Street Creep

In Home maintenance tipsby Mark Goodman

street-creep

When inspecting homes, we sometimes run across Street Creep

No, I’m not talking about the “creepy guy” standing in the street or a reason to call the police. What home inspectors are referring to is a phenomenon where the street actual creeps or moves exerting the force on your driveway and thus potentially damaging your garage and house foundation.

If your home has an attached garage facing the street and both the driveway and street are made of concrete your house’s foundation maybe effected by street creep (also known as concrete creep). Houses located at the intersection of two streets (a T), in a cul-de-sac, on the outside of a curved street or on the downhill side of your road tend to be effected. Gravity, thermal expansion, expansive soils and the inertia of traffic can cause the road to move and push your driveway into the-the garage and/or house foundation thus damaging the foundation.

If the driveway was installed where the concrete driveway is thicker than the expansion joint creating concrete to concrete pressure the expansion joint is useless. In this case, when the concrete moves or expands it is still pushing on concrete not compressing the expansion joint.

The Fix

Even though you may appear to have expansion joints which is the agreed upon fix by most professionals look at them closely. If they are compressed or non-existent install new ones. This may involve cutting the concrete driveway. Maintain an expansion joint is imperative to preventing street creep.

Who is Responsible

Even though the street may be owned by the local municipality or county, municipalities typically will not take responsibility for property damage as a result of street or concrete creep. However some have policy’s in place to deal with the condition of street creep. If they deem there is visible proof of street creep they will install a expansion joint at the juncture of the driveway and street to decrease the potential for future Street creep issues. They will not cover damages to your home.

Checking for Street Creep

Do you have displaced concrete sections
Are your expansion joints non-existent and or crushed
If you can’t you push a probe into the expansion joint area 4 inches or more
Is there cracks in the perimeter of the garage foundation
Is there cracks in you house foundation
Is the garage slab pulling away from the garage wall

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you should contact a professional home inspector, engineer or foundation repair company to further investigate. These are just a few of the signs and tests to help you determine if you may be effected.

If your not sure are you think you see anything unusual contact a professional.