Slab Foundation Information
Slab foundations are the most common type of home foundation found in Houston for two reasons; they are designed for the city’s soil type and they are cost effective to put in place. Slab foundations do have a few disadvantages over other types of foundations though. The most common problems that affect concrete slab foundations are the results of poor planning during the initial construction of the home. Slab foundations can develop issues over time, however, if graded, mixed and poured properly a slab foundation will typically last several decades without any type of degradation. That being said, let’s explore the three most common issues that slab-on-grade foundations face.
1. Movement and Shifting
The most common issue with slab foundations in Houston is movement. Slab foundations are typically graded and poured at a very shallow depth and this allows for the changes in the soil to easily affect the level of your home. As the soil contracts and then expands, the home foundation will experience uneven points of pressure which causes sinking, cracking and settling. This will typically not show up for many years after a home is first built, however, as we are currently seeing in Houston, it can happen even faster. In some cases, entire neighborhoods are sinking.
2. Differing Soil Moisture
During the initial construction the soil around a slab foundation should have a consistent moisture level if it is being poured by a professionally certified concrete specialist. Unfortunately, the Texas heat and the lack of consistent moisture in the soil before a foundation pour can cause flexing and bowing during the curing phase. If this issue is not corrected, the home will remain slightly uneven and will continue to shift as the weight from the home build is put on the foundation. This issue can be corrected by properly compacting and watering the soil ahead of pouring the concrete for the foundation.
3. Root Infiltration
Trees and plants in and around your home can also affect the health of your slab foundation. As the soil directly beneath the foundation will have more moisture than the perimeter, the environment is more suitable for tree roots to move toward. These tree roots can push the foundation up, cause cracking, grow into cracks, and increase expansion. Many homeowners and builders will place root barriers next to their foundation to ensure that tree roots do not cause problems for their foundation over time.
Slab foundations do have a tendency to be susceptible to different kinds of issues, they can however be avoided or repaired through typical foundation maintenance and repair. Give AAA Foundation Service a call today and let us go to work for you.
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