As a homeowner, it always comes in handy to know different issues in different parts of your home and how each of these issues can be repaired. One common issue homeowners face with slab foundations is the slab foundation cracks. A crack in a slab foundation can emerge due to many reasons. However, knowing how to repair the problems can save considerable sums and protect the home long-term.
Types of Cracks in Concrete Slabs
Before determining how to repair slab foundation cracks, let us discuss the different types of cracks that may emerge from time to time.
- Plastic Shrinkage Concrete Cracks: Here, the concrete that is in the plastic state or still needs to harden can have cracks in it. Remember, the concrete hardens as the water evaporates. Therefore, these cracks can emerge as voids in due time. Another issue here is detection. Plastic shrinkage concrete cracks are very hard to determine in advance.
- Expansion Concrete Cracks: Heat causes concrete to expand from time to time. However, the there are serious fluctuations in the temperature, the concrete surface can face a serious crack. The crack may even cause the separation of the surface into two different surfaces over time.
- Heaving Concrete Cracks: Here, the freezing of the ground can cause issues for the concrete to settle back into space. The larger tree root can dive in, causing the crack to expand considerably.
- Settling Concrete Cracks: If the ground below the concrete slab has a void, it may lead to a crack over time. It is best to check the concrete placement in advance to avoid such cracks from emerging.
- Overloading Cracks: Concrete has limits when it comes to weight. It can balance on the top. If you are placing excessive weight on the concrete slabs, it may cause the underneath surface to crack immediately.
- Premature Drying Crack: Crazing and Crusting cracks can happen due to premature concrete drying in the slab foundation. The crazing cracks are fine cracks that may look like a spider web on the ground. On the other hand, crusting cracks are caused due to problems in the stamping process. They may add texture to the surface as well.
A major type that is often ignored is the hairline cracks in the concrete foundation for the slabs. Here, as the concrete cures, it faces stability problems leading to the crack. However, these cracks do not cause any form of leakage problems. Hairline cracks are most apparent on slab walls than on the slab floor.
Methods to Solve Slab Foundation Cracks
Many repair methods can prove effective in solving slab foundation cracks.
- Foam Jacking: Foam made from Polyurethane is jacked to repair the cracks that may appear in the foundation that is still settling. Here, the foam is placed in the area with the crack in a checkerboard pattern. The method is cheaper can be applied without professional help at home.
- Patches and Sealants: Here, the cracks in the foundation caused by shrinkage can be corrected. The main focus is to use hydraulic cement to apply the sealant and the patches on the surface.
- Epoxy Resin: Hydraulic cement sealant is used to cure the more severe foundation cracking. Epoxy is usable in severe cases with the injectable form of correction.
- Mud jacking: In some cases, the foundation starts to shrink considerably over time. Here, the main focus is to provide support to prevent the shrinkage further. Therefore, the best solution is to apply mud and slab jacking techniques to support the foundation.
- Piling: Piling and piers can help repair the foundations. These methods use more invasive techniques but are great at providing long-term solutions. However, Piling is best done by trained professionals instead of DIYing the process. It involves using modern equipment and careful application to avoid any serious issues.
- Steel Piers: Permanent foundation repair is performed using steel piers. These piers can help support the ground of the foundation. It is important to drive them down to the bedrock using heavy machinery to don’t give up in the short term.
Other solutions may use the Helical Piers method or the Spot Piers methods. Both these methods can help in the long term. However, their application may require heavy-duty machinery and equipment, which trained specialists and contractors best perform.
Ensuring that the underlying reason for the slab foundation cracks is solved is extremely important to mediate the problem in the long term.