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Cracked Foundation Floors - What Does It Mean and What Can You Do?

Thursday, April 13th, 2017 by Kellie Santiago


You’ve noticed that your foundation or slab floor is moving upwards and causing cracks in the walls and floors of your home.  You may have also noticed:

  • Cracking on inside walls (common)
  • Cracking on outside walls (rare)
  • Cracks on the concrete floor slab
  • Displaced or tilting slab sections

This movement is called Foundation Heave and is typically caused by unwanted water accumulating in the soil under your home which causes pressure on your foundation. Other causes of heaving include tree roots and pressure from adjacent buildings. Regardless of the cause, a certified Foundation Specialist from Connecticut Basement Systems can evaluate your foundation heaving problems and present the right solutions for your home.

Foundation Heave

 

There are four common causes of foundation upheaval:

Expansive Soils

A house built on soil with a high clay content will be susceptible to heaving because clay-rich soil expands significantly when it gets wet.

2. Frost Heave

Water increases almost 9% in volume when it freezes so wet soil can expand by that same amount when it gets frozen. When this happens, the pressure it puts on the slab or foundation can cause it to shift and crack.  Frost heave can often lift a foundation by several inches or more!

3. Plumbing Leaks

 Leaks in plumbing lines that run underneath a slab or through a foundation  wall can leave moisture. Over time, the moisture can cause the soils  underneath the foundation to expand. This moisture can come from supply                                                                                           lines, waste lines or even HVAC systems.

4. Prolonged or Heavy Precipitation

Too much precipitation combined with too little drainage away from the house will lead to increased moisture underneath your foundation. Moisture that comes into contact with expansive soil can result in heaving of your foundation and slabs. Precipitation can also cause expansion in the soils on the sides of your foundation leading to bowing and buckling walls. Before doing any repairs to your foundation, it’s important to have the problem officially diagnosed as heaving. The cracks caused by heaving can easily be misread as foundation settlement because the symptoms are often similar. Start by having an experienced foundation specialist inspect your issue and identify the cause of your problem. Once the problem is correctly identified, a customized solution can be proposed to repair the damage and address the cause of the issue.

Connecticut Basement Systems’ first priority will be to eliminate water sources wherever possible. We can check for underground water line leaks, clogged drains, broken sprinkler lines or faulty gutter systems. Once we have identified the water problem, we can fix your problem with solutions such as concrete repairs, soil stabilization or helical piers that can both support your foundation and keep it from heaving again in the future.

Foundation heave is a complicated problem but no matter what kinds of problems you may be experiencing; our in-house team of foundation experts are here to help. We offer free, personal consultations to help you decide which repair solution is right for you. Each consultation includes an on-site inspection and free written estimate.

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