A concrete slab can be an effective foundation, but there are unique issues that concrete slab foundations run into. Issues like sinking on one side, uneven floors, and concrete cracks can all be a problem when it comes to concrete slab foundations. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, you need a customized solution – helical piers and push piers may not work well on slab foundations. However, slab piers can be an effective way to make sure that your foundation stays safe for many more years.
What causes damage to the foundation? When should you have repairs completed on the foundation of your home? How can Innovative Basement Authority repair your foundation and prevent any issues in the future? Let’s explore the answers.
What Are Slab Piers?
Slab piers are a way to bolster slab foundations. If your home is built on a slab foundation and you’re seeing signs of foundation settling, you can use slab piers to combat those signs, which may cause a variety of negative consequences for your home. Instead of having to repour your slab foundation entirely, which is expensive and difficult, you can use slab piers to hold the foundation up and stabilize it.
Slab piers are essentially pillars that an expert will drill into the soil underneath your foundation. They’ll drill a hole into the slab floor, insert the pier into the hole, drill that pier as far down as necessary to provide stability, and transfer the weight of the slab onto the pier. This way, the pier can hold much of the weight of the concrete slab, which means it won’t have as many issues with sinking due to ineffective soil support.
The whole purpose of installing slab piers is to permanently stabilize and help level out the structure of the house. This also ensures that the center of the floors is even with the edges of the home’s slab. Slab piers are designed to keep the home upright, preventing any sloping or movement of the home’s foundation.
How Do Slab Piers Help?
The installation of slab piers is one of the most effective ways to repair a cracked or sunken slab foundation. These piers will reinforce the integrity of the foundation and ensure that the issue doesn’t return in the future.
Many causes of concrete slab damage are not the fault of the homeowner. By installing these slab piers deep beneath the surface, the chances of potential damage are reduced. The sooner you have your slab piers installed, the more money you will save in the long run.
- Corrects the Issue Beneath the Surface
Slab piers are placed deep under the home, rather than in the early layers of the soil. This will help stabilize the house, but also bypass issues of soil shifting or moisture affecting the earth. The soils further into the ground are more suited to bear weight than topsoil, and this may even be the reason that you’re experiencing concerns overall. The more compacted and denser the earth is, the less likely it is that concrete used for the foundation will crack.
It’s also important that you utilize slab piers that won’t end up with problems over time. The slab piers used by Innovative Basement Authority are galvanized steel, so they will resist more damage, pressure, and wear and tear over the years. That’s far better than the concrete piers that are sometimes used by the original builders.
- Realigns the Concrete Slabs
Slab piers will permanently stabilize and can help realign the concrete slabs that are used in the foundation of the home. By realigning these slabs, you will eliminate the unevenness of the flooring. That’s extremely beneficial not only for the flooring but also for the entirety of the home’s structure, which can end up with problems due to uneven flooring.
The floor’s center is usually where the sinking will occur. A pier system will lift the concrete slabs, level the floor from the edges into the center, and remove uneven spots. Uneven floors are a tripping hazard, especially for the elderly and younger children. As such, lifting the slab will ensure their safety. It will also eliminate the possibility of furniture toppling because of an uneven surface.
Slab Piers vs. Other Solution Options
Slab piers are just one of the solutions that you may be able to utilize for your sinking foundation problems. Many homeowners wonder whether slab piers are the right solution for them, and if so, why that might be the case. Here are three things to keep in mind about why an expert may suggest slab piers over other foundation solutions.
- Your Foundation Type
Probably the most important thing to consider is what type of foundation you have. Slab piers are made for slab foundations — foundations that are made up of a single poured concrete slab. If you have a different type of foundation, like a wood foundation, or a concrete foundation that isn’t a single slab, you’re likely going to need a different type of foundation solution.
If you don’t know what type of foundation you have, don’t worry. Many people don’t know much about what’s under their home, much less the exact manufacturing process that brought about their foundation. If you’re having any sort of foundation problems, you can contact Innovative Basement Authority, who can come in and do an assessment. They’ll be able to see what’s going on and recommend some of the best solutions for you.
- The Actual Problem
The problem you’re actually struggling with will be another important thing to think about. Slab piers typically work best when your problem has to do with the soil underneath your foundation. If you’re experiencing sinking, sagging, and tilting of your foundation floor, it’s probably because the soil isn’t providing your foundation with the support it needs. In these scenarios, an expert will likely rely on slab piers to help with the issue.
However, if your problem isn’t related to the foundation soil, chances are that slab piers aren’t really going to help. For example, if you’re having bowing and tilting issues with your walls, boosting the foundation floor isn’t going to help; you’ll need something like wall anchors, which can help pull the walls back to their original position. Again, talking to an Innovative Basement Authority expert can help significantly, as they can look at the actual problems you’re experiencing.
- The Soil Makeup Under Your Home
Slab piers work because they’re able to push down underneath your home to a more stable layer of soil. The idea is that if your foundation floor is having problems, it’s likely that it’s because the soil underneath the foundation just isn’t working very well at holding the weight of the foundation as a whole. If you can shift the weight of the foundation to a more stable soil strata, you may be able to save the foundation from future concerns.
The problem that may arise here is that it’s not always easy to drill down to a more stable soil strata. Bedrock may be hundreds of feet below your foundation, depending on your location, and that means you might not be able to easily switch how your foundation’s weight settles. Although it’s often possible to utilize slab piers or a similar pier structure even if bedrock rests extremely far below the surface, the expert that you contact may have to adapt the process of adding slab piers for these situations. Make sure that you’re trusting an experienced expert like those at Innovative Basement Authority for the best results in these situations.
Slab Pier Installation
The slab pier system is a concrete slab repair solution that works in much the same way as other foundation piers. By transferring the weight of the slab onto load-bearing soil, this system can lift concrete slabs and restore their stability with minimal excavation and disruption to your property. If you book repairs after a consultation appointment with Innovative Basement Authority, much of the preparation for slab pier installation will be complete. If this hasn’t happened yet, a professional will need to map out the pier locations. Once this has been done, the installation looks like this:
- Auguring Holes in the Floor
At the beginning of each slab pier installation, a hole is cored through your concrete slab floor. This hole will create an access point for the slab piers that are about to be installed.
- Positioning Brackets
Our team will then position slab brackets underneath the concrete slab to give the pier something to brace against and lift. The Slab Pier System uses a three-piece bracket that is assembled under the slab, this allows for a smaller hole to be cored in the slab itself.
- Installing Steel Tubes
The steel tubes which are driven hydraulically through the bracket into load-bearing soils are the real strength of this system. Galvanized to prevent corrosion, these are durable, water-resistant, and effective supports for your concrete flooring.
- Weight Transferal
Once the piers are in place, the weight of the slab will be transferred onto them and, through them, to competent soil below the frost line. This will not only help raise the slab back to its original level, but it will prevent future sinking.
- Grout Filling
Once your slab has been lifted and secured, our team will carefully pump grout filler into the voids between the concrete and the earth. This provides additional support and prevents moisture from gathering in these spaces.
- Clean Up
The Innovative Basement Authority team is well-trained and passionate about providing exceptional customer service. We guarantee that you will not have to clean up after our team; they will repair all cored holes and remove all debris generated during installation. This means that once your slab pier system has been installed, your property will be left looking better than it did before we entered it.
A home foundation may crack or sink for a wide variety of reasons. These reasons can come from both inside and outside your home, which is why it’s so important to have a professional take a look at your home’s foundation. Here are a few of the things you might want to think about when you’re trying to prevent cracking and sinking in your home’s foundation.
- Issues With the Concrete
The first main category of problems regards all issues with your home’s concrete. This can arise due to issues with the initial pouring of the concrete or due to issues with the concrete over time. Additionally, even if the problem has to do with the concrete itself, it may not be because the initial construction crew did poor work, but instead because there were issues with the design.
Common problems with the concrete itself include concrete slabs that are too thick or not thick enough, a low-quality concrete mix, and small cracks in the concrete that get larger over time. First, the concrete needs to have the appropriate design and mixture. Then, an expert needs to pour the concrete appropriately. Both things need to be true to avoid concrete problems overall.
- Issues With the Soil
The other category of problems has to do with problems regarding the soil underneath the concrete. These problems may arise because the initial construction crew didn’t handle the preparation stage effectively, because your home doesn’t sit on the best soil for a concrete slab, or even because problems with the weather are creating issues with your soil.
For example, you may run into problems if the construction crew didn’t compact the soil appropriately. You can also have problems with heavy rainfall, as it can cause the soil underneath the concrete to expand and push up against the concrete. Excess water in the soil can also push on the soil with immense amounts of hydrostatic pressure, equally creating serious concrete problems.
A sinking foundation can be harmful to the overall structure of a home, no matter where it’s found. The good news is, there are times when slab piers can correct this issue, so long as you catch it in time.
- General Floor Problems
If you see that the floor is uneven, especially towards its center, there may be some sinking of the home’s foundation. This can be spotted by furniture not sitting flat on the floor, like a rocking chair or table. It can also be identified by placing a ball at the edge of the floor; if it rolls towards the room’s center, the floor is not level. When a floor is uneven, it causes a potential hazard to members living in the home, such as tripping. If the floor in your home is inconsistent, reach out to Innovative Basement Authority for an immediate resolution.
Another sign that the home may require slab piers is cracked floor tiles. As the home’s foundation begins to sink into the underlying soil, this will put pressure on your floor as it’s forced to support its weight without reinforcement. The pressure that the sinking floor applies may crack the tiles, in some cases, even breaking them completely. A cracked floor tile will allow moisture to penetrate the concrete slabs beneath the surface. This could encourage mold and mildew to grow. If the water gets into the soil beneath the home’s foundation, this will shift the concrete slabs and cause significant issues for the homeowner.
- Cracked and Shifting Foundation
When the foundation of your home cracks, you need to act fast. Unlike a minor crack in the floor, this can be a full-scale problem, leading to more damage throughout your home. It can also destroy any waterproofing measures, lead to instability in your walls, and let in pests or mold. If left unrepaired, a cracked foundation can lead to extensive damage that will cost a large amount of money to repair. If you see a crack on the floor in one of your rooms, it may be time to have a foundation expert check out your home. Slab piers, if necessary, can be installed to stabilize and restore the foundation.
If the soil shifts due to moisture, it can cause a change in the home’s foundation. This foundation shift can cause the sloping of floors in your house, which is incredibly unsafe. If the home begins to slope and this is not repaired, more damage will spread throughout the structure. This could result in very costly repairs being needed and more expensive corrections in the future. Slab piers can help you avoid this costly correction process.
If you’re thinking about a DIY approach, it’s best to call in an expert. Innovative Basement Authority can repair the foundations of the homes in the North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern Montana area. Here’s why an expert is the best option for your foundation repairs.
- Possible Issues with DIY Slab Pier Installations
Many people consider DIY slab pier installations because they’ve done other DIY projects that have turned out well. However, even if you’re the best DIYer out there, slab pier installation is extremely difficult and requires lots of specialized equipment. Ensuring the appropriate usage of this specialized equipment, will help save you more work in the future. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up with slab pier issues that stretch far into the future.
If a slab pier is improperly installed, this can result in a sunken foundation which will require a complete replacement to correct. It’s more effective, more useful, and less expensive to just go to a professional to complete your slab pier installation the first time, as a slab pier installation is a complicated project that not even every expert can do by themselves.
- A Team of Trained Professionals Does the Install
All our slab pier installers are expertly trained to ensure we do the best job every time. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and you know this by the fact we back it with a warranty. We are experts at installing the piers. We know how to realign the floors, permanently stabilize the slabs without the need for maintenance, and help clean up any water damage that the home may have endured during the issue.
You can’t beat experience, and with many years in the business, we have plenty. We are experts in your home’s foundation and will always give you the best advice and carry out the repairs to your satisfaction. If you’re worried about your home’s foundation, you should definitely contact Innovative Basement Authorities. Even if slab piers aren’t the right option for your home specifically, you can still trust Innovative Basement Authoritiy to assess the problem and suggest a solution that will work perfectly for your home.
Innovative Basement Authority Is Best for All Your Foundation Repairs
Innovative Basement Authority is not like every other company out there. Slab pier installation needs to be done correctly if the issues are corrected completely. We take the time to get it done right the first time, and because our installers are experts, we get it done with minimal disruption to you, your family, and your home. We use the best method to install the slab piers, so you can be confident these repairs will be the last ones you need. We will provide you with a free inspection and estimate to ensure we are on the same page before any work can begin. We’re then available for consultation afterward, should you have any questions following our inspection. Our job is never over until the customer is completely satisfied. Reach out today to see how we can ensure your home is safer, stronger, and ready for the future.