Foundation upheaval can lift an entire structure, but more often it forces parts of a foundation or slab upwards, while other sections remain stationary.
Either way, the damage that results will require the expertise of a foundation repair specialist
Cracks in the walls and floors of your home are the result of your foundation or slab floor moving upwards.
How to Fix It:
Solutions for a shifting foundation or slab floor can range from simply repairing a plumbing leak under your foundation to an extensive demolishing and then reconstructing damaged sections of foundation walls or concrete slabs.
It's important to contact a foundation contractor because they will be able to evaluate foundation heaving problems and suggest suitable solutions for your home.
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We serve Richmond, Lexington, Georgetown, and many nearby areas in Kentucky.
The upward movement of a slab or foundation caused by underlying soils that expand or swell is called foundation upheaval. When there is an increase in moisture or freezing temperatures in your area, it is common for a slab or foundation to experience this kind of damage.
Heave is more common with slabs than foundations, though, because slabs have less weight to resist heaving forces. This usually occurs within the first few years of a building's construction, unless there is a long period of drought.
Slab and foundation heave is most commonly caused by these four forces:
Clay-rich soil expands a considerable amount when it gets wet. If your home is built on this type of soil, it is more susceptible to heaving forces.
During the excavation for a foundation, the soil around and under a home is given a chance to dry out and shrink, as shown in the photo on the right. Once the house is built, the clay-rich soil will get soaked during wet spells, expand greatly, and cause heaving problems. This will also damage the foundation walls.
Wet soil can expand by at least 9% in volume when it freezes. This can result in serious pressure on your slab or foundation causing shifting and cracks throughout.
As the temperature decreases the amount of soil that freezes increases. If a home was built during the colder months, their foundation was usually not built below the "frost" or freezing line. Because of this, frost forces can easily lift a foundation upwards dramatically. This lifting of several inches or more could lead to serious frost heaving damage that needs to be addressed very quickly by a specialized repair contractor.
Moisture from leaking plumbing lines can cause the soils underneath the foundation to expand, which will then cause them to push up on the structure above. This moisture can come from waste lines, supply lines, or even your home's HVAC systems. These problems can deposit moisture underneath the concrete slab or foundation causing serious heaving issues.
When there is too much precipitation combined with too little drainage away from the house, this could lead to increased moisture underneath your foundation. Precipitation can also lead to bowing, buckling walls because of expanding soils on the sides of your foundation.
These scenarios can be kept at bay with an informative consultation from the experts at The Basement Doctor of Central Kentucky. We can fix heaving of your foundation and slabs that result from prolonged or heavy precipitation.
Cracks on floor slabs that are caused by foundation heave are unique in their appearance.
You will see multiple cracks that come together to a point or form an enclosed loop where the heave is greatest.
Some contractors have not been fully educated on the signs of heave and can easily misread the cracks in your home and suggest a wrong solution. The most important thing is to identify the problem correctly - heaving.
If this is the problem with your foundation or concrete slab, the symptoms may look similar to foundation settlement. An inexperienced contractor may see that the exterior walls are going down but, in reality, it's the basement slab that is being pushed up near the center of the house.
To apply the right solution to a foundation problem, make sure you're getting the right diagnosis.
More about sinking concrete slab floors.
Repairing Heave Damage
It all starts with an experienced foundation repair specialist. They will inspect your foundation issue and identify what is causing your problem. Once the problem is identified, a customized solution can be proposed to repair the damage and address the cause of the issue.
At The Basement Doctor of Central Kentucky, we have the tools and training available to fix foundations and slabs that are experiencing problems with upheaval.
We offer foundation and slab heave repair quotes to all within our Kentucky service area. If you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment with one of our foundation specialists, call or e-mail us today!
We proudly serve Georgetown, Richmond, Lexington, surrounding areas such as Nicholasville, Frankfort, Danville, Shelbyville, Berea, Middlesboro, Somerset, and nearby.
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