Many homes since the 1970s have been constructed using concrete slab foundations. The foundation made using thick concrete is poured on top of the soil. Even though the crawl space has been replaced by slab foundations, there are still issues associated with concrete slab foundations.
If your concrete slab foundation has a problem, you need to immediately get in touch with a professional foundation repair company, like Granite Foundation Repair. This is to facilitate an extensive foundation evaluation to determine the severity of the problem and catch the problem before it causes significant damage to your property.
It’s worth noting some issues may not necessarily be caused by a foundation problem alone. There could be other reasons behind the faults as well which is why it is important to keep track of all issues and speak to a professional.
The severity of the damage to your foundation should be assessed immediately after you discover any signs of foundation problems.
Signs of foundation problems can be a serious issue.
Here are pictures of cracks in foundations. When cracks like this are evident, there are usually cracks in sheetrock and masonry or brick.
Broken Concrete Slabs
The breaking of concrete slabs can be triggered by a number of issues. Interestingly, it may not necessarily be a foundation problem. Stress emanating from the walls can cause a piece of concrete to either crack or break off at an outside corner. At the top of the slab, the break happens along both edges of the slab and extends 4-8 inches from the corner. The break then extends 1-2 inches down towards the bottom, further weakening the concrete wedge which can cause it to fall off.
If you notice a post tension cable sticking out of the concrete wedge, you need to call in a post tension cable specialist to fix the concrete and ensure proper cable tension. It is critical for all cable anchors and post-tension cables to undergo proper maintenance.
Any broken concrete slabs can be a sign of distress for the house. It is important to hire an expert to find the root cause of concrete slab cracking and breaking.
An unlevelled floor is a sign of a foundation problem and requires immediate professional attention. A foundation upheaval is usually responsible for bumps that appear gradually in a concrete slab floor. In most cases, this happens when there is a plumbing leak or a water buildup around the foundation. When clay absorbs water, it tends to expand which exerts an immense force on the concrete floor causing a mound or bump. In addition, a leak can either take place in a sewer or freshwater line.
Either way, you do not want water buildup around the foundation of your home. In order to avoid unnecessary water near your foundation there are three main things you can do including installing a moisture maintenance system, planting small shrubs to absorb water, and digging a trench. However, you want to understand why leaks may happen in the first place, and take the steps to avoid them.
Water leaks may happen even though you don’t have plumbing in that particular section of the house. This can happen because of 2 reasons;
- Water at times comes from another part of the house with a plumbing system and follows a route of soft soil that was formed during construction. This happens mostly when a design is changed during construction that re-routes a concrete beam or plumbing system.
- Plumbing is normally designed to distribute water from a central point to different areas of the house that require water. For instance, some people have two bathrooms located in opposite ends of the house connected to a common sewer via a Y connection. This is done to reduce pipe costs and cut down on construction costs but may cause a leak may occur in the feeder pipe.
A bump in the middle of a house is rarely caused directly by a foundation problem. However, water leaks if not addressed in good time can lead to foundation problems. If the problem is left to persist, it will eventually weaken the soil that supports your foundation and you will end up with expensive repairs in your home.
Common Signs of Foundation Problems
Upheaval takes place when the foundation rises in an area as opposed to settling where the foundation sinks. This happens because of increased moisture content in clay soil or in a foundation that hasn’t been properly designed. If your countertops, floors, and walls are no longer at the same level, it is a sign your foundation is having an upheaval.
To limit the potential of upheaval, it is good to use Potential Vertical Rise (PVR) before starting to construct your home. If you’re already residing in a home, ensure you have a good drainage system and water maintenance to avoid increased moisture content in the soil surrounding your home. Upheaval is commonly associated with moisture and plastic soils such as clay.
Be careful to check for signs of upheaval and contact a professional if you see any signs of it. This will help you avoid expensive repairs and significant property damage.
Foundation cracks happen as a result of many factors that include upheaval and settlement. When the foundation cracks, it causes separation at the joints allowing water, moisture or bugs to enter a home. What begins as a hairline crack can become a bigger complication which leads to extensive repairs.
The best thing to do is to regularly inspect the foundation to see if there are any cracks. Should you realize the cracks are bigger than 1/16 of an inch, urgent measures need to be taken. It is a good idea to call a foundation specialist, like Granite Foundation Repair, to examine and advise you on the extent of the problem. In this case, they will initiate preventive measures to fix the crack to prevent further damage.
While it can be tempting to try and patch foundation cracks yourself, even if they are small it is important to speak to a professional. Overtimes, foundation cracks are more than just surface level, so simply patching them won’t do. When you see foundation cracks work will need to be done beneath the home in order to repair the issue for good.
Settling is a common phenomenon that happens in all homes. It is a natural process whereby a home gradually sinks into the ground. While settling can be normal especially with a new build, the problem with settling is it can cause foundation complications in your building. When foundation issues fail to be addressed in good time, they can cause serious damage to your home, such as crooked floors, uneven walls and counters, and cracks.
If your house has cracks in the walls, bricks, and windows or if your doors stick, you need to call a professional as these are signs of a foundation problem. Installation of piles or helical piers is the most common remedy for settling as they offer strong support and prevent it from further settling.
When piers shift, they can destabilize your slab foundation. Shifting doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a gradual process that causes similar problems associated with settling. Common problems include cracks, bulging floors, and sticking doors. The best approach to repair a shifting foundation is to install new piers to improve stabilization of your home.
While installing new piers can be expensive, it is a permanent solution for fixing unstable slab foundation. There are no shortcuts you can take when fixing your shifting piers. Foundation problems in general need to be properly handled in order to be completely remedied, if not, the issues will return.
A poorly designed foundation can lead to problems in the future. Failure to consult an engineer to carry out a professional geological survey, ignoring professional advice when constructing a foundation, constructing a foundation on the wrong soil type and physical mistakes during foundation construction can be detrimental.
Regardless of the foundation complication, you’re experiencing, it is wise to consult a professional. Don’t let minor foundation problems that can be easily addressed lead to a serious foundation defect.
Our certified installer experts can accurately determine the nature of defects, and fix foundation problems you may be experiencing. To get in touch with an installer near you, please get in touch with us.
Typical Cost of Repairing Concrete Slab Foundations
The cost of repairing concrete slab foundations varies depending on the extent of the damage. Typically, repairing foundation defects ranges between $2000 and $7000. But, you can trust a professional foundation repair company to do the job right and ensure your foundation will keep your house up.
At Granite Foundation Repair, we provide numerous reliable and effective foundation repair techniques to choose from. Our team is experienced and well versed in all aspects of foundation repair. Let us be your partner in the upkeep and repair of your foundation.
Call us today to plan an evaluation!