What Causes Slab Upheaval

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Slab upheaval, also called foundation upheaval when referring to your home’s foundation, is a very common problem in the Bay Area of California. Understanding the causes and potential solutions is important as a homeowner. Slab upheaval can cause structural damage and if you have noticed changes in your home you should contact Bay Area Underpinning for an inspection.

The Main Causes for Slab Upheaval


The number one cause for the upheaval of concrete slabs is an excess of water in the soils around or beneath your home or other concrete slabs. Changes in the volume of water in the soil cause expanding and shrinking of the soils. Water can put tremendous pressure on a slab foundation. If water levels change quickly you can notice the movement of the slab that also occurs quickly. This is sometimes called “heaving”. Heaving usually means that the foundation has moved more than 2 inches. This is a very serious problem that might mean the failure of your foundation if not addressed right away.

Plumbing issues can also cause slab upheaval. If a plumbing leak occurs beneath the slab without anyone being away this can cause major problems. If you notice changes in water pressure in your home, contact a plumber to verify there isn’t an issue. While it isn’t a huge issue in our area, frost can cause frost heave as well which is a similar issue to slab upheaval.

What to Look For


After heavy rains, walk the perimeter of your home or commercial business. Check for cracks in the foundation or gaps and cracks between bricks or exterior rock walls. For crawlspaces, if you can check the interior space look for water seepage or cracks in the wall and leaks. Bowing walls present in basements and crawlspaces as well. Another thing to keep an eye out for is uneven floors or sloping floors. If you notice any of these signs contact us for help. Other indicators include sheetrock gaps, spaces around windows or sticking doors.

What Bay Area Underpinning Can Do for Slab Upheaval

We have the ability to raise and level concrete slabs to resolve issues caused but slab upheaval. Each problem is different, but we have the tools and expertise to resolve problems with slab foundations of all types. To learn more about slab upheaval or to have your home inspected contact Bay Area Underpinning today.

Steve Egloff

Steve Egloff

Steve is the CEO at Bay Area Underpinning, a foundation repair contractor serving the San Fransisco Bay Area, California. Bay Area Underpinning was founded in 2005 with the goal of providing a cost-effective, engineered solution to foundation settlement problems with an emphasis on educating customers to make them feel comfortable with the various methods of foundation repair.

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