Identifying, preventing and repairing street creep
Street creep, also called ”driveway creep,” occurs when the concrete street expands during hot months, putting excess pressure on your driveway and, in turn, your foundation.
To fully understand common methods of street creep prevention, you need to know why street creep occurs and the damage it can cause.
What causes street creep?
Concrete is prone to thermal contraction and expansion. In the summer months, concrete will be slightly larger. In the winter, it will be slightly smaller. Contractors often place small gaps between slabs of concrete, referred to as expansion joints, to prevent slabs from expanding into each other and cracking.
Expansion joints can, over time, become a futile means of street creep prevention. During the winter, as the slabs contract and the expansion joints widen, the expansion joint can become clogged with sand, rocks, and dirt, filling the buffer space between the slabs.
As the weather warms up and the slabs expand, they will then put pressure on any adjoining slabs. Street creep has a chain effect, which can reach all the way up to the foot of your garage and, eventually, your home.
Driveway creep can cause your foundation to crack, leak and, in extreme cases, collapse.
Fix your home’s street creep problem quickly and at its source.
How do I spot driveway creep?
You can spot early signs of street creep long before it causes structural damage to your home. But, if you fail to notice them, you can be sure that street creep will put great pressure on the walls of your foundation, causing serious damage. Street creep repair costs largely depend on the extent of the damage when you notice the problem.
Here are some common warning signs to look for:
Shrinking expansion joints, causing cracks
A very early sign of street creep are cracks near the expansion joint where your driveway meets the street. This likely means that the street is expanding right up against your driveway. If not fixed early, this will continue slab by slab until it reaches your house or garage.
The floor of your garage is pulling away from the wall
This means that street creep has reached your garage, and this is not a good sign especially if your garage is attached to your home. It will eventually extend to your foundation if you do not have it fixed immediately.
Cracks in your foundation
Your street creep problem has reached the point where your home has sustained significant foundation damage. To save your foundation walls from complete failure, you need to have the problem addressed quickly and at its source.
Common methods of addressing street creep
Once you realize you have street creep, you need to fix it to prevent foundation failure and structural damage. Of course, street creep repair costs heavily depend on the extent of the damage when you notice it.
If caught early, you can usually fix driveway creep by cutting a wider expansion joint and installing Helitech’s signature Street Creep Buffer. This will seal the expansion joint so that no rocks or dirt can get inside and still have enough give to allow for the expansion and contraction of the concrete slabs.
Once driveway creep has caused foundation damage, though, you will need to either lift your foundation up, or support the walls. This can be done in a myriad of ways, though typically a wall anchor will be used to restore the structural integrity of the foundation wall.
Since street creep affects each home differently, Helitech Waterproofing & Foundation Repair offers free consultations to people just like you. Not only does this give us a chance to accurately diagnose your foundation problems, it also gives you a chance to get a feel for how our team works. We’ll even give you an estimate for the necessary work.
Schedule an obligation-free call today and restore the structural integrity of your home.
We’ll give you, the homeowner, a free quote for your street creep repair.
We’ll get back to you with a cost-effective solution.
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Helitech is fantastic. The garage floor and a few other concrete areas at our house had sunk. We were selling our home and had to make repairs as a contingency of the sale. We received bids from 5 different companies and ultimately selected Helitech. Helitech was confident they could lift the garage floor (others were not). Their price was competitive. They have an outstanding reputation. They responded quickly to our bid request and any other email/calls I made (many others I had to follow up with multiple times just to get a bid!). Helitech was also very flexible and accommodating with scheduling. It was the busy season and they had a multiple week wait that extended beyond the closing date of the sale of our house. They shifted their schedules and were able to fit us in almost immediately.
The repairs are now complete and it looks great. If you’re considering using Helitech for something, do yourself a favor and give them a shot at the job. You won’t regret it.