If you’re looking for information about slab foundation problems, you’ve landed on the right page. Many residential homes and other structures in California are built on concrete slabs. For California residents, there are many advantages to having a slab foundation, including:

  • Less risk of damage from flooding and gas leaks
  • Slab foundations protect homes from termites and other insects
  • Slab foundations are less expensive than basement or crawl space foundations
  • Added stability for the home.

However, that doesn’t mean that slab foundations are problem-free. They can, over time, develop issues that can jeopardize the structural integrity of the entire home. For more information, see our article on Foundation Settlement.

Common Slab Foundation Problems

Upheaval

When the 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 roots 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 sloped countertops or floors to see if your slab has an upheaval problem.

Cracks

Slab cracks are a widespread 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 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.

Shifting

If there are piers under your foundation, they might shift, causing the foundation to shift as well. This can happen when the piers aren’t correctly installed, and changes in the soil or the moisture content of the ground cause them to move. Soil that swells or shifts 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. Don’t let an uneven slab become a problem and contribute to trips and falls in your home or business–call our experienced team for a solution right away.

Settlement

Every home settles – it is part of the natural aging process. However, rapid settlement or uneven slab settlement 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 gaps and voids. Earthquakes or sinkholes can also cause settlement 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. See Underpinning A House: What Every Homeowner Needs To Know for information about repairing a settled foundation.

Improper Construction

An incorrectly poured foundation can cause slab problems. If the construction company does not correctly compact soil beneath the foundation, it will settle right away, causing foundation problems and structural issues. If the foundation is poorly designed or the concrete isn’t mixed correctly, it may crack or suffer other problems that can lead to low structural integrity. If it sounds like this might be an issue in your home, consult our team immediately. At Bay Area Underpinning we offer both foundation repair and foundation replacement.

How to Fix Slab Foundation Problems

Every homeowner needs to watch out for signs of foundation failure. If you spot any, you’ll want to act quickly. If you wait, the problem will get worse and require a more expensive repair. If you catch a foundation problem early, you’ll save money.

At Bay Area Underpinning, we have a solution for all concrete slab foundation problems that might occur in your California home:

  • Resistance/Push Piers
  • Helical Piers
  • Drilled Concrete Piers
  • Poly Foam Injection

These repair methods lift and level your slab saving your home from structural damage.  The piers are installed under the foundation via a process called underpinning, which both stabilizes and lifts the concrete slab foundation. These solutions work with various structures, and the piers are both long-lasting and durable.

foundation methods compared infographic

If you have a sunken, uneven driveway, sidewalk, or some other kind of concrete slab, polyurethane foam injection can help. Poly foam injection involves injecting a foam material underneath the slab to fill in underground voids and lift the slab.

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 your home has slab foundation problems. Our highly skilled team of professionals can help with all of your slab repair needs. We serve the entire Bay Area of California with our expert foundation and slab repair services.

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