The Need for Slab Foundation Repair in San Antonio
Although it is unfortunate, the need for the leveling and repair of slab foundations is quite common here in San Antonio. As a matter of fact, there are even people who say that residents in Texas account for more foundation work than residents of all 49 other states!
Ever since the 1950s, most homes have been constructed with a slab on grade type of foundation. Even though there are a few custom builders around who build homes with basements and interior pier and beam supports, this certainly isn’t the norm. Out of the slab on grade type of foundations, there are three main types. With most, contractors use monolithic pour as a standard when building. A lot of new homes today come built with prestressed concrete that is designed to improve the concrete’s strength and to help control concrete cracking; but you shouldn’t let the age of your home mislead you. In fact, a full 15 to 20 percent of newer homes already have foundation-related problems, according to Consumer Reports’ studies.
Serious Signs of Foundation Settlement: Cracks and Gaps
Generally, cracks first start to appear in high stress areas of the home’s construction. For your first clues of these issues, look for the following:
-Concrete floors that are beginning to show cracks
-Gaps appearing between the floor and its adjoining walls
-Floors that show signs of sloping or being uneven
-The separation of the ceiling and the walls
-Cracks that can be found on interior walls; these can generally be found around windows and doors but may appear in other areas as well
-Cracks that can be seen on exterior walls and areas, particularly with brick homes, such as on the chimney, around the doors and windows and on the walls
What are the Primary Causes of Slab Foundation Failure?
Basically, the point of a slab foundation is that is transfers the weight of the home to the soil beneath it. The most common cause of foundation-related issues is when the underlying soil becomes unstable. When the soil shifts beyond the specifications of the home’s design, it can cause additional stress and movement to the concrete, which can cause cracks, gaps and other problems. Expansive clay soil, common in the San Antonio area, is the culprit.
Why is the Soil Unstable in the San Antonio Area?
The first and most common cause of unstable soil is an extreme moisture cycle, such as when the soil becomes too wet or far too dry.
Do you happen to remember the big drought that occurred here in Texas in 2011? And it seems to be happening again in 2014. If so, you can remember just how dry everything was. During times of extreme dryness, the soil beneath the house dries up, causing it to shrink. When this happens, gaps start to form, and the home is no longer fully supported. This can cause severe foundation-related damage.
On the other hand, soil that becomes far too wet can cause severe damage as well. When the soil becomes soaked with water, it swells and expands, which also leads to the movement of the foundation. Then, cracks and gaps appear.
If your issues are related to excess water, there are multiple potential sources of the problem. For example, you could have plumbing leaks or leaks that are related to your HVAC duct work. There could be a problem with your rain downspout, and you might need one that you don’t have. There could also be ponding issues which may need a French drain or “rubble trench” installed to correct the problem. Fortunately, we will look for and identify these issues as a part of our no-cost consultation.
You also have to look at potential problems that might go as far back as when your home was built. If your house was constructed on soil that wasn’t sufficiently drained or compacted, there is a chance that your foundation has settled into any resulting voids. This can also cause serious foundation-related problems.
Repair and Leveling Options for Your Slab Foundation
Not only is it important to assess where your foundation problems lie, but it’s also imperative to determine the cause of these problems. There are quite a few repair options that are used to remedy these issues, but the one that is right for your home will depend on your particular situation. These are a few common solutions that might work for your needs:
-Drilled Bell or Helical Piers
-Concrete Pilings or Piers
-Pressed Pilings or Piers
-Steel Push or Resistance Piers
Each of these options has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but our trained and knowledgeable professionals will take a look at your home’s problems and will offer the best, most affordable, most effective and most permanent solution. We only offer solutions that are based on proven and patented technologies, and we always offer a lifetime guarantee.
Contact Foundation Repair Pros today and let us earn your trust as the top leveling and foundation repair professionals in the area.