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Everything You Need To Know About Street Creep Repair

Signs of street creep on your home's foundaiton.

If you think you’re home is experiencing “street creep,” don’t wait to call an expert for help.

Street creep threatens your entire home by pushing your foundation out of alignment.

It will crack and buckle your basement walls, create tripping hazards in your sidewalk and driveway, and even make your garage unusable and unsafe.

Learn more here about what street creep is and how Innovative Basement Authority can put a permanent stop to it.

What Is Street Creep? 

Street creep what happens when the concrete sideway in front of your driveway expands as it heats up and contracts as it cools off at night. The sidewalk pushes against your driveway, and your driveway can push against any structure(s) connected to it. Most often, this will do some serious damage to your foundation, specifically in your garage.

But if the sidewalk is just expanding and then contracting again, why is pushing more and more on your driveway? Well, the problem is that when it contracts, gaps and cracks appear in your driveway or between the sidewalk and the driveway. These gaps fill up with dirt and debris, effectively filling in the gaps again and extending the reach of the sidewalk’s expansion

The Dangers of Street Creep 

In the early stages, street creep isn’t dangerous. It’s an annoyance causing a few unsightly cracks in the concrete. Left unattended, trip hazards will develop in the sidewalk and driveway. This can be troublesome for young children, elderly, or disabled persons using the paths. 

Street creep will also eventually apply so much pressure to the garage walls that they can lose structural integrity. In worst-case scenarios, the wall will collapse in on itself, taking a portion of the garage with it. 

In most cases, it will take years of untreated street creep to approach the above scenario. Still, the sooner you act, the sooner it stops, and the less damage it will do.

How We Repair Street Creep 

Innovative Basement Authority has been serving Eastern Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota for more than 15 years, and in that time we have learned how to deal with problems of all sizes. We are foundation repair specialists who have made a point of cultivating the best methods and solutions for homeowners. Over the years, we have refined an effective version of the wall anchor system which is used all over the country as a way to combat street creep. This is a warrantied solution that will permanently repair your foundation. Installation goes like this: 

First and foremost, we prevent further damage to your home by cutting new expansion joints into your driveway. This is relatively quick and will be undertaken with the intention of causing minimal disruption, but it can be a noisy and invasive procedure. 

  • Filling Expansion Joints

These new expansion joints will be filled with a resilient foam backer rod that expands and contracts with the concrete as it moves. Once adhered and covered with a polyurethane sealant, debris will not be able to clog the new expansion joint and cause a recurrence of the issue. 

  • Excavating Access Points

If the damage caused by street creep has become so advanced as to destabilize your property’s walls, causing them to buckle or lean, we will install anchors to stabilize and help straighten them. All internal access points will be excavated using a concrete saw. Our team will do this quickly and safely, removing debris to keep the site tidy and hazard-free. 

  • Drilling Earth Anchor Holes

Before drilling the earth anchor holes, we will place a plastic liner on the ground to protect your yard. We will then use a power auger to bore holes for earth anchor installation. This dirt is set aside so it can be replaced and compacted after the installation is complete. 

  • Preparing Basement Walls

Foundation wall anchors are relatively non-invasive when compared to other solutions, as they need a hole of only one inch in diameter drilled into the foundation for its steel rod. Once these holes have been drilled the earth anchors can be attached. 

  • Attaching Earth Anchors

A steel rod is driven through your basement walls and the earth anchor is attached to them. Once this is done, the holes can be filled with soil and covered over to return the yard and landscape to its original condition. The pressure of the soil keeps each anchor in place while interior adjustment nuts can be tightened to exert pressure on your foundation. All components of this system have a galvanized coating to ensure they are corrosion resistant. 

  • Installing Wall Plates

The interior wall plates fit over the protruding steel rods and are fixed in place with nuts. This will prevent the inward expansion of your walls as a result of the pressure being exerted by the soil around them. These nuts can be tightened over time to help straighten the walls. 

  • Tightening and Covering

If your walls are severely bowed, your contractor may suggest gradually tightening the anchors over time to straighten the wall slowly but surely. This will ensure that your walls don’t crack or crumble as a result of too much contradictory pressure being exerted at once. 

While this process may seem complex and daunting, our team will make it look effortless and ensure that there is minimal disruption to your property and your day. Of course, when it comes to foundation damage, there are usually other, less obvious issues at play too. From dampness to sagging floors and even pest infestations, issues with your foundation are notorious for multiplying with alarming speed.

Repair Street Creep Damage with Custom Wall Anchors 

At a glance, Innovative Basement Authority’s Street Creep Repair System consists of two major components: a steel wall anchor system and new expansion joints. 

In this system, we combat the source of street creep damage and stop it in its tracks. We do this by installing permanent wall anchors that not only protect your garage walls but can potentially reverse street creep. This is great for those wanting to sell their home in the future and preserve its true value, or for those that want a safe home for their family. 

To ensure street creep never impacts your home again, we also create durable expansion points to replace your existing ones. These expansion points allow for sidewalks to push against the driveway to a degree, but not enough to force it to shift in place. 

Every home requires a unique wall anchor system. We know this, and so we are more than happy to provide a no-obligation quote based upon an inspection of your driveway’s needs. 

Technical Features

  • Year-Round Installation
  • One-Day Installation For Most Jobs
  • Potential To Straighten Bowed Walls
  • 25-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Cutting Expansion Joints

Repair Your Driveway and Foundation with Innovative Basement Authority 

Our Street Creep Repair System is everything you need to stop street creep from damaging your home and driveway. The combination of our wall anchor system and polyurethane sealant-based expansion joints ensures that any shifts in your sidewalk won’t affect your driveway. 

Innovative Basement Authority has been helping homeowners in the Minneapolis, Fargo, St. Paul, and Bismarck areas for more than 15 years. During this time, we have earned a reputation as an experienced and trustworthy foundation repair contractor. We care about providing genuine, complete solutions to our customers at an affordable price. Don’t let street creep damage your home. Call us and secure your free no-obligation quote today.

FAQs

Knowing when to act is crucial when it comes to all types of foundation issues. Of course, this requires understanding the problem signs of something going wrong in the first place. When it comes to street creep, there are four major signs to watch for. 

  • Compressed Expansion Joint 

Take a close look at the slabs that compose your driveway and garage. In between these structures, there will be an expansion point, a gap between the two. This gap may contain a sealant or grout, or it may be empty and left open. Regardless of what is in the gap, there should be no contact between the two slabs. 

If this gap is compressed, either fully or on one end, then this is a sign street creep is pushing the two together. In cases where there is a substance in the gap, look closely at its condition. Are there signs of compression? Then this filling may be beginning to buckle from the pressure. 

  • Bowed or Cracked Foundation Walls 

Street creep will eventually move from affecting the driveway to the garage and foundation itself. As the driveway slab and garage slab are pushed together, the integrity of the walls is also compromised. What this results in are cracked or bowed foundation walls

Closely inspect your interior and exterior garage walls for any cracks, bowing, or displaced bricks. These damages will worsen if left unattended, to the point where the room is rendered unsafe. Repairing them requires a separate service, but without resolving the initial problem the damage will eventually return. 

A creeping driveway slab may also cause garage walls to buckle inwards, focused where the edges of the slab meet the garage. 

  • Cracking Driveway Curb 

Your next stop is the driveway curb, or where the driveway slab meets the sidewalk and road. Cracks or crumbling sections of this area is an indication that the sidewalk is applying unusual levels of pressure to the curb. 

Often, such cracks will radiate out from the edges of the slab, where the driveway touches the sidewalk. These cracks will be worsened by the weather, especially rain and frost, and can rapidly become quite a trip hazard. If this section of the driveway is also considered a part of the sidewalk, you may have a legal obligation to repair the damage. Not doing so can result in you being liable for any resulting injuries. 

  • Gaps in the Garage 

As the garage’s foundation is pushed out of alignment, it may cause gaps to form between the floor and walls. These gaps expose your garage to the raw earth and are a gateway for pests and water to crawl inside your home. This can cause a slew of problems, including water damage, mold, spiking humidity, and other unpleasantness. 

This particular problem sign is significant and should inspire quick action. Even slight gaps are a concern.

Street creep is a result of a natural process interacting with man-made structures.  Experienced construction crews will build accommodations into sidewalks and driveways that allow for a certain degree of movement. 

Structures that lack a true solution for street creep will eventually bow to its pressures. The reason for this is that there is no way to prevent the expansion/contract cycle concrete experiences with shifting temperatures. 

  • Think Mitigation, Not Prevention 

At Innovative Basement Authority, we call our Street Creep System a permanent solution. However, as you may have gleaned already, this solution doesn’t interfere with the expand/contract cycle. Instead, our system is designed to allow for sidewalk slab movement. In doing this, street creep’s impacts are nullified. 

Installing expansion joints in a driveway allows for sidewalk slab movement, and stops such movement from displacing the driveway slabs. As this structure is protected, so too are the garage and home foundations. 

  • Protection from All Angles 

The addition of wall anchors further preserves the integrity of a home by stabilizing the basement walls. Not only does this halt existing damage from street creep and potentially reverse it, but this system also protects against other catalysts for basement damage. 

Hydrostatic pressure, foundation heaving, and soil settlement can all impact a basement’s walls—and subsequently the entire house. Wall anchors are an effective solution, either on their own or in conjunction with other products, against such problems.

Street creep may be the term specifically coined for when concrete pavement shifts due to the temperatures changing, but there are other phenomena that can do the same. 

  • Soil Settlement 

In preparation for laying a sidewalk, contractors will compact the soil. This prevents the cured slab from tilting as its weight and that of foot traffic forces it deeper into the earth. Not correctly compacting the soil can result in the soil being washed away by rainfall, creating a void beneath the slab. 

Such soil settlement can cause the sidewalk to shift. Typically, what this shift will be is sinking or a collapse. On rare occasions, it can push against the driveway and cause a chain reaction similar to street creep. 

  • Slab Heaving 

Pavement slabs can be pushed upward, or heaved, by expansive clay soils and tree roots. At times, contractors will accommodate for undesirable soil composition by adding a sand mixture to the compacted soil. This can work, for a time, to provide a more stable surface. 

As slabs are heaved, they can be pushed into one another, causing further displacement. Heaving can become so severe that it can impact your driveway as well. This may render it unusable or unsafe. 

  • Debris 

Concrete sidewalks are not typically grouted, and can very easily collect dirt, leaf litter, and water. Over many years, debris can force pavement slabs further apart, pushing them into your driveway. 

Debris will naturally collect in the gaps between slabs. Rain will push even more within, and come winter, as the moisture freezes, it will create even more pressure between the slabs. The same can happen in warmer climates with clay soils, which greatly expand when in contact with water. 

As slabs shift, for whatever reason, debris can collect in even greater quantities. Sometimes, small plants can even grow through.

It is our goal to fulfill jobs while interfering with your home and landscape as little as possible. Our method for installing a street creep system is straightforward and typically only takes a day from start to finish. 

  • Expanding the Driveway Joints 

Our first step will be to enhance the driveway joints with an expanded joint system. This allows the sidewalk slabs to shift without impacting the driveway. 

Expansion joints are reinforced with a resilient backer rod and an enduring, flexible polyurethane sealant. 

  • Targeted Excavation 

A common misunderstanding about wall anchors is that installing them requires the destructive excavation of concrete and earth in and around the home. Really, a wall anchor system installation by Innovative Basement Authority technicians creates minimal damage. 

One of the great things about a wall anchor system is that our technicians only need to excavate a relatively small hole for each anchor. First, holes will be drilled into the garage walls where the anchors are to be placed. Soil will be augured out to allow space for the anchor. 

It is strongly advised to allow experienced professionals to handle the creation of such holes. Dangerous machinery is needed to cut through concrete, and the risk of self-injury is high. A lack of insight into where such holes need to be placed also risks damaging the structural integrity of the basement floor or walls. When it comes to any kind of foundation repair, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. 

  • Anchor Installation 

Once the necessary holes are created, the anchors themselves will be installed. Steel rods are used to connect the anchor itself to the steel plate attached to the wall. Once everything is in place, the anchors will be adjusted to help pull the walls back into their original position. 

After all the anchors are sorted and the walls stabilized, our team will repair the damage done by patching over the holes.

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.

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