Slab Foundation Problems
Whether you already own a Texas home with a slab foundation or you plan on buying a home with one, you should know what’s involved in caring for your home’s foundation. Once you explore the maintenance involved in keeping your slab foundation in good condition, you’ll be better prepared to maintain a strong and durable foundation.
You’ll also know when to seek out professional help. When you need us, FCS Foundation and Concrete Services will be there to help you restore and strengthen your Dallas concrete slab foundation.
The Advantages of Concrete Slab Foundations
Concrete slab foundations refer to homes built directly on top of a slab of concrete that has a thickness of four to six inches. This means there won’t be a basement or crawl space beneath the first floor.
If you’ve always had homes with these spaces, you may be tempted to learn more by searching Google for “buying house on concrete slab.” But even without these spaces, concrete slab foundations come with many benefits.
Significantly Reduced Curing Time
If you’re building a new Dallas home, a slab foundation can save you time and money. A concrete slab will have a considerably faster curing time than a full basement. You’ll also use fewer materials, so the construction costs will be lower.
Lower Risk of Leaks and Flooding
A concrete slab is high enough to keep rainwater at bay in most cases. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about radon, carbon monoxide, and other gasses leaking into your home from a basement or crawl space.
Fewer Access Points for Pests
It will be more difficult for pests to get into your home when the frame rests directly on a concrete slab. You can also have the slab treated with an insecticide to make your home even more resistant to pest infestations.
Another advantage of building your home on a concrete slab is that it will sit lower relative to the ground. Household members or guests who have disabilities or reduced mobility will find it easier to get into the home when there are fewer steps to climb.
Most Common Signs of Slab Foundation Problems
In designing a Texas home with a slab foundation, you’ll have to make several modifications since you won’t have a basement. If you’re aware of the necessary alterations, you can take these disadvantages of a slab foundation into account when making the plans for your home. Here are the most common slab foundation problems you may face:
Ducts Running Through the Ceiling
Rather than running the HVAC ducts through a basement or crawl space, you’ll need to run them through the space between your first-floor ceiling and your second-story flooring. This means you’ll need more duct insulation.
Additional Space for Utility Equipment Needed
Other home features typically stored in the basement include the furnace, laundry machines, and water heater. You’ll need extra space on the first floor of your home for this equipment when building on a concrete slab as a foundation.
Potential Slab Cracks
You’ll have to be aware that a slab foundation can still crack. Cracks can form as the result of shifting soil, growing tree roots, or temperature changes that cause the concrete to expand or contract.
Reduced Curb Appeal
Unless you’re building your retirement home, you may want to sell your house someday in the future. Keep in mind that some buyers will not prefer a home built on a slab foundation because it lacks that extra living space. As a result, your Texas home may have a lower resale value.
If you notice your foundation sinking or having settlement issues, it could be a sign that your home is facing foundational problems. Your foundation may require lifting in order to install interior or exterior foundation piers.
Foundation upheaval happens when the slab foundation moves in an upward direction, and it the opposite of a foundation settling. Causes of foundation upheaval include when soil expands or when excessive moisture accumulates due to rain.
How to Detect Slab Foundation Issues
If you’re observant, it shouldn’t be too difficult to identify when your slab foundation is developing problems. That’s because the structure of the entire house is usually affected.
For example, slab cracks can result in the shifting of the home. In this case, you might see cracking walls or corners where the connecting walls appear to be separating.
Another issue to watch for is sloping floors or floors that seem to dip at an uneven angle. As the soil shifts, the underlying foundation will shift with it. Typically, one side of the slab will shift, leading to another portion raising and losing the support of the soil.
In this case, failing to repair sloping floors can lead to a significantly cracked or damaged foundation.
You can also tell that there’s a foundation issue by watching for gaps around your window or door frames. Severe temperature changes can cause the concrete slab to expand and contract. Although these movements are slight, they can be enough to pull the home’s frame in different directions.
Foundation repairs from FCS Foundation and Concrete Services can help you manage these issues.
Types of Foundation Repairs
FCS Foundation and Concrete Services offers several different types of foundation repair. In general, these services involve installing piers or pilings that will support your foundation, although there are differences in the types and number of pilings we’ll recommend for each home.
Single Press Concrete Pier
We’ll install pressed concrete piers beneath your foundation to provide greater support and stability. This is the most cost-friendly solution, and it’s highly effective in most situations. As an added advantage, these piers are useful when there isn’t enough bedrock or soil density for other options.
Double Wall Single Steel Pier
If you’re concerned that concrete is insufficient to support the full weight of your home, consider double wall steel piers. These pilings are significantly more durable, having the strength to support heavier structures. They can also go deeper into the earth for greater overall stability.
Single Drill Concrete Pier
We’ll dig a hole that’s up to 12 feet deep and pour fresh concrete into the hole to build your pilings on-site. We’ll also use steel rebar in the construction of the piers for greater strength. This process eliminates the lateral movement of your home when the soil shifts.
Bell Bottom Drill Pier
A bell bottom drill pier involves a process similar to the single drill concrete pier, except that we use a unique drill that expands the hole at the base. This system increases the tensile strength of each piling and reduces the stress usually caused by the foundation repair process.
Start with a Risk-Free Consultation
FCS Foundation and Concrete Services offers all of the professional services you need to protect your Dallas home’s foundation. Whether you need to waterproof your basement or strengthen its support, we provide reliable, high-quality services backed by 25 years of experience.
To get started, request a free consultation today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes Slab Foundation Problems?
Most slab foundation issues arise from shifting soil, which is usually the result of excess moisture. A slab foundation might also shift or crack if there’s a plumbing leak or an overgrown tree branch in the ground beneath the slab.
Can Slab Foundation Problems Be Fixed?
Yes, a foundation repair company can fix a slab foundation by leveling the ground beneath it. This is usually done by installing piers that are pushed into the ground beneath the slab until they meet resistance in the earth.
What Preventative Steps Can Be Taken to Alleviate Slab Foundation Issues?
The most important thing you can do for a slab foundation is to limit soil moisture by ensuring proper drainage. You can also protect the foundation by removing trees that are growing too close to your home.