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Slab Foundation Design

Foundations that are designed and constructed with a slab foundation can create cracking and may require foundation repair over time.  This is especially true if your home is older than the early 1980’s.  If you find that you need repair, contact a Houston foundation repair concrete-contractor to provide an expert solution to your repair needs.  Designs after the 80’s are typically more modern and the designs of these foundations and much different than those of the past.  We advise all home owners to understand what type of slab foundation their home rests on and what makes up that slab.

Not all concrete slab foundations are created equally and there are may different things that can go wrong when constructing a slab foundation from concrete and steel.  Use this article to help yourself have a better understanding of concrete and slab foundations.

Freshly Poured Concrete Slab

Current Slab Foundation Designs

Today, most foundations that are made from concrete and are strong and very stable.  This is because the process of slab construction has changed over the last 30 to 40 years.  Foundation construction has evolved and currently there are many designs used in residential construction based on geographic locations.  Because a concrete slab foundation must be load bearing and capable of supporting your home, modern slabs are thicker and stronger than ever before.  The use of steel rebar inside of the concrete slabs has also helped to ensure they last longer.

If a newer slab does need a foundation repair, it is important to ensure you match the pier type with the foundation type.  If your foundation is concrete with steel rebar running through it, we recommend using concrete piers with steel rebar to support as well.

Why Is Concrete Slab Used in Texas?

Home construction companies in the Texas area typically use slab foundation for a few different reasons.  First, concrete is strong and very durable over time.  Second, the allow for easy leveling when they are first placed.  Lastly, they are very cost effective to install based on the materials needed compared to other foundation types.

Slab designs are used because the warm weather of Houston usually prevents the concrete from cracking and minimizes the need to repair the foundation multiple times as seasons change.  Slab foundations are very different from other types of foundations found in the U.S.  While concrete slabs do develop repair needs on occasion, the accessibility to repair the foundation is much greater than other types of house foundations.

What Changed Over the Years in Slab Foundations?

In the 50’s many foundations were not properly reinforced inside of the concrete.  The concrete was poured without any steel rebar and stabilization techniques that bound the concrete together across the span of the house footprint.  Bad cracks are common on older slab foundations as are corners that crack off due to excess pressure on the exterior portions of the home.  Today, concrete slab foundations are always secured with steel rebar that is tied together across the span of the house foundation.  This creates a solid tied-together piece of concrete that moves as a single unit and rarely cracks.  Also, newer foundations are poured with thicker edges and interior supports to prevent exterior sinking and cracking as well.

It is for these reasons that newer homes typically need less foundation work than older homes of the same shape and size.  The poor design of older slab foundations can cause harm to the entire house structure and should be repaired at the first sign of distress.  Foundation repair contractors will know how to fix your slab and help prevent future degradation.

Contact AAA Foundation Service today and have a proper home foundation evaluation completed so you have a full understanding of what issues you may be facing.

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