Monday, March 30, 2009

Street Creep

Street Creep occurs as a result of the unpredictable movement, shift and expansion of concrete streets. Extreme pressure, due to traffic and natural settlement, pushes the concrete street against the driveway moving it into the home's foundation producing serious cracks in foundation walls. This problem affects homes with concrete driveways and attached garages. Homes located at the end of "T" intersections, at the end of cul-de-sacs, and on the outside of a curve are especially susceptible to Street Creep damage.
Street Creep repairs are not cheap. It can range from $2,000 on up depending on the extent of the damage and the repairs involved. Sadly, homeowners can't expect any help covering that bill. Most homeowner insurance companies indemnify themselves with what is called "Earth Movement Exclusion." Earth Movement is defined as: earthquake, landslide, mudflow, earth sinking, rising or shifting, or mine subsidence. This exclusion is usually part of your homeowner's coverage and it allows your insurance to deny you a claim for the extreme costs of repairing your foundation walls and driveway damaged by Street Creep.

The most common preventative fix for street creep is installing an expansion joint between the slabs to absorb the flex. Luckily, street creep doesn’t happen overnight. You can catch the signs of it with simple tests before it ruins your foundation. Conduct a basic test of your own driveway and foundation for signs of street creep like this:
Check expansion joints: If the joints seem unusually tight or compressed -- you might say, "squeezed" or "crushed" -- you may have a problem. Take a screwdriver or flat kitchen butter knife, and trying to tamp it down between the expansion joint and the concrete. You should be able to drive the screwdriver or knife blade down a good 4-5 inches. But, if you're hitting concrete at just 2 or 3 inches, your might have "creep."
Check garage floor/foundation: If there are cracks in the foundation, outside or in, or if the garage floor slab is pulling away from your garage wall (foundation) then you may have a problem.
If you have any questions or concerns contact Midlands Home Inspections or a local foundation repair company.

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