With the construction industry benefiting from significant investment, it is emerging as a critical area of growth within the UK. Just recently, it was announced that leading Yorkshire-based firm Kier Services was the preferred bidder in the race to secure a Â£100 million contract to repair council homes in Sheffield, including the provision of gas, electric and water maintenance services to thousands of tenants. This reflects the nature of growth within the sector, and the drive to improve local authority properties nationwide.
While there is an increased emphasis on delivering standard property repairs in the UK, however, what happens if your property develops a more serious fault?
Take the development of cracks in the foundation of your home, for example, which can be an extremely serious issue that requires a significant amount of money to repair. They occur because foundations are rigid, and are therefore subject to stresses which, over time, can cause faults. Small cracks can be easily repaired, however large cracks are indicators of structural instabilities which can undermine the integrity of the whole structure. For this reason, large cracks should always be looked at by a specialist. Small cracks, on the other hand, can be fixed by the home-owner providing that you know how to go about it.
With this in mind, what are the key things to bear in mind if you locate a small crack in the foundation of your home and wish to repair it yourself? Consider the following: –
Cleaning the Damaged Area Prior to Attempting a Repair
If you intend to attempt a repair of your house's foundation, the first step you will need to take is to clean the area and get rid of any loose debris. You can do this by using a small sledgehammer and chisel to smooth the area, before taking the time to ensure any dirt is also removed.
Using a Concrete Patch to Make a Repair
The most common method for repairing a crack in your foundation is to use a concrete patch. This product comes packaged as a dry powder, which can be mixed with latex or water to form a thin paste which can be pasted into and over the crack.
Applying the Patch to your Cracked Foundation
Before applying the concrete patch, make sure to spray the crack in your home's foundation with water. This will improve retention and aid elasticity in the patch. Use a trowel to apply the patch and work it into the crack. You can also use the trowel to remove any extraneous paste and ensure that you're left with a smooth surface. You can also use a hand brush, of the sort which is used to sweep your home's interior, to smooth down any remaining roughness in the paste. Once this is complete, the small crack in your foundation should be filled and effectively repaired.
Repairing More Serious Problems with your Foundations
Foundation repairs of the sort detailed above are relatively straightforward and can be carried out quickly and easily by someone with little to no experience. However, if you have noticed a more serious problem with the structure of your foundation, you will need to consider other options. In some cases, you may even need to elevate your home's foundation by using a bottle jack from S G S Engineering, or other suitable lifting device. For this kind of work it's important that you are confident of your abilities.
Otherwise, it's recommended that you enlist the services of a trained professional who will be able to carry out the structural repair of your home in a safe and professional manner.
Joyce works as a freelance blogger and writer, who has represented British-based firms including SGS Engineering.