The Common Issues: Slab Foundation Repair Basics
Unfortunately, it’s very common for Dallas residents to need slab foundation repair and leveling for their homes. In fact, some people estimate that more repair work on foundations gets done in the state of Texas every year than in all 49 of the other states put together! Ever since the mid-1950s, it has been the norm for builders to use the slab on grade foundation design when building residential properties. Although a handful of custom builders sometimes use basement designs that feature pier and beam supports internally, it isn’t all that common.
There are three basic slab design types, however, and many of today’s builders install a monolithic pour when constructing homes in our area. Many of the newer homes include prestressed concrete in their design, which is designed to provide stronger concrete and to provide a better control of the separation of any cracks. Just because your home is new doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have issues, however. In fact, according to a study by Consumer Reports, as many as 15-20 percent of the newer homes have foundation-related issues as well!
Common Signs of Foundation Settlement: Gaps and Cracks
Cracks often make their presence at high stress points first. You can ask yourself these questions if you’re concerned that your home might have a foundation issue:
-Are your interior walls starting to separate the ceiling?
-Are your floors sloping or otherwise uneven?
-Have cracks started to appear in your concrete floor?
-Can you see gaps between the adjoining wall and floor?
-Are there any cracks in your interior walls, such as near your windows and doors?
-Have you noticed any visible cracks on the exterior of your home? These are especially noticeable in brick homes and can frequently be found in the chimney, the walls, the doors and the windows.
What are the Main Reasons for Slab Foundation Failure?
Slab foundations are designed to distribute the entire weight of the building straight to the ground underneath. The main reason why a lot of foundations in Dallas crack is because the area underneath the home is unstable; it might already be unstable, or this could occur over time. This can cause the foundation to shift past the design’s specifications, which can cause the uneven movement of the concrete. This can cause cracks and other issues.
Why is the Soil Unstable?
Extreme wet and dry cycles, whether they are man-made or natural, are the frequent causes of these issues. For example: Do you recall how bad the weather pattern was around here in 2011? According to the United States Drought Monitor, that was the year that the state of Texas suffered from the worst drought in its history (2014 is shaping up to be just as bad). During dry times, the soil under your home dries out and shrinks, which causes gaps and void spaces. This causes the home to no longer be properly supported and results in countless homes across the state experiencing major foundation issues.
Opposite weather conditions can cause major issues as well. When the soil underneath and around the home becomes overly saturated, it heaves and swells and can also cause movement in the home’s foundation. This movement can also cause gaps and high stress points, which can also cause foundation problems.
Too much water can be caused by many different sources. Leaks from your sewage drains or water supply, leaks in your HVAC ductwork, a lack of rain downspouts, ponding and more can all cause this problem. Detecting water leaks and using proper drainage management are essential if you want to solve these common issues, and we make these steps our first priority. As a part of our company’s absolutely free on-site consultation, we will identify these issues for you.
Although these are two of the more common problems, other issues can cause slab settlement as well. For example, your home might have been built on improperly drained or poorly compacted soil. In both situations, your home’s slab foundation will begin to fail over time as the soils underneath begin to settle and shrink. As the concrete settles into these voids, it begins to crack.
Repair and Leveling for Homes with Slab Foundations
Identifying both the locations and underlying causes of the failure in your slab foundation is the first key to an effective repair process. There are many different repair options out there, depending on your home’s specific needs. Here are a few potential repair techniques:
– Concrete Piers or Concrete Pilings
– Pressed Pilings or Piers
– Resistance/Steel Push Piers
– Drilled Bell Piers
– Helical Piers
There are pros and cons to each one of these solutions. Luckily, Foundation Repair Pros Dallas will carefully and honestly evaluate your home’s individual situation and will work to recommend the most effective and most affordable permanent fix for your foundation-related issues. All of our solutions are based off of patented and proven technologies, and we always focus on a permanent solution. We even offer a warranty that is guaranteed for life and guaranteed financing.
Give us the chance to assist you and earn your trust. Contact us today for our free no-obligation inspection…you’ll be glad you did!