While cracked concrete slab foundations can be unsightly and cause problems with moisture intrusion into your house, they’re usually not a sign that your entire foundation is about to crumble or collapse. In most cases, these common issues are easy for professional contractors like Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair to fix quickly and affordably. Understanding more about why these cracks happen will help put your mind at ease—and help keep them from getting worse
Faulty installation is one of the most common causes of cracked concrete slabs. This can be due to a number of different factors, including:
- Using materials or installation technique that are not recommended for your particular application. For example, if you don’t use enough reinforcing steel in your slab foundation and the soil under it moves during construction, it could cause the concrete to crack over time.
- Not leveling out the foundation first before pouring concrete into it. If you don’t level out your foundation properly before pouring it with cement, cracks will form because there’ll be too much pressure on some areas versus others (like corners where two walls meet).
- Not using the right equipment for excavating or hauling away dirt and other debris during construction work – this can lead to unstable soil conditions when building a flat surface such as a driveway or patio area
Tree roots are the most common cause of foundation damage. Tree roots can cause cracks in the foundation, which will eventually lead to a sinking foundation. In some cases, tree roots can even cause the entire building to collapse if they are left untreated.
Settlement cracks are formed when the concrete settles, or sinks into its foundation. They can also be caused by stress from frost heave and shrinkage. If you notice settlement cracks in your slab foundation, then most likely there is a problem with the design of the slab or it was poured improperly. Typically settlement cracks will form along walls and corners of a house where the most weight is placed on them by foot traffic and furniture use over time.
Moisture intrusion is one of the major causes of concrete foundation problems. Moisture can cause damage to a concrete slab foundation in many ways:
- Cracks can form as moisture migrates through walls and floors, eventually leaking into the concrete and causing it to become weak.
- Concrete spalling occurs when water works its way between layers of concrete and freezes, forming ice wedges that peel apart sections of the floor or wall surface.
- The freeze-thaw cycle is another contributor to cracks in foundation slabs; when temperatures drop below freezing, ice expands inside your walls until there’s no more room for expansion—and then it freezes again until there’s no more room for expansion—and then it freezes again…and so on. This repeated thawing and refreezing causes loss of strength at a molecular level over. Eventually those cracks will be wide enough that you’ll notice them!
Pipe leaks can cause your concrete slab to crack. If the leak isn’t fixed, it will continue to weaken the foundation and eventually lead to a larger problem. If you have a pipe leak, call your plumber immediately for an evaluation.
Don’t Let Cracks Get Worse. Call in Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair to Evaluate and Repair Your Slab
Concrete slab foundations are a common foundation type and can be easy to install. However, it’s important not to overlook problems like settlement cracks or moisture infiltration that may lead to further damage. If you have a concrete slab foundation that has cracked or sunk and needs repair, contact us at Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair today! We have experience repairing and rebuilding foundations of all sizes. We also offer free estimates so you know exactly how much your project will cost before we start work on it.