Blog

Are there cracks in your basement floor?

Thursday, November 30th, 2017 by Michelle S


 

 

The problem:

Your concrete slab floor is showing signs of sinking, sagging, or settling. Your floor may be cracking, or the walls may be separating from the floor below or ceiling above.

Telltale signs:

  • Cracks in the concrete floor
  • Floors dropping and separating from the walls, forming a gap between the floor and wall
  • Interior walls separating from the ceiling, forming a gap between the wall and ceiling
  • Walls pulling away from adjacent walls
  • Interior wall cracks, commonly off the corners of interior doors

How we can fix it:

Install a slab pier system underneath your concrete slab floor. These piers can extend down to strong supporting soils, ensuring long-term support.

 

What Causes A Concrete Floor Slab To Settle?

When a concrete floor settles, it can mean serious damage to your home. The causes of floor slab settlement are almost always due to the soils underneath being unable to support the weight of the concrete. They often accompany other foundation problems in your home.

The three most common causes of settling concrete floor slabs are as follows:

(Click for more information.)

Dry, cracking clay soils

Drying / Shrinking Of Soils Under The Slab

soil erosion

Washout Of SoilUnderneath The Slab

A backhoe excavating a foundation

Poor Compaction Of Foundation Fill Soils

Fortunately, there are fast, effective ways to address concrete slab floor settlement issues. if you would like a free foundation slab stabilization quote for your problem, call or e-mail us today!

Installing The Foundation Supportworks Slab Pier System

Foundation Supportworks Slab Pier System stabilizes the concrete floor slab in your home. It provides the best opportunity to relevel the floor and lift non-load bearing partition walls that may have settled along with the slab. To install our system, our contractor will take these six steps:

Coring the concrete of a concrete slab floor in Arnprior

Preparing for Installation

Before the installation day, a representative from our company will have already inspected your foundation issue. At that time, a foundation repair proposal was put in writing.

Your foundation repair experts will use that proposal to map out the locations where the slab piers will be installed. At the beginning of each slab pier installation, a small hole is cored through your concrete slab floor. This hole will create an access point for the slab piers that are about to be installed.


A three piece foundation slab bracket assembled underneath a concrete slab floor.

Position Slab Bracket

To give the slab pier something to "lift," a slab bracket is positioned beneath the concrete slab.

The Foundation Supportworks Slab Pier System uses a three-piece slab bracket that is assembled underneath your concrete floor, allowing for a much smaller hole to be cored in your concrete slab. Additionally, this larger bracket reaches across more area along your floor, creating a more even distribution of weight.


Driving foundation piers into the floor in Rockland.

Install Steel Tubes

Steel tubes are hydraulically driven down through the bracket to the competent soils beneath.

These steel tubes are the real strength of the foundation pier system -- and are responsible for transferring the home weight to strong supporting soils. To prevent corrosion, Foundation Supportworks has slab piers available that are designed using galvanized steel. This ensures the quality and long-lasting strength of your slab pier system.


Using steel slab piers to transfer the weight of the concrete slab to the soil beneath in Perth.

Transfer Slab Weight To Soil

The weight of the concrete slab is transferred through the piers to the load-bearing strata underneath your home.

As the system lifts your concrete slab floor upwards, the sinking movement of your floor will be permanently halted. Often, it will also be possible to lift the concrete slab back to a level position.


A foundation slab pier after installation and grout injection has been completed in a Renfrew home.

Inject Grout Fill

Once the concrete slab has been lifted, a void will be present underneath the removed 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.


Repairing the cored holes in the concrete slab floor with fresh concrete and cleaning up the Vanier home.

The Cleanup

At The Foundation Guys, we take pride in leaving your home looking clean and neat. Once the installation is completed, we repair all cored holes 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 you have a 25-year warranty on manufacturer's defects, as well as a performance warranty from us.

What NOT To Do

As with most home repairs, some work all of the time, some work some of the time, and some don't work at all. Here are two "fixes" that we at The Foundation Guys do NOT recommend:

Jackhammering a slab floor in a Carleton Place home.

concrete slab being jackhammered and removed during a floor replacement in Maxville. A typical replacement can take several weeks to complete.

Concrete Slab Replacement:

To perform a job like this, all home furnishings, all floor coverings, and interior walls within the building must be removed. Once this is done, a crew jackhammers the existing floor into small pieces and removes them by hand.

Next, a new floor is poured to replace the one removed. The homeowner should allow at least two weeks for the slab to cure sufficiently.

After the curing is complete, the interior partition walls may now be rebuilt, floor coverings may be reinstalled, and home furnishings may be returned.

While this situation is disruptive and expensive, the real problem here is that the issue that caused the problem in the first place has not been addressed.

Without addressing the soil problems that originally lead to the cracks in your concrete floor, your new floor may "break" over time too!

smoothing out the grout in a slab releveling project in Smiths Falls

A contractor smoothing out a surface of releveling grout during a concrete slab repair. The previous concrete floor had shown cracks during settlement.

Releveling 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.

A self-leveling grout is poured along the slab surface, where it begins to fill in the low portion of the floor and create a level surface. After the grout is allowed to cure for several days, the floor coverings can be replaced.

However, if the floor wasn't prepared properly, the grout may not bond well to the concrete surface of the original floor slab. Over time, this may lead to large chunks of the new floor breaking off.

Additionally, the grout will add weight to the slab, potentially making the situation worse by causing further settlement.

And, just like with the last two options, the real problem of soil settlement is not addressed!

our service area

We serve the following areas

  • Addison
  • Alexandria
  • Athens
  • Balderson
  • Brinston
  • Brockville
  • Burritts Rapids
  • Cardinal
  • Carleton Place
  • Delta
  • Elgin
  • Elizabethtown
  • Frankville
  • Gananoque
  • Green Valley
  • Inkerman
  • Iroquois
  • Jasper
  • Johnstown
  • Kemptville
  • Kingston
  • Lanark
  • Lansdowne
  • Lombardy
  • Lyn
  • Lyndhurst
  • Maitland
  • Mallorytown
  • Martintown
  • Mcdonalds Corners
  • Merrickville
  • Mountain
  • Munster
  • Nepean
  • Newboro
  • North Augusta
  • North Lancaster
  • Oxford Mills
  • Oxford Station
  • Perth
  • Portland
  • Prescott
  • Rideau Ferry
  • Rockport
  • Smiths Falls
  • South Mountain
  • Spencerville
  • Toledo
  • Westport
  • Winchester Springs
Our Locations:

The Foundation Guys Inc.
1294 Algoma Rd
Gloucester, ON K1B 3W8
1-613-702-9139
Service Area
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