Summer Heat Causes Street Creep

Saturday, June 9th, 2012 by Thrasher

People often ask questions about Street Creep, or Concrete Creep, and what it really is. In the summer when we're having record high temperatures is when we see this phenomenon occur that can cause problems with foundations.

Street Creep is the action of concrete moving as it heats up and expands. When concrete is cool, it shrinks and allows debris to fall down in cracks and control joints. This is especially common in midwestern winters where cold temperatures cause the shrinkage of the roads, and sand/gravel trucks spread plenty of debris to fill those open joints in the concrete.

When the Spring and Summer temperatures start to go up, the concrete expands and creates pressure all around. When the joints around the slab are filled with hard debris they don't allow any expansion of the concrete and therefore the concrete actually pushes on the next slab.

When you multiply that over the many sections of concrete in a street you can see that the road will actually get longer. If your driveway is near the end of this run of concrete slabs, the pressure is transferred through your driveway and into your house.

It does seem crazy that something happening in the street and your driveway could affect your home but we've seen it all too often. That large slab of your driveway is slowly moving toward your home and when it does it will show by first cracking the foundation on the outside of the home. If you have veneer brick it will most likely crack off first, others may see cracks appear in their foundation. Our system design specialists will inspect your basement when this see this occur to see what damage has been done on the inside of the home.

To protect against long-term damage to concrete driveways, garage slabs and foundation walls, CompressionGuard replaces the fiberboard expansion joints used in most residential driveways with an engineered expansion joint that can flex with concrete movement during seasonal changes. It acts like an accordion, absorbing the push from the street onto your driveway.

If damage has already occurred with the foundation, repair may be needed. This will be determined when your system design specialist arrives and can diagnose the issue.