Poor slab construction, it does happen. How do you know that your slab foundation could be problematic for you in the future?
First, let’s talk about some of the ways things could go wrong.
- Improper installation: If the area beneath the slab foundation is not prepared correctly this can lead to a multitude of issues down the road. The soil needs to be evenly graded and properly compacted to achieve optimal results.
- If the concrete isn’t poured and set correctly you will notice problems in the appearance of the concrete. It can blister, crack, and craze.
- Too much water was in the concrete when mixed. You can read a recent blog we wrote about spalling. Spalling occurs when there is too much water in the concrete. This can happen when the concrete isn’t prepared correctly or from too much water around your slab from heavy rains.
So how can you tell you have a problem and your slab was poorly constructed?
There are visual signs in the concrete as mentioned above. Spalling looks like the surface is chipping or flaking away. Watch for spalling and cracking on the surface of the concrete. If you notice sloping of floors, gaps in doors and windows (as well as sticking doors or windows), drywall and ceiling cracks, tiles cracking, chimneys leaning, leaks in crawl space or basement walls, or countertops pulling away from the walls, you may have a problem.
Poorly constructed slabs can lead to foundation settlement when the soil settles or changes due to weather conditions. So what can be done?
- If you haven’t built your home yet, look for contractors with an excellent reputation and ask questions about their grading and soil preparation process. You can also have new construction piers installed in your home to provide extra support. These piers are driven down into the deep, weight-bearing soils beneath the structure to make sure foundation sinking and settlement doesn’t occur.
- If your home shows any of the signs listed above, we recommend at least having an inspection of the property. We have a wide range of solutions for a wide range of budgets and problems. Each situation is different and we can develop a solution for your specific needs and budget based on what we find.
If your slab was installed incorrectly, it can lead to foundation failure. But if you know the signs and make sure to keep an eye out for changes in and around your home, poor slab construction isn’t the end of the world. If you have any questions please contact us!
Examples of cracked, crazing, and spalling concrete are shown below. Click on images to view them larger: