Foundation Heaving: Causes, Signs, And Repairs For Slab Foundations

Posted on

If you're like most homeowners, you're already aware that the overall stability of your home rests on the strength of its foundation. It's essential to stay informed about potential issues that threaten the foundation. One such issue is foundation heaving, a phenomenon typically seen in slab foundations. Foundation heaving is the upward movement of a slab foundation caused by soil expansion beneath the structure. It can lead to significant damage to your property and requires timely attention. If you've got a slab foundation, here's what you need to know about foundation heaving: 

The Root Cause of Foundation Heaving

The primary cause of foundation heaving is soil expansion. This expansion often results from an increase in moisture content. This  can occur due to heavy rainfall, flooding, or even plumbing leaks under the foundation. Certain types of soil, like clay, are particularly susceptible to absorbing water and expanding. When the soil expands, it can exert considerable pressure on your home's foundation, leading to upward movement or heaving.

Deciphering the Signs of Foundation Heaving

Monitoring your home regularly for the signs of foundation heaving can help prevent severe damage. Typical signs include cracks in the walls, especially those that run diagonally or have a stair-step pattern. You might also notice doors and windows that stick or do not close properly. In more severe cases, you may even observe a noticeable upward bulge in the floor. It's important to act swiftly if you notice these signs, as the damage can become more extensive over time.

Addressing Foundation Heaving

Once you've identified the problem, your next step is to seek professional help from a foundation repair contractor. They will conduct a thorough assessment of the situation. The repair method will depend on the extent of the heaving and the specific conditions of your property.

One common repair method involves installing a moisture barrier around the foundation to control the soil's moisture content. In more severe cases, underpinning methods may be used to provide additional support to the foundation. For example, piers or pilings may be driven into the ground beneath the foundation to transfer your home's weight to more stable soil.

After the repairs, it's vital to take steps to prevent future heaving. This includes implementing erosion control, French drain installation, fixing plumbing leaks, or modifying your landscaping. 

Find out more about foundation repair services for your property from a trusted contractor in your area today.