What is a slab on grade foundation?
A slab on grade foundation is a common type of foundation used in areas with expansive soil, like Central Texas. Slab on grade foundations are inexpensive and generally perform well in areas where frost is not an issue. However, expansive soils can cause slab foundations to shift and adversely affect the structure they built to support. If you are experience slab foundation problems, call us today for a free foundation repair assessment.
Why do engineers choose slab foundations?
Slab foundations are considered to be inexpensive and sturdy. For this reason engineers around the Austin and San Antonio area choose slab foundations to minimize costs and maximize stability. When designed and poured correctly, slab foundations are extremely reliable.
How are slab on grade foundations made?
This type of foundation is created from a mold which is formed in the ground where the foundation is to be poured. The mold has a deeper ridge around the perimeter in order to form a footing or grade beam. This area is reinforced with steel, forming the grade beam. Grade beams are also formed throughout the interior portion of the slab, typically in a grid pattern spaced 10’-15’ apart.
What causes slab foundations to fail?
Expansive Soils - Soils with high clay content, or expansive soils, swell with moisture then shrink when dry. This means a house’s foundation rises and falls depending on the amount of moisture in the soil.
Inadequate Drainage - Homes and businesses affected by inadequate drainage are those that were not constructed on an elevation that drains water away from the building and buildings that lack proper gutters and downspouts.
Plumbing Leaks - Water leaks from showers, sinks, bathtubs, and toilets can occur under the slab or pier and beam foundation. Leaks may be invisible while causing serious foundation problems much the same as the problems caused by inadequate drainage.
Poor Construction - The foundation may be too thin, lack sufficient support, reinforcing metal framework may be inadequate, or concrete may not have been properly cured. All of which contribute to an unstable foundation.