How Do Concrete Slab Cracks Cause Foundation Damage?

November 11, 2021 Baird Foundation Repair

Concrete slabs are crucial to modern day architecture. Not only provide do they provide foundation for many homes and buildings, but they also give them structural support and affect the design. They’re also very common across the United States. In fact, according to the National Association of Home Builders, new homes built on slabs increased from 46% in 2000 to 63% in 2019. 

However, over time, these concrete slabs can develop cracks, which can be dangerous and require foundation repair. We at Baird Foundation Repair have put together a list to help you learn more about the most common causes of concrete slab cracks and how they can damage the foundation of your business or home.

What Causes Concrete Slab Cracks?

Soil Movement

The soil beneath any building should be able to drain water efficiently and dry quickly. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Depending on where you live, soil can be unstable and cause slab cracks over time. If you live in areas with soils that tend to absorb and expand, such as those with more clay content, you’ll find that there’s more movement between the soil and foundation. The reason for this is because absorbent and expansive soils swell up when they gain moisture and shrink when they lose it.

In fact, in areas with high clay content some foundations will shift up and down as much as an inch or two inches, resulting in slab cracks.

If you don’t know what kind of soil you have beneath your concrete slabs, you won’t know its characteristics and if it’s a cause for concern. A soil engineer within your area will be able to check with your state’s licensing board and give you this information.

Leaks Caused by Foundation Slab Cracks

Beneath most homes and buildings is a running plumbing system that at times can leak or even burst. When this happens, you’ll notice it through either a higher water bill, waterlogged floorboards, or worse — foundation cracks.

The water that’s released through your plumbing pipes is absorbed by surrounding soil, which can then shift or expand. In turn, the slab foundation sitting above the pipes can crack and affect the structural integrity of your business or home.

If you suspect you might be having a concrete slab leak, don’t put it off. Slab leak problems develop over time, but they can be difficult and costly to repair. Contact Baird Foundation Repair to assess possible foundation damage.  

Poor Drainage

When a concrete slab is poured for a property, drainage pipes are often embedded into the concrete. Unfortunately, sometimes this is done hastily and water that collects beneath or around your home can result in concrete slab cracks over time. Not only that, but a poor draining system can affect other aspects to a structure such as its piers, beams, or joists. 

Signs of poor drainage include a gushing gutter, water stains, or of course, cracks in your foundation. If you notice these issues, make sure to contact a professional to help you diagnose the severity of the problem. 

If you think your home or business might be experiencing concrete slab cracks or other foundational issues, contact Baird Foundation Repair right away. We will be happy to assess the location and create a plan of action with the least amount of damage to your business or home!

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