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Old 10-12-2011, 09:15 PM  
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Thanx for rejuvenating this old post. And I'd like to share my opinions on the nature of your concrete problems. The deterioration visible in your pix has the appearance of concrete that was exposed to freezing temperatures at the time it was placed. That is, the matrix is crumbling, and losing its grip on the aggregate. That is something that often happens at corners or the ends of a concrete run, where there is more exposure to freezing than in the middle of the run (and less benefit from the mix's internal heat of hydration, being away from the center of mass). It appears whoever placed your foundation didn't take adequate precautions to prevent the mix from freezing before it set up, such as using blankets or applying external heat. Over time, the situation will continue to degrade, particularly if the corners are exposed to moisture and repeated freeze-thaw cycles. There could be other causes as well (ASR, a reactive aggregate reaction, or even sulphation), but they would most likely be visible throughout the concrete run, and not just prevalent at the ends or corners.

I would not call your situation simply "cosmetic." If not corrected, eventually there will be a tendency for the brickwork above the failed corner to settle enough to slip or break away from the internal metal ties that hold the brick against the house's wall. Cracked mortar joints are an indication that this has already started. Your house will not fall down, but eventually you will be faced with a hefty bill from a masonry contractor to properly repair the damaged brick and concrete below it.

Repairing the corners now is a good option, and can be performed by anyone having moderate construction skills and common sense. Obtaining quotes from experienced and knowledgeable foundation repair firms would be a better option, if your finances allow for the work to be done professionally.

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