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4 Misconceptions about Foundation Repair

1. The foundation is NOT the problem.

In most cases, the soil underneath the slab is the problem. I would tell customers, “You don’t have a foundation problem.” And as they would sigh in relief, I would continue, “You have a soil problem.” As confusion set in, I would explain how foundations don’t move unless the soil beneath it does.

2. Water is THE variable.

A slab foundation simply follows the movement of the soil. The soil only moves when it is hydrating or desiccating. Simply put, when soil gets wet it expands, and as it dries out it shrinks or compacts. Obviously, it is impractical to isolate your house from rain, so even hydration of the soil is the key. So, water is the variable that makes the soil dynamic, nothing else.

3. Voids are NOT a problem.

Many customers would ask if we fill the voids under the slab once the foundation is lifted. Like pier & beam construction, the load is on the beams. Concrete slabs typically (and should) have a thick beam around the exterior and in a grid pattern through the interior. The weight of the house rests primarily on these beams.

4. Cracks do not tell you WHERE the problem is.

Homes with foundation movement will manifest cracks. Sometimes the cracks are small and sometimes they are very pronounced. A crack in a foundation is a hinge. In other words, a relief point for movement in the slab. Typically, the issue is not where the crack is, yet movement somewhere else on the house has caused it.

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  • Tyler Meredith
    January 6, 2017, 1:20 am REPLY

    It’s interesting that in most cases, foundation problems are caused by the soil under the structure rather than the structure itself. It makes sense that this could cause problems like a sinking house, etc. I’ll have to look into having a professional come out to see what they can do to make rue the house is still livable and safe.

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