Is the corner of your foundation cracking and pulling away from your house? If you answered yes, then you may have a corner pop! The first question that comes to mind is what is a corner pop? A slough corner, the technical term for a corner pop, is where the corner of your foundation actually breaks off and pulls away from the rest of the foundation. It’s a very common condition that happens primarily on post-tensioned slabs, especially in North Texas.
So, what causes a corner pop?
Behind the brick on your house lies a moisture barrier that is actually a sheet of plastic that runs all the way down from the roof of your house to the foundation, and then laps over the foundation. Sometimes you can see it just below the brick, between the brick and the foundation and it’s typically a black sheet of plastic. Because brick and mortar are super porous, the moisture barrier is there to keep the water that migrates through the bricks from getting to the wood framing of your house which is what holds up your house, not the bricks.
The moisture barrier lines the side of your house and the bricks sit on top of it. However, the moisture barrier doesn’t cover the corners of your house so the brick in those areas is attached directly to the foundation itself. Now let’s factor in a very hot Texas summer, with the sun beating down on the brick and baking it; which, when bricks get hot they expand. At the same time, your foundation is also getting hit by the sun and it too expands, however not as much as the bricks due to the fact that a majority of your foundation lies under the soil and inside of your air-conditioned home.
As the bricks expand and subsequently contract later, they literally slide along the moisture barrier which keeps them from sticking to the foundation; but in the corners where there is no moisture barrier, the brick grabs onto the foundation and… POP! The concrete comes right off of the corner of your house, giving it its name- a “corner pop”.
Now that we know what a corner pop is, and what causes it, do we need to be concerned and what can we do about it?
A slough corner is not a foundation problem and is usually not a structural problem, in most cases, it’s a cosmetic problem. Since it’s not a structural problem, it’s not imperative that you fix it but if it’s bothering you and becoming an eyesore there are a couple of things you can do about it. Keep in mind though, any repairs you do will probably have to be redone on average every 5-8 years. They might last longer than that but again, it’s not a structural problem or a foundation problem, it’s just a part of having a post-tension slab in North Texas.
- If the corner is in a decent condition, you can take the broken corner itself, and re-attach it using a strong construction adhesive like an epoxy compound that will adhere the concrete back together. Again, this fix is a temporary one and can stay for a number of years before it will pop back off and will have to be done again.
- If the corner is in a really bad shape, or has already been removed and taken away then you can clean that area up, make a mold and re-form that corner using wood boards, and pour new concrete in that corner to mold a new one. The poured concrete should grab on nicely to the rough, broken-off edges inside your foundation. Again, this fix is a temporary one that will last for a number of years before it comes off and has to be redone.
Now you know that slough corners are nothing to be afraid of unless you are worried about it being an eyesore and have a couple of ways to fix the problem as you feel is necessary. Williamson Foundation Repair has been the most trusted name in foundation repair since 1985. If you have other questions or would like more tips and tricks to do with your foundation then feel free to comment, check us out on any of our social media platforms, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call, and we will be happy to help you out!