantee your commercial property will eventually have foundation issues. So how are foundation cracks repaired and identified in commercial buildings? We’re breaking down the types of cracks you might find and how they are fixed to help you identify foundation issues.
Types of Commercial Foundation Cracks
Foundation cracks vary in severity, from a simple cosmetic issue to a major problem. However, not all cracks are the same. There are two main types of cracks that are common in commercial buildings:
- Vertical foundation cracks. Vertical cracks are the most common foundation issues, and are typically the direct result of the foundation setting unevenly. They may appear wider at the top or at the bottom, which are signs that your foundation may need to be evaluated by a foundation repair expert.
- Horizontal foundation cracks. Horizontal cracks are one of the more serious cracks from foundation issues you can encounter. They are a sign of localized support failure (any area smaller than the overall foundation) and indicate the structure can no longer handle the pressure of the supported structure. Horizontal cracks may also be due to a plumbing issue, and typically get worse the higher up they occur in multi–story buildings.
Designers of new-construction buildings will often try to “design out” the causes that lead to cracking by introducing movement joints and specifying materials that can tolerate movement, among other potential negative effects. However, if you own an existing building and notice foundation cracks, seek a professional consultation as quickly as possible.
Repairing Commercial Foundation Cracks
Proper foundation maintenance and repair need to be a top priority for all commercial property owners. Whether you use your building or you lease to tenants, foundational damage could lead to disrupted business operations and lost revenue. It can also affect employees’ and customers’ ability to safely enter the building.
Commercial foundation repair is more complex than residential work. Commercial sites often have extensive water, sewer, and other pipe systems underneath them. The buildings are also much larger and heavier, so every action taken to fix a commercial property often has bigger consequences and yields more critical longterm support.
Commercial property owners must make sure they hire the right teams to work on their foundations. At Perma-Pier, every commercial foundation repair plan is unique. We will restore structural integrity to your commercial building with solutions and services such as:
- Pier installation. This is the preferred method of strengthening a weak or damaged foundation. Piers are installed underneath the foundation into solid ground to increase the building’s load-bearing capacity. Additionally, it reduces the risk of cracked concrete slabs and other damaging effects of foundation problems.
- Crawl space repair. Commercial structures often have multiple crawl spaces to facilitate site maintenance. Crawl space repair prevents moisture build-up that can damage the building’s foundation. A pump is often used to remove excess water, if there is any pooled inside these spaces.
- Regular foundation inspections. Spotting foundation issues early is the best way to avoid closures and costly repairs. At Perma-Pier, we conduct regular inspections of commercial buildings to ensure no signs of foundation damage. With over 20,000 completed jobs in commercial and residential projects, we can quickly diagnose and offer thorough recommendations for a Plan of Repair.
Understanding how foundation cracks are repaired, along with the signs to look out for, can help you avoid commercial foundation issues in the future. Perma-Pier’s commercial foundation repair division works within all segments of the commercial world, including apartments, townhomes, and condominiums. Schedule a no-charge evaluation, and one of our foundation experts will inspect your commercial property for potential foundation problems.