Why Are You Dealing With a Crack in a Slab Foundation?

Many homeowners wonder why they’re seeing a crack in their slab foundation. What could cause the cracks they’re seeing, especially when these cracks become wide enough that they’re causing genuine concern?

There are many reasons you may need concrete slab foundation repair. Here are the most prominent of those reasons.

Concrete Shrinkage

Concrete inherently shrinks. As it shrinks, it’s going to start cracking across the surface because of the uneven way in which it shrinks. However, these shrinkage cracks actually aren’t typically a big deal. If you’re seeing them within about the first six months of the house’s life, they’re likely not really a problem.

The problem arises if the home is older than six months and they suddenly start to show up. At this point, it’s likely that the concrete has completely cured. These cracks that look like they’re due to shrinkage may actually be due to something completely different and could indicate a foundation issue.

House Settling 

As with concrete shrinkage, this often happens to many homes. However, very small amounts of house settling can be normal and not indicative of a problem. These cracks can become a problem if the home starts to sink too rapidly, sinks too much, or settles unevenly.

House settling typically shows up in more than just your foundation concrete slab. You may start to see these cracks also outside of your home, whether on your steps or in the brick structures. Additional support can help avoid continuous house settling, so it’s important to contact a JES expert as early as possible to install that support.

Expansive and Consolidating Soil 

These are two terms that describe the way in which the soil absorbs water and dries. Expansive soil soaks up more water than other types of soil, and consolidating soil shrinks more when it dries than other types of soil. If your home sits on a type of soil that’s expansive, consolidating or both, you may start to deal with foundation issues earlier than other people.

The dramatic movement of expansive and consolidating soil is a significant contributing factor to the way your home settles. A mix of hydrostatic pressure from expansive soil and significant gaps from consolidating soil can make your foundation less stable and crack the foundation slab.

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