Top Five Concrete Slab Foundation Problems

Since the 1970s concrete slab foundations have become the main way homes are constructed.  The foundation is poured on top of the soil and is made of thick concrete reinforced by rebar.  Although the slab foundation has replaced the crawl space, slab foundations can still experience problems.  We have identified the top concrete slab foundation problems.

Upheaval
Upheaval is the opposite of settlement.  It is when the foundation actually rises in areas.  This could be due to increased moisture in clay soil or an improperly designed foundation.  The signs that your slab foundation is experiencing upheaval, is if your walls, floors or countertops are no longer level.

To prevent upheaval it is best to acquire a PVR report also known as Potential for Vertical Rise before you build your home.  If you are already living in your home, make sure you have proper drainage.  Moisture and plastic soils, such as clay, are a recipe for upheaval.

Foundation Cracks
Foundation cracks can be caused by numerous factors including settlement and upheaval.  Once cracked, the foundation can separate at the joints, bugs, water or moisture may enter the home.  A hairline crack can grow into a bigger problem.  Visually inspect the foundation, are there any cracks?  If so, are they larger than 1/16 of an inch?  If so, you must do something about it.  It is best to contact a foundation repair specialist to advise you on the severity of the problem.  They will take preventive measure to fix the crack and keep it from getting worse.

concrete slab foundation problemsSettling
All homes experience settling.  It is the natural process of home sinking into the ground.  Settling, however, may lead to foundation issues with your home.  Foundation problems that are not fixed can cause  catastrophic problems for your home.  If you experience cracks in your home’s bricks, walls, or windows or if you have doors that stick, it is time to consult a professional.  Those signs point to a foundation problem.

Settling is most remedied by the installation of helical piers or piles.  They support the foundation and keep it from settling further.

Shifting Piers
Occasionally, piers can shift and can cause problems for your slab foundation.  Shifting is not an overnight problem, but a slowly occurs to your home.  This results in the same types of problems that settling causes.  This includes cracks, sticking doors, bulging floors and chimney damage.

The best remedy to fix a shifting foundation is to install new piers to stabilize the home.

Improper Design
The final concrete slab foundation problem is a poorly designed foundation.  This could stem from not consulting an engineer for a proper geological survey, not following professional recommendations for the foundation construction, using the wrong type of foundation in the wrong soil type, or even physically not making the foundation properly.

Whatever foundation problem you are experiencing, it is best to consult a professional.  You don’t want a minor problem to lead to a foundation failure.  Our network of certified PierTech Installers, can help diagnose and repair any foundation problems you are experiencing.  To find your local installer, please contact us.