foundation repair waterproofing

What Slab Leaks Can Do to Your Slab Foundation

A slab foundation leak can inflict serious damage on your home, either by causing it to heave upward or sink downward. This problem typically has one of two causes:

  1. Water supply leaks: caused by fresh water entering your home from your local utility provider.
  2. Sanitation leaks: caused by septic wastewater building up underneath your foundation.

Our Dallas slab foundation repair experts can correct both types of problems. But first let’s see what causes these issues in the first place.

Water Supply Leaks

Your home’s water supply is under constant pressure from the pumps that circulate it throughout your community. Over time, this can weaken the connections that hold the pipes together, causing water to leak underneath your foundation.

When this happens, you may notice any or all of the following problems:

  • Foundation upheaval: caused by expansion of the soil beneath your home due to moisture.
  • Sinking foundation: Water weakens the soil beneath your home.
  • Skyrocketing water bills: this is often the first warning sign that your water supply has sprung a leak.
  • Muddy soil around the perimeter of your home: which stays wet no matter how dry the weather is at the time.
  • Warping, buckling, or creaking floors: due to increased humidity in your crawl space or under your slab.
  • A hissing sound from underneath your home: due to pressurized water spewing out beneath the foundation.

These types of leaks are often the easiest to spot because of the effect they have on the homeowner’s water bill. A sanitation leak is harder to diagnose, although the damage it causes to your foundation can be many times greater. Let’s see why.

Sanitation Leaks

As the name implies, this problem is caused by leaks in your sewer line. It can go undetected for months or sometimes even years. When it does become obvious, it’s often because the foundation itself begins to sink into the ground. Left uncorrected, this can cause severe structural damage to your home.

Here are some warning signs that you may be dealing with a sanitation leak:

  • A sinking foundation: when the soil beneath your home becomes saturated to the point that it can no longer support the foundation.
  • Sewer line problems: such as drains that stay perpetually clogged no matter how much you plunge them.
  • Swampy soil around your home: especially if it has an objectionable odor.

Slab Repair Here in North Texas

No matter what caused the problems you’re experiencing, our slab foundation repair services can help. We’ve been serving the people of Dallas-Fort Worth and the surrounding region for more than 20 years. Our rates are fair and our work is guaranteed.

Our crews cover a wide range of DFW slab foundation repair service areas. Get in touch with us today for a free inspection and estimate from our slab foundation repair experts. You’ll soon have the facts you need to make an informed decision.

Concrete pouring during commercial concreting slab foundation of building

What is a Slab Foundation?

Concrete slab foundations are extremely common in homes here in North Texas. They start with a vapor barrier, a network of reinforcing rebar or post tension cable, plumbing components, and the concrete itself. When properly constructed, slab foundations are extremely durable and dependable. However, they sometimes develop problems that require the services of a qualified contractor.

If you’re worried about your concrete slab foundation, then we invite you to contact us here at Align Foundation Repair today. We’ll diagnose the problem and give you the facts you need to make an informed decision.

Components of a Slab Foundation

Building a slab foundation typically involves a multilayered method that includes the following steps:

  1. Placing protective waterproof fabric over the excavated area – this is done to protect the slab from problems caused by underground moisture. This same material also helps to prevent termite damage to the completed building.
  2. Constructing a network of post tension cable and reinforcing rebar- this is done to stabilize the foundation and to prevent cracks and other structural problems.
  3. Laying the plumbing pipes – the water and sanitation lines enter the home through the foundation.
  4. Pouring the slab itself – this is usually done all at once during a single long day. The wet concrete may be held in place by excavated trenches, wooden forms, or a combination of the two.
  5. Controlling the moisture content of the concrete while it cures – this is achieved either by using an intermittent sprinkler or by having a worker on hand with an ordinary garden hose.

Additional steps may be required to match local building codes or to conform to the homeowner’s requirements. For example, sometimes a layer of rigid insulation is added to prevent frost upheaval (rare but not unheard of here in North Texas) or to improve the structure’s energy efficiency.

Problems That Can Occur With a Slab Foundation

Sometimes a slab foundation lasts for many decades without the slightest sign of trouble. Other times, however, problems can crop up due to one or more of the following causes:

  • Inadequate preparation of the underlying soil – for a slab foundation to remain stable, the earth underneath it must be properly compacted. Sometimes this step is skipped in the rush to complete the building quickly.
  • Insufficient protection from ground moisture – caused by gaps or tears in the waterproof fabric.
  • Failure in the supporting layer of post tension cable and rebar – caused by hasty construction or the use of inferior materials.
  • Cracks or structural failure – caused by the weight of the overlying structure, changes to the earth beneath the foundation, or weather-related damage.

Fixing problems with a concrete slab foundation requires the help of a skilled contractor with the necessary equipment, training, and experience. That’s where Align Foundation Repair comes into the picture.

We provide a wide range of concrete slab foundation repair services across North Texas. We also offer a variety of financing options. Check our DFW service areas and contact us today for your free, no-obligation estimate.

6 Concrete Slab Foundation Maintenance Tips

Following the basic rules of concrete slab maintenance can help you to protect your North Texas home from costly foundation damage. Important steps include:

  • Watering your yard.
  • Promoting good drainage.
  • Using care when planting trees.
  • Installing a root barrier.
  • Having your pipes inspected once a year.
  • Making sure your property slopes away from, not towards, your home.

Let’s look at these important steps one at a time.

Dry Soil Can Hurt Your Foundation

As dirt becomes parched, it shrinks away from your home’s foundation, weakening the support it receives from the surrounding earth. Keep your yard moist in the dry summer months by using a soaker hose or lawn sprinkler system. Remember to follow state and local rules regarding water use.

Saturated Soil Can Also Damage Your Foundation

Saturated soil can hurt your foundation by applying pressure that causes it to shift or buckle. Here are two ways to avoid this problem:

  1. Keep your gutters in good shape – clean them at least twice a year and repair or replace them as necessary.
  2. Install landscaping drains – to channel rainwater away from your home’s perimeter. Underground drains are a good choice since they have little or no effect on your yard’s appearance.

Why You Should Use Care When Planting Trees

Trees add beauty and shade to your home’s exterior. But they can also sap away crucial moisture that’s essential for your foundation’s strength.

A good rule of thumb is to never plant a tree closer than 20 feet from your foundation. If in doubt, then ask the staff at the nursery center about the tree’s root size and moisture requirements. In general, small ornamental trees are less likely to cause damage.

Consider Installing a Root Barrier

A root barrier is an underground shield made of either metal or plastic. It extends approximately three feet beneath the ground and prevents roots from growing towards your foundation. Consider having a barrier installed, especially if you have trees or large bushes near your home.

Have a Plumber Inspect Your Water Lines Every Year

Leaking water lines can cause water to pool underneath your foundation, eroding its support and affecting the entire structure of your home. Ask a licensed plumber to inspect your plumbing system at least once a year, and keep an eye out for problems in the meantime.

Keep Your Property on the Right Grade

The property surrounding your home should slope away from your foundation and towards a sewer, stream, lake, or other central collection point. If it doesn’t, then you should have it recontoured as soon as possible. A grading contractor can help.

Foundation Problems? Get in Touch With Us Today

Following these concrete slab maintenance tips will go a long way towards protecting your foundation and your home. But sometimes all the precautions in the world aren’t enough to prevent damage from occurring.

If you find yourself in that situation, then call us today for a free quote on concrete slab foundation repair. We serve a wide range of Dallas-Fort Worth slab foundation repair service areas and our work is backed by a top-of-the-line lifetime transferable warranty.

Pros and Cons of Slab Foundations

Understanding slab foundation pros and cons will help you assess your options when it comes to home construction and repair. Benefits of a slab foundation include simplicity, affordability, and durability. Some of the drawbacks include vulnerability to cracks and a tendency to shift out of place, especially when the foundation is built on top of poor soil.

3 Benefits of Slab Foundations

Slab foundations are extremely common here in North Texas. Here are some of the key reasons why:

  1. Slab foundations are simple and inexpensive – this is one reason why housing is more affordable in Texas than in other parts of the country. A slab foundation can be completed in as little as four days, weather permitting. There’s no need for basement or cellar walls, which can drive up the cost of construction significantly.
  2. Slab foundations are strong – the completed home rests upon a single unit of steel-reinforced concrete, poured to a depth of 24 inches or more along the perimeter for added stability. This type of construction is highly resistant to water damage and other potential threats.
  3. Slab foundations are practical – with a slab foundation, there is little danger of mold or mildew forming underneath the house. Since the entire home is supported by concrete, the chances of a single room or section of the house losing its support are minimal. This makes slab foundations an excellent choice for long-term stability and freedom from expensive maintenance issues.

3 Potential Cons of Slab Foundations

While a slab foundation is usually a great choice here in North Texas, no type of construction is without its share of potential problems. Here are some of the concerns that can crop up over time:

  1. Cracks in the foundation itself – this risk is especially likely if the soil beneath the home has a high degree of what engineers call plasticity, or the tendency to expand and contract depending on moisture levels.
  2. Plumbing problems – concrete slabs are designed so that water pipes are built into the foundation itself. This means that damaged or leaking pipes require jackhammering through the foundation in order to complete repairs.
  3. Lack of a crawlspace – ductwork and other important components must be located inside the home’s walls or attic. Also, the absence of a crawlspace limits the homeowner’s options for storing personal belongings.

Slab Foundation Repair

If you are experiencing problems with your home’s slab foundation, we provide prompt, affordable, top-quality slab foundation repair that is backed by an industry-leading warranty. Check out our wide range of DFW slab foundation repair service locations and call Align Foundation Repair today for a free quote.

How Much Does Slab Foundation Repair Cost?

The cost of slab foundation repair will vary depending on the type of work needed. Minor jobs can cost as little as $1000, whereas extensive repairs can exceed $10,000. The best way to save money on slab foundation repair is to address the underlying problem as soon as possible. Otherwise, the damage will grow worse over time, costing you more money and possibly leading to widespread structural issues throughout your home.

Factors That Affect Concrete Slab Foundation Repair Cost

Here in North Texas, most homes are often built on a concrete slab foundation. This design is a common-sense approach to residential construction.

But concrete slabs, while durable, can suffer damage due to severe weather events, leaking pipes, or underground water flow. Usually, the problem reveals itself in one of the following ways:

  • Cracks in the slab – this is often the first sign that a foundation is in trouble. The larger the crack is, the more extensive the underlying damage is likely to be. Homeowners should never ignore foundation cracks, no matter how small they are.
  • Problems in the home itself – including doors that are hard to open or close, windows cracking for no obvious reason, and floors sloping or buckling.

Get in touch with a qualified slab foundation repair company right away if you notice any of these problems.

Common Ways to Fix a Damaged Foundation

Your slab foundation repair contractor will perform a complete inspection to determine the nature of the problem. It may recommend any or all of the following corrective measures:

  • Installing piers underneath the foundation – these are metal or concrete structures that are buried deep in the ground beneath the home. Because they’re supported by bedrock, they will give your foundation long-term support and prevent it from shifting out of place.
  • Mud jacking or slab jacking the foundation – a concrete-like substance is injected beneath the foundation. This material expands and raises the slab up to level, correcting problems caused by shifting or eroding soil.

Have More Questions? Get in Touch With Us Today

Here at Align Foundation Repair, we know that homeowners have concerns about the costs of slab foundation repair services. That’s why we strive to keep our rates affordable. It’s also why we offer financing programs. Our customer service experts will be glad to give you all the details.

Get in touch with us today for your free, no-obligation quote. We cover a wide range of DFW slab foundation repair service areas, and our work is backed by an industry-leading warranty.