Your concrete slab floor is showing signs of sinking, sagging, or settlement. Your basement or foundation floor may be cracking, or the walls may be separating from the floor below or ceiling above. Basement floor cracks are an obvious sign that there may be problems occurring beneath your home. They are a common foundation issue that happens when the foundation settles or sinks. It’s important to not let floor cracks go untreated because they can expand and grow, causing substantial damage such as leaks to occur.
- Cracks in the concrete floor or a crack in the foundation floor
- Interior wall cracks, commonly off the corners of interior doors
- Interior walls separating from the ceiling, forming a gap between the wall and ceiling
- Walls pulling away from adjacent walls
- Floors dropping and separating from the walls, forming a gap between the floor and wall
Two options for repairing sinking concrete slabs:
1. For cracked slab repair, install a slab pier system that connects the slab to stable soil or bedrock. Once installed, the system makes it possible to re-level settled slab sections.
2. Raise settled concrete using PolyLevel expanding foam. Injecting this high-density foam beneath the slab will fill voids and consolidate weak soil while also raising settled slabs back to their original position. Learn more about concrete floor crack repair, concrete leveling, and what makes PolyLevel an effective concrete repair solution.
AquaGuard Foundation Solutions is your local foundation repair contractor capable of fixing each and every foundation issue your home may be experiencing. Don’t let your cracked foundation floor get worse, call us for a free floor slab repair quote today!
Our service area is within Northern Georgia, including Metro Atlanta, Acworth, Marietta, Rome, Canton, Blue Ridge, Cumming, Gainesville, Duluth, Alpharetta, Decatur, Lawrenceville, Tucker, Sandy Springs, Covington, Stockbridge, Douglasville, Peachtree City, and all surrounding areas.
Signs of slab settlement
Foundation settlement is an issue that can start off as a small problem and eventually serve as the catalyst for several larger issues in your home. For instance, when a home experiences settlement, signs both inside and outside the home will often emerge that can soon manifest in many ways. Signs of foundation settlement in Georgia are cracks in your foundation floor, dropping floors and separating walls, gaps between floors and walls, walls pulling down and separating from the adjacent surfaces, and, most noticeably, vertical or stairstep wall cracks along the exterior/interior of your home.
Floor Cracks: When to Start Worrying
Floor cracks can be a common feature in most homes - some you should be concerned about, and some to just keep an eye on. There are three basic types of foundation cracks you could notice: shrinkage, horizontal, and settlement. Settlement occurs in most homes; however, size and location are important factors to determine how much has occurred. A little settlement unevenness is normal, but you should definitely watch for more dramatic changes inside such as drywall cracks, doors that are misaligned, ceramic tile or brickwork cracks, and sloping floors.
What causes a concrete floor slab to settle?
The soil underneath and surrounding your home is one of the main causes for foundation settlement in Georgia. Foundation settlement is basically the result of the movement a home experiences when the soil surrounding or beneath your home can no longer support the weight above it, thus causing interior or exterior structural damage.
When a concrete floor settles, the heavy weight a home exerts becomes unevenly distributed, potentially causing serious damage to your home. Foundation problems, accompanied with settlement, may initially seem minor but can and will develop into larger, more devastating issues over time.
The three most common causes of settling concrete floor slabs are as follows:
Drying and Shrinking of Soil
Drying & Shrinking of the Soil Under the Slab HVAC (Heating, Venting, and Air Conditioning): Systems may be installed beneath the floor slab. Over time, the ductwork can leak air, which can dry out the soil.
Washout of Soil
Washout of Soil Under the Slab: This is usually caused by plumbing leaks. If the plumbing leak is severe and there is a path for the water to flow through, it can wash soil out from under the slab. With a void underneath the floor, there’s nothing supporting the concrete slab anymore. In time, it begins to crack and sink downwards.
Poorly-Compacted Soil - Loose Backfill Dirt
Poor compaction of fill soil during construction of a new home: Layers of soil are commonly moved around or spread out to get to the desired grade level.
When the home is built, footings may be deepened to extend below weak fill soils and avoid a foundation settlement issue. The slab, however, remains on the fill soils. If the fill was poorly compacted, the fill soil compresses and settles, and a void is formed under the slab. In time, the slab cracks, breaks and settles into the void.
Risks of Having Cracks in the Basement Floor
Not only are floor cracks an unattractive problem to find in your home, but they can also be signs of even bigger issues - foundation problems. If ignored, these problems can lead to weak foundation walls and a wet basement. Here’s what can happen if you neglect cracks in your basement floor:
Any cracks in your basement floor have the possibility to leak and cause water seepage. The ground underneath your foundation is full of moisture, so when there are cracks in the foundation, it lets pressure force the water up into your basement. Once moisture exists in your basement, bigger problems like mold and bacteria growth can begin to form, causing serious health hazards for you and your family.
For the most part, concrete basements will always crack. Fortunately, for most homeowners, small cracks from shrinkage rarely impact the structural integrity of the home. That is not so true for larger cracks, which is caused by instability of the soil beneath the home. It’s important to be able to identify the bigger floor cracks because it can lead to serious issues. If you notice significant basement floor cracks, have them inspected right away by a professional to have them assess the potential for greater damage.
There are plenty of unwanted pests, such as mice, rats, and cockroaches that thrive in dark, damp environments like a basement. When there are cracks in the foundation or basement floors, it can become an open invitation for these undesirable house guests to invade your home. Don’t wait, call AquaGuard Foundation Solutions today for a free inspection before you have to share your home with all sorts of critters!
We Can Permanently Stabilize Your Home!
You shouldn’t be concerned with or have to live in fear of your foundation walls collapsing. With a simple call to AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we can quickly identify the cause of your home’s structural/foundation issues, as well as the necessary solutions to permanently stabilize your home! Each of our repairs permanently resolves your issue and are backed by national, transferable, life-of-structure warranties, and we put that in writing! With us, our ultimate goal is your peace of mind.
If you would like to contact us for a free foundation slab stabilization quote to identify and address your foundation problem, call or e-mail us today!
We install Supportworks’ Slab Pier System for permanent stabilization
Foundation Supportworks Slab Pier System has the best ability to provide an opportunity to lift your concrete slab back to its original positioning – re-leveling the floor and often times closing cracks and eliminating trip hazards around the home in the process.
To install our patented slab pier system, our contractors will take these six steps:
Preparing for installation
Before the installation day of our slab pier system, a representative from our company will have already visited your property and inspected your foundation issue.
At that time, a foundation repair proposal was put in writing along with a map of where the slab pier locations will be installed.
At the beginning of each slab pier installation, a small hole is cored specifically at each mapped position through your concrete slab floor. This hole will create an access point for the slab piers that are about to be installed.
Positioning the slab bracket
The Foundation Supportworks Slab Pier System utilizes a unique three-piece slab bracket that is assembled underneath your concrete floor, allowing for a much smaller and concealed hole to be cored in your concrete slab.
Additionally, the larger the bracket – the more surface area it covers, allowing for an equal distribution or spread of the load.
Steel tube installation
Steel tubes are then hydraulically driven or advanced deep into the ground, past any troubled soil that may have been causing your foundation issues beforehand. This way, once installed, your slab will be supported down to strong, competent soils–to stabilize the home. To ensure the quality and long-lasting strength of your slab pier system these steel tubes are designed with galvanized steel to resist corrosion. These tubes are the real strength of the foundation pier system—and are responsible for transferring the home weight to strong supporting soils. The Foundation Support works Slab Pier System utilizes a unique three-piece slab bracket that is assembled underneath your concrete floor, allowing for a much smaller and concealed hole to be cored in your concrete slab.
Additionally, the larger the bracket – the more surface area it covers, allowing for an equal distribution or spread of the load.
Transfer slab weight to soil
With the brackets and tubes installed and in place, the weight of the concrete slab is transferred through the piers down to the load-bearing strata far beneath your home.
As the system lifts your concrete slab floor upwards, the sinking movement of your floor will be permanently halted along with the best possibility to re-level the slab.
Inject grout fill
Once the concrete slab has been lifted, a void will be present underneath the floor.
Additionally, if your floor had been sinking because of compacted soil or washout, a gap existed even before the installation.
To address this, we carefully pump grout under the slab to fill in all empty spaces.
At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we take pride in leaving your home looking clean and neat. Once the installation is completed, we repair all cored holes neatly with concrete–making your final installation virtually invisible.
Any debris generated during the installation is cleaned up and removed by us. And once we’re done, you can rest easy, knowing that that you have a 25-year warranty on manufacturer’s defects, as well as a performance warranty from us.
Not all foundation solutions are effective
Foundation damage is a problem to take seriously, some methods are extremely expensive and others are disruptive to your property and some don’t even tackle the actual cause of the problem! That’s why it’s important to have one of our in-house foundation repair specialists fully inspect and analyze your foundation before any repairs are made.
Here are two “repairs” that we do NOT recommend:
Concrete slab replacement:
In order to conduct a concrete slab replacement in your home, all home furnishings, floor coverings and interior partition walls must first be removed out of the home. Then a jack-hammer crew breaks the existing floor slab into small pieces and removes each piece from the home by hand.
Then a new floor is poured and allowed to cure for at least two weeks. Then interior partition walls can be re-built, floor coverings re-installed, and home furnishings brought back in.
While this situation is obviously disruptive and expensive, the real problem isn’t even addressed! The floor isn’t the problem; the soil beneath the ‘new foundation slab’ is the problem. A concrete slab replacement is ineffective because it’s basically a brand new concrete foundation over the same troublesome soil – so you can expect that your new floor will “break” just like the old one did!
Re-leveling grout on top of the slab:
To begin this process, all floor coverings that were placed on the slab must be removed. The floor is then prepared so that grout will be able to bond with the slab surface.
Our patented PolyLevel concrete stabilization and expansion foam is poured along the slab surface, where it begins to fill in the low portion of the floor and create a level surface. PolyLevel is completely waterproof and will solidify in as little as 30 minutes after installation. It’s structural grade durability is strong enough for you to even drive on your newly stabilized slab, should you feel so inclined.
Unlike grout, PolyLevel will not add noticeable additional weight to your home and will fill any sub-slab voids and hold, regardless of whether the slab was poured properly initially or not. Most importantly, the PolyLevel permanently stabilizes the soil beneath your slab. This is vital, because as is the case with all foundation repair issues, the real problem is the soil settlement itself – and the soil is often overlooked entirely with other contractors’ repairs.
AquaGuard Foundation Solutions is Georgia’s responsible foundation repair company
At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we bring structural integrity back to buildings and residential foundations throughout Northern Georgia. Our in-house foundation repair contractors can repair your settling foundations as well as your bowing, cracked, and damaged residential foundation.
Don’t let your foundation get any worse – if you’ve noticed any signs of slab cracking, contact us today for a free slab repair quote. Where one of our in-house foundation repair specialists will visit your property and correctly identify the cause of your failing slab foundation and the recommended solution for your home. To schedule your appointment, call or e-mail us today!
Our service area includes Metro Atlanta and all cities throughout Northern Georgia, including Athens, Gainesville, Dahlonega, Cumming, Blue Ridge, Rome, Cartersville, Carrollton, Peachtree City, and Conyers.