Many of the homes and structures in California are built on concrete slabs. For California residents, there are a lot of advantages to having a slab foundation – they minimize the risk of damage from flooding and gas leaks, they protect homes from termites, and insects, they are less expensive than basements or crawlspaces, and they offer added stability for the home. However, slab foundations often develop issues that can jeopardize the structural integrity of the entire home.
Common Problems for Concrete Slab Foundations
When soil under the slab swells, it can cause the slab to heave. This can happen when the soil absorbs water, causing it to expand and push on the concrete slab above. A poorly constructed foundation could also lead to slab upheaval. Even a root from a tree or shrub growing under the foundation can push on the concrete and cause upheaval in the slab. This is especially common in times of drought when thirsty roots are looking for water. Look for uneven floors and walls or sloping in countertops or floors to see if your slab has an upheaval problem.
Slab cracks are a very common problem in California. If the foundation heaves, it may crack. Settling or shifting foundations can also lead to foundation cracks. If the soil underneath the foundation expands and pushes on the concrete, it might cause the slab to crack. Voids under the foundation can also cause the slab to crack. When the slab sinks because the ground underneath can no longer support it, the concrete might crack as it settles into the void. If you see slab cracks, determine how severe they are by measuring them. If they are larger than 1/16 of an inch, contact a foundation repair expert. Foundation cracks can lead to water leakage or pest entry.
If there are piers under your foundation, they might shift, causing the above foundation to shift as well. This can happen when the piers are not properly installed and changes in the soil or the moisture content of the ground cause them to move. Swelling or shifting of the soil around your home can also cause a slab foundation without piers to move or shift. If you see bulging floors, sticking doors, or interior cracks, your foundation might be shifting.
Every home settles – it is part of the natural aging process of a home. However, rapid settlement or uneven settlement of a slab can result in serious foundation problems. Sometimes, voids or gaps open up underneath your home due to erosion or soil shrinkage. When the soil dries up, it shrinks, causing it to fall away and leaving holes under your foundation. Erosion can also wash away soil under your home, leaving behind gaps and voids. Settlement can also be caused by earthquakes or sinkholes near your home. If you see cracks in the exterior of your home, sloped floors, gaps between the walls and the ceiling or floor, or windows or doors that stick, consult a professional.
If the foundation was not properly poured, it can lead to slab problems. If the construction company does not properly compact soil beneath the foundation, it will settle right away, causing structural issues and foundation problems alike. If the foundation is poorly designed or the concrete is not mixed correctly, it may crack or suffer other issues that can lead to low structural integrity.
How to Fix Slab Foundation Problems
Fortunately, the team at Bay Area Underpinning has a solution for all of the concrete slab foundation problems that might occur in your California home.
- Resistance/Push Piers
- Helical Piers
- Drilled Concrete Piers
- Poly Foam Injection
All of these services can help lift and level your slab to ensure that your home does not suffer structural damage or water leakage. The piers are installed under the foundation with a process called underpinning, which allows them to provide both
The piers are installed under the foundation with a process called underpinning, which allows them to provide both stabilization and lift for the concrete slab foundation. These solutions are good for many different structures, as the piers are long-lasting and durable.
Poly foam injection involves injecting a foam material underneath the slab to fill in underground voids and lift the slab. This solution is ideal for many different kinds of slabs, including driveways and sidewalks.
We also offer foundation replacement. If the slab problems in your home or business are severe, the best option may be to replace the foundation entirely with a brand new slab. Our team is careful to ensure that the foundation is designed and installed correctly, preventing issues down the road.
Contact our team today if you need a solution for slab foundation repair. We serve the entire Bay Area of California with our expert foundation and slab repair services.