5 Reasons Why Concrete Slab Foundations Crack

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

5 Reasons Why Concrete Slab Foundations Crack

Faulty Installation

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

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

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

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

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.

Why Does My Home Need Gutters?

Gutters are building foundation’s main defense against water damage. Precipitation that falls on your roof should sluice into a gutter. The gutters channel the water into a downspout. The downspout funnels the water into a drainage system or a safe distance from your home’s foundation. Without a secure gutter and drainage system, water puddles around your home’s foundation. This weakens the foundation and can cause serious damages such as the following:

  • Water falling directly on your foundation leads to soil erosion, which can cause water to puddle around your foundation
  • Soil erosion can cause the foundation to settle, leading to uneven floors and cracks in drywalls.
  • Pooling water damages shrubs and flowers, lessening curb appeal and your home’s value
  • Standing water can raise the potential for basement flooding as well as serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes
  • Wood siding will often rot eventually if it is frequently exposed to water streaming off the roof
  • Vinyl siding will not rot, but it will become stained making your home a less desirable property
  • If not protected by gutters and drainpipes, porches and patios will suffer from water damage.

Why Does My Home Need Gutters?

What are the top four things I need to know about gutters?

  • For houses, the most common gutter size is five inches. However, roof size and the amount of precipitation that falls in an average year must be considered. With a large roof and heavy precipitation, you’ll need larger gutters
  • For downspouts, you’ll need about one for every 40 feet of guttering
  • Gutters can last for up to twenty years if properly maintained
  • The most common gutter materials are vinyl and aluminum because they work well and are cost-efficient

Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair, serving the Dallas, Fort Worth metroplex, offers free inspections to homeowners. We recommend preventative measures and provide estimates for repairing damage to your foundation and drainage systems. The inspection lasts less than an hour and is a no-cost investment in maintaining your home.  Please contact us to schedule your inspection or if you have questions. We look forward to serving you.

What Are The Common Causes Of Concrete Slab Foundation Cracks?

If you’ve ever noticed a crack in your concrete slabs, the chances are that there was a common cause. It’s easy to ignore thousand of tiny cracks when there is only one big one to look at. If cracks are not fixed, then they tend to grow larger. Following are some of the most common reasons why these cracks happen and what you can do about them:

What Are The Common Causes Of Concrete Slab Foundation Cracks?

What Causes Concrete Foundation Cracks?

There are many different causes of concrete slab foundation cracks. However, the most common are rain damage and inadequate footings.

Rain damage is the cause of most concrete slab foundation cracks. When water gains access to the foundation, it can cause it to expand. This expansion can result in cracks in the concrete due to structural failure or settlement. If the crack is large enough, water can enter and cause Foundation Wall to rot or disband.

Inadequate footings are also a common cause of concrete slab foundation cracks. Footings should be at least 10 feet deep and consist of a solid rock base with a pouredcrete or masonry cap. Water can seep under the footing if footings are not properly constructed and cause foundation cracking.

Most Common Causes of Foundation Cracks

The most common causes of foundation cracks are as follows:

  • Failed basement wall shearwall
  • Failed membrane isolation
  • Poor ground conditions around the home
  • Settlement of the home
  • Live or dead trees and shrubs in the yard. Read more

Fixing Your Foundations to Avoid this Problem in the Future

There are many different causes of cracks in concrete slab foundations. Here are some of the most common:

  • Improperly installed slab or foundation materials
  • Water ingress/exposure
  • Faulty design or construction. More information

At Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair we are dedicated to offer professional foundation repair services to residential homeowners and for commercial properties contact us today and worry no more about foundation cracks.

How Gutters Protect your Home and Foundation

To most people, gutters are simply the apparatus that we see installed at the end of the roofing section of the house. However, while they simply appear to be that, they are in fact more than that. Gutters are an essential component in maintaining and ensuring the longevity of a house, building, or other constructed structure. They play a vital role in not only ensuring that the water can be harvested, but that it can also be drained away without interfering with the structure of your building. Below is an explanation of how important gutters actually are to any homeowner.

How Gutters Protect your Home and Foundation

Protecting the Foundation of your Home

This is one of the most unique functions of gutters. Regardless of the size, material and gauge of your gutter, they can really be useful in ensuring that the foundation of your house is not interfered with. The gutters work by ensuring that rain water is safely prevented from spouting down and splashing on the exterior of your house, and channeling the water away from the base and immediate exterior of your house to the grass, lawns and drainage systems. This can be achieved by ensuring that your roofing and gutters have a sufficient slope to ensure that it is successful. Consequently, the foundation of your home will be protected, meaning that your mind will be at ease even in situations of continuous heavy rainfall.

Protecting your Home from Flooding

Another very vital role played by gutters is that they minimize the risk of flooding in your home. Through the drainage of water away from your home, you need not worry about water in your house since most of the rain water will successfully be drained away.

Preventing Siding Damage

For homeowners looking to maintain the appeal of their curbs as well as prevent events of rotting and paint damage on the sides of their house, then guttering is the most viable solution. The water is directed away from this, which means that very little water gets to the walls or curb, reducing the amount of work you would do in the absence of these gutters.

Note: It is important to note that gutters alone are not the solution. A good drainage system also needs to be put in place for the success of the gutters. Additionally, you also need to note that gutters need to be maintained as they can occasionally be clogged by debris such as leaves, hence the need for regular cleaning routines. Feel free to contact us at Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair for any queries and repairs with your gutter and drainage systems.

Why Do Concrete Slab Foundations Crack?

If you’ve ever tried looking for information on concrete cracks, you know it can be tough to find. There seems to be a lot of theories and not enough facts. What causes concrete to crack? How do you repair the foundation? Why do concrete foundations fail in the first place?

This article will answer these questions and help homeowners identify and resolve the common causes of cracks in concrete slab foundations.

Why Do Concrete Slab Foundations Crack?

What Causes Concrete Slab Foundations to Crack?

There are many reasons why slab foundations crack. The most common reasons are as follows:

Shrinkage

The most common cause of cracks in foundations is shrinkage. Shrinkage occurs when water evaporates from the surface of the concrete, leaving behind air pockets that expand and push the surface apart from each other.

The process repeats itself until the concrete has dried completely and there are no more air pockets left in the slab.

Poor Construction

Improper construction can also lead to foundation problems. If your builder did not use proper building techniques, then your home may have issues with cracking and settlement.

If your home was built on uneven ground, it may also experience foundation problems such as cracking and sinking due to poor construction techniques.

Poor Soil Conditions

Another reason for foundation cracks is poor soil conditions. The ideal soil for a slab foundation should be able to support the weight of the structure it bears without compaction or settlement.

If your soil cannot support the load without settling, it will crack under pressure from your home’s weight.

Improper Compaction

Improper compaction of concrete is the most common cause of foundation cracks. When concrete dries out, it contracts. This contraction can cause cracks in your slab if it’s not properly compacted during construction.

If there is more water used than cement or sand, the concrete will be weak and spongy. If there is too little water, the concrete will be hard and brittle. The ideal consistency for concrete should be about three pounds per gallon (4,000 psi).

Improper Slab Thickness

If the amount of material used to form the slab is insufficient, cracks may form on the concrete’s surface. The size of the slab will vary depending on your building code and local regulations.

In most cases, this is not an issue because most contractors follow accepted standards when installing slabs. However, if you’re building your own home and use unapproved methods, this could be one reason why your house has developed cracks in its foundation.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are one of the most common causes of foundation cracks. As trees grow, they send out roots that search for nutrients in the soil below ground level.

If these roots find themselves growing through an area that is made up of a weak material such as concrete, they can end up causing problems for homeowners. This makes them likely candidates for damaging your home’s foundation if given the chance.

How to Fix Your Cracked Foundation

If you have a cracked concrete slab foundation, Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair is here to help! We will provide consultation on what your options are for repair and how to determine the best repair method for you.

Give us a call today to schedule your foundation inspection or concrete repair service!

How to Fix a Settling Foundation and Solve the Problems For Good

We tend to think buildings of as immovable constructions, yet they move, albeit by a few inches. This occurs as a result of the building and its foundations situating themselves in place on the soil.

How to fix a settling foundation and solve the problems for good

What Is a Settling Foundation?

Soil expands and contracts as it absorbs water and dries out. As a result, the dirt beneath your foundation shifts, leaving a void that fills with water. Over time, the voids weaken the soil structure and make it easy for gravity forces to shift it downwards to fill the space. We know this phenomenon as settling.

Signs of a settling foundation?

The effects of hydrostatic pressure and shifting soil are frequently seen on foundations and walls. The following are the most typical signs of a settling foundation

•    Sticking windows and doors
•    Bowing or cracked walls
•    Cracked or uneven floors
•    Vertical cracks on walls
•    Horizontal cracks on walls
•    Disrupted or cracked soil at the foot of the wall
•    Separation of doors and windows from walls

How to fix a settling foundation

If your house has a settling foundation or sunken concrete, we can still save it with minimum disruption to your daily routine. There are several approaches, but the overall goal is to level the foundation and return your home to its prior stable state. These approaches include:

Installing piers

Concrete and steel helical piers, as well as hydraulic lift slab piers, are sturdy and have a significant load-bearing capability. These piers can be driven into the earth exactly beneath the house’s foundation, where it is sinking. Resting the home on these piers is a job best left to the professionals, but it provides ample support that prevents the house from sinking further.

Piers are the preferred method of elevating and stabilizing foundations in bigger constructions, such as residences and commercial buildings.

Slab jacking

Microfine cement grout can be injected into the earth when foundations are difficult to access. This improves the soil’s structure while also providing a lifting force that aids in the restoration of the building’s original level.

We typically use slab jacking for smaller projects such as house slabs, swimming pools, and driveways.

What do with a settling foundation?

It is not wise to undertake a DIY repair if your house is settling. Fixing a sinking foundation may increase the value of your home, therefore it’s a job best left to the experts. The team here at Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair will do a complete inspection, propose solutions, and repair your foundations to ensure that your home will stand rooted for many years to come. Contact us to discover problems, investigate solutions, and receive advice on any of your foundation repair concerns.

Why It Is Necessary To Contact A Professional for Drainage Correction Issues

When it comes to your home’s foundation, drainage may be a major concern. Drainage issues may cause foundational harm that can be averted if they are addressed quickly. The good news is that you do not have to deal with this problem on your own. Every drainage correction professional cares about you and will do everything to get things back to normal for you. If you are experiencing issues with your drainage, here are three reasons why you should get professional help.

Why It Is Necessary To Contact A Professional for Drainage Correction Issues

1. Reduce the Cost of Repairs

You will save a lot of money on repairs if you hire a professional to care for your drainage correction. The sooner you bring in a professional to handle your drainage difficulties, the less money you spend on repairs. However, the water will cause serious foundational damage if you wait too long.

2. Find The Underlying Cause Of The Problem.

Having a professional handle drainage issues ensures that they fix the problem properly the first time. If your foundation is at risk, they will construct a drainage system to prevent water from pooling around it and make the required adjustments to your driveway and yard slope.

3. They Will Answer Any Questions You May Have about Drainage Issues.

Seeing an expert is always a good idea, even if you are unsure whether you have a drainage problem right now but are concerned that you could. They will be able to help you with any drainage issues you may have and help you prevent them in the future.

Seek the Advice of an Expert

The experts at Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair are capable of delivering fast, dependable service. When it comes to drainage correction, we can examine your issue and provide you with a detailed description of the required services. We take great pride in our specialized and ethical drainage correction services. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible if you have any questions concerning our services.

How to Fix a Settling Foundation

Is there a problem with your home’s foundation, such as fractures in the walls, uneven flooring, or blocked windows? If you have seen any of the following signs, your foundation may be sinking or settling.

How to Fix a Settling Foundation

What Exactly Is a Settlement of the Foundation?

Soil movement underneath the house causes the foundation to shift. Air pockets, or voids, are formed as the ground shifts. The walls will crack and sink into these voids due to the inadequacy of these gaps to withstand the weight of your foundation walls. Damage to your house will be proportional to how much the earth underneath it changes.

Identifying Foundation Settlement Issues

Many homeowners can spend months or even years without noticing a foundation fracture. When foundation settling is left unattended for an extended period, it may lead to more serious problems with the foundation.

  • Cracked Stair Treads: Cracked stair treads are a common symptom of foundation movement in brick and concrete block walls.
  • One of the most dreadful and striking signs of a sinking foundation is leaning chimneys.
  • Doors and windows that have been damaged are common indicators of foundation settling since every opening in a wall is a weak spot.
  • Cracks in Concrete Floor Slabs: Cracks in your concrete floor slab may signify foundation settlement or signal that the slab floor has settled on its own.

How to Repair a Foundation that Has Settled

If you are having problems with your home’s foundation, you are not out of options. However, you will almost certainly need the help of an expert. It is common for experts to employ steel and concrete push-piers to stabilize foundations that have settled or moved. The eventual objective of each of these treatments is to level or raise the home’s foundation, bringing it back to a level, even position.

No matter what foundation settlement problem you are experiencing, the Hargrave Custom Foundation Remedy experts can provide a solution. Please get in touch with us promptly if you suspect that the foundation of your house is shifting or sinking.

How to Achieve Your Foundation Preventative Care Goals

After construction, many homeowners expect that to do maintenance on things that experience heavy wear and tear like fixtures and bills only. This is often at the expense of the foundation, which is the basis of the entire house and probably the most critical of all to keep sound. Based on this, it seems proper that homeowners learn the importance of and perform preventative care on their house foundations.

Read on to find helpful tips for avoiding future foundation problems.

How to Achieve Your Foundation Preventative Care Goals

Maintain a consistent soil moisture Level

The hydrostatic pressure of water, which undermines the structure of the soil, causes foundation settling. Maintaining a consistent soil moisture content decreases the strain imposed on the foundations in areas that are parched or hot, such as DFW. You can artificially water it using soaking hoses, but you must also beware this will not reverse existing damage.

Install proper drainage

Soil stability is strongly reliant on drainage. Water-logged soil is undesirable, but so is dry cracked soil. Installing gutters or French drains will remove water from the foundation. This inspires even moisture distribution beneath the slab and which minimizes soil movement where the foundation is anchored. This extends the foundation’s usable life.

Inspect your home regularly

Every small bit of work put into monitoring the state of the house might save you hundreds of dollars in repair expenditures later on. Proactive homeownership takes awareness. This is the time to inspect for leaks, cracks, and pests. Fixing cracks early enough prevents catastrophic failure and saves money that would have been spent on a costly repair.

Check your tree placement

Small trees and bushes are excellent for moisture retention, but putting them too close to the home might just be a future problem. Tree roots growing near foundations can exert strain on the foundations, causing them to break. So, if you must have trees near your home, construct a root barrier to keep the roots from reaching the foundations.

Consult a foundation repair and maintenance professional

Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair is a family-owned and run professional foundation repair services firm. Our teams are highly skilled and well equipped to serve the desires of residential homes and commercial property owners in the Dallas metroplex and beyond.

Contact us now for preventative maintenance advice and insights on how to effectively care for your house. We look forward to assisting you; reach out today and discover how to extend your foundation’s life.

Fixing a Settling Foundation: A Brief Guide for Homeowners

It is not unusual to come across a sinking foundation as various issues cause this. Often, we hear people saying that the foundation of their houses is sinking, and they do not know what to do. However, the best way is to fix that foundation before it degenerates into something worse that might cost you thousands of dollars to repair.

Fixing a Settling Foundation: A Brief Guide for Homeowners

Settling of foundations is caused by several issues such as soil expansion and contraction, extreme rainfall, or plumbing leaks. Therefore, it is best to repair the foundation once the problem is identified. The first step is to contact a Foundation repair Engineer who shall offer viable solutions to fix the sinking foundation.

How to Fix a Settling Foundation

Several signs can help you know if your foundation is settling. The following are signs you can look for if you feel like something is wrong with your house:

  • Gaps in the joint of the foundation
  • Sticking doors
  • Shifting floors
  • Horizontal Foundation cracks
  • Foggy windows
  • Vertical wall cracks

Once you notice any of these signs, it is imperative that you call a foundation repair contractor to assess the situation and offer the best solution to fix this problem. Repair contractors will advise you to install piers, also known as pilings, to fix settling foundations. This is because they are strong and can support the weight of your house effortlessly.

The enlisted contractor and their crew excavate under the specific settling area of the foundation of your house. Once they have made a sizeable excavation, they will place piers under the foundation and push to the point of stability. Once installed, the piers will lift the foundation to almost its original level. While there are several types of pilings used to fix a sinking foundation, Concrete and Steel piers are the most popular pilings types.

Schedule an Inspection Today

Would you want to protect your house’s foundation from settling? Reach out to Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair, a family-owned company providing professional foundation repair to residential and commercial property owners in Dallas Metroplex. Call us at (907)442 5000 or visit our website to schedule an inspection today.