How Heaving Foundations & Slabs Lead to Home Damage
Foundation upheaval can lift an entire structure, but more often, it forces parts of a foundation or slab upwards while other sections remain stationary.
Have you noticed cracks in the walls of your home, cracking concrete floors, or displaced or tilting slab sections? If so, your foundation or slab floor is moving upwards, leading to cracks in the walls and floors of your home.
Alpha Foundations is your local expert for foundation heave repair. We can help you identify the actual cause of your problem and provide you with a quality solution. Contact us today to get a free estimate on all our foundation repair services in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, West Palm Beach and the nearby areas.
What Causes Foundation Upheaval?
Heave is the upward movement of a foundation or slab caused by underlying soils that expand or swell. This occurs due to an increase in moisture or by freezing forces. Heave is more common with slabs than foundations because slabs have less weight to resist heaving forces.
Unless there is a long period of drought, foundation heave most commonly occurs within the first few years of the building’s construction.
Slab and foundation heave is most commonly caused by these four forces:
- Expansive soils: Soils with a high clay content expand significantly when they get wet. The excavation for a foundation often gives the soil around and under a house a chance to dry out and shrink. After the house is built, clay-rich soil that gets soaked during wet spells can cause heaving problems while also damaging foundation walls.
- Plumbing leaks: Leaks or breaks in plumbing lines that run underneath a concrete slab or through a foundation wall can deposit moisture underneath the foundation and slab. This moisture can be from supply lines, waste lines, or even your home’s HVAC system. Over time, this moisture can cause the soils underneath the foundation to expand, which will then cause them to push up on the structure above.
- Prolonged or heavy precipitation: Too much precipitation combined with too little drainage away from the house will increase moisture underneath your foundation. Moisture that comes into contact with expansive soil can cause foundation and slab heaving. Precipitation can also cause expansion in the soil on the sides of your foundation, leading to bowing, buckling walls.
Be Sure It’s Foundation Heave
Foundation heave and foundation settlement have similar symptoms, and to the untrained eye, it may appear that foundation walls are going down when in fact, the floor is coming up. However, the solutions to these two problems are very different, making it essential to get a correct diagnosis.
How We Solve Foundation Heave
Since unwanted water accumulation and pressure in the soil under your home is typically the cause of slab and foundation heave, our priority will be to eliminate water sources wherever possible. We will check for underground water line leaks, clogged drains, broken sprinkler lines, as well as faulty gutter and leader systems. Once we have fixed water problems, we can begin making repairs like:
- Concrete grinding for minor heaves, especially in outdoor slabs
- Soil stabilization by polymer injection to resist water infiltration
- Mechanical foundation repair, including the use of helical piers that can support your foundation and keep it from heaving in the future
Other causes for heaving include tree roots and pressure from adjacent buildings. Regardless of the cause, a professional foundation contractor is the best person to evaluate foundation heaving problems and suggest suitable solutions for your home.
We Do Foundation Heave Repair in FL and GA!
At Alpha Foundations, we have the tools and training available to fix foundations and slabs experiencing problems with upheaval. We offer foundation and slab heave repair quotes to all within our Florida and Georgia service areas.
If you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment with one of our foundation specialists, contact us today! We proudly serve Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Miami, Gainesville, Fort Lauderdale, Valdosta, Port Saint Lucie, Saint Augustine, Hialeah, and nearby areas.