Causes and Repair Solutions For Cracked, Sinking Concrete Floors
Your concrete slab floor repair is needed due to signs of sinking, sagging, or settling. Your floor may be cracking, or the walls may be separating from the floor below or ceiling above.
- Cracks in the concrete floor
- Floors dropping and separating from the walls, forming a gap between the floor and wall.
- Interior walls separating from the ceiling, forming a gap between the wall and ceiling.
- Walls pulling away from adjacent walls
- Interior wall cracks, commonly off the corners of interior doors.
Two options for repairing sinking concrete slabs:
- Install a slab pier system that connects the slab to stable soil or bedrock. Once installed, the system makes it possible to re-level settled slab sections.
- Raise settled concrete using PolyRenewal® expanding foam. Injecting this high-density foam beneath the slab will fill voids and consolidate weak soil while also raising settled slabs back to their original position. Learn more about concrete leveling and what makes PolyRenewal® an effective concrete repair solution.
Before and After: PolyRenewal® and Concrete Slab Floor Repair
We can fix your cracked slab floors once and for all! Call us for a free floor slab repair quote today!
We serve Indianapolis, Bloomington, and surrounding areas in Indiana.
Concrete Slab Floor Repair: Signs Of Settlement
When a floor slab settles, the damage can manifest itself in many ways. Along with cracks in the concrete, the floors can separate from the walls as they sink downwards. Alternatively, the interior wall may be pulled down with the floor, instead of separating from the ceiling. Walls can also pull away from other walls and interior wall cracks can form — commonly off the corners of interior doors.
When a concrete floor settles, it can mean serious damage to your home. The causes of floor slab settlement are almost always due to the soils underneath being unable to support the weight of the concrete. They often accompany other foundation problems in your home.
Concrete Slab Floor Repair: What Causes Settlement?
The three most common causes of settling concrete floor slabs are as follows:
HVAC (Heating, Venting, and Air Conditioning) systems may be installed beneath the floor slab. Over time, the ductwork can leak air, which can dry out the soil.
As the soil dries and shrinks, gaps form under the floor slab, creating voids. The soil no longer supports the floor slab because the floor begins to crack and sink into the voids.
This is usually caused by plumbing leaks. If the plumbing leak is severe and there is a path for the water to flow through, it can wash soil out from under the slab.
With a void underneath the floor, there’s nothing supporting the concrete slab anymore. In time, it begins to crack and sink downwards.
During construction of a new home, layers of soil are commonly moved around or spread out to get to the desired grade level. When the home is built, footings may be deepened to extend below weak fill soils and avoid a foundation settlement issue.
The slab, however, remains on the fill soils. If the fill was poorly compacted, the fill soil compresses, settles, and a void is formed under the slab. In time, the slab cracks, breaks, and settles into the void.
Fortunately, there are fast, effective ways to address concrete slab floor settlement issues. If you would like a free foundation slab stabilization quote for your problem, contact us today!
Installing The Slab Pier System
Slab Pier System’s stabilize the concrete floor slab in your home. It provides the best opportunity to relevel the floor and lift non-load bearing partition walls that may have settled along with the slab. To install our system, our contractor will take these six steps:
Preparing for Concrete Slab Floor Repair Installation
Before the installation day, a representative from our company will have already inspected your foundation issue. At that time, a foundation repair proposal was put in writing.
Your foundation repair experts will use that proposal to map out the locations where the slab piers will be installed. At the beginning of each slab pier installation, a small 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.
Concrete Slab Floor Repair: Position Slab Bracket
To give the slab pier something to “lift,” a slab bracket is positioned beneath the concrete slab.
The Slab Pier System uses a three-piece slab bracket that’s assembled underneath your concrete floor, allowing for a much smaller hole to be cored in your concrete slab. Additionally, this larger bracket reaches across more area along your floor, creating a more even distribution of weight.
Concrete Slab Floor Repair: Install Steel Tubes
Steel tubes are hydraulically driven down through the bracket to the competent soils beneath.
These steel tubes are the real strength of the foundation pier system — and are responsible for transferring the home weight to strong supporting soils. To prevent corrosion, we have slab piers available that are designed using galvanized steel. This ensures the quality and long-lasting strength of your slab pier system.
Concrete Slab Floor Repair: Transfer Weight To Soil
The weight of the concrete slab is transferred through the piers to the load-bearing strata underneath your home.
As the system lifts your concrete slab floor upwards, the sinking movement of your floor will be permanently halted. Often, it will also be possible to lift the concrete slab back to a level position.
Concrete Slab Floor Repair: Inject Grout Fill
Once the concrete slab has been lifted, a void will be present underneath the removed floor.
Additionally, if your floor had been sinking because of compacted soil or washout, a gap existed even before the installation. To address this, we carefully pump grout under the slab to fill in all empty spaces.
Concrete Slab Floor Repair Cleanup
At Indiana Foundation Service, we take pride in leaving your home looking clean and neat. Once the installation is completed, we repair all cored holes with concrete, making your final installation virtually invisible.
Any debris generated during the installation is cleaned up and removed by us. Once we’re done, you can rest easy knowing that you have a 25-year warranty on manufacturer’s defects, as well as a performance warranty from us.
What NOT To Do
As with most home repairs, some work all of the time, some work some of the time, and some don’t work at all. Here are two “fixes” that we at Indiana Foundation Service do NOT recommend:
Concrete Slab Replacement:
To perform a job like this, all home furnishings, all floor coverings, and interior walls within the building must be removed. Once this is done, a crew jackhammers the existing floor into small pieces and removes them by hand.
Next, a new floor is poured to replace the one removed. The homeowner should allow at least two weeks for the slab to cure sufficiently.
After the curing is complete, the interior partition walls may now be rebuilt, floor coverings may be reinstalled, and home furnishings may be returned.
While this situation is disruptive and expensive, the real problem here is the issue that caused the problem in the first place has not been addressed.
Without addressing the soil problems that originally lead to the cracks in your concrete floor, your new floor may “break” over time too!
Releveling Grout On Top Of The Slab:
To begin this process, all floor coverings that were placed on the slab must be removed. The floor is then prepared so that grout will be able to bond with the slab surface.
A self-leveling grout is poured along the slab surface, where it begins to fill in the low portion of the floor and create a level surface. After the grout is allowed to cure for several days, the floor coverings can be replaced.
However, if the floor wasn’t prepared properly, the grout may not bond well to the concrete surface of the original floor slab. Over time, this may lead to large chunks of the new floor breaking off.
Additionally, the grout will add weight to the slab, potentially making the situation worse by causing further settlement.
Just like the last two options, the real problem of soil settlement is not addressed!
Looking For Concrete Slab Floor Repair Contractors In IN?
At Indiana Foundation Service, we provide proven solutions for concrete slab floor leveling — as well as other foundation repair solutions — to homeowners throughout Indiana. We provide each of our customers with a free, no obligation slab repair quote, in writing before any work is done. To schedule your appointment, call or e-mail us today!
Our service provides concrete slab floor repair in Indianapolis, Bloomington, and nearby areas such as Muncie, Lafayette, Terre Haute, Kokomo, Carmel, Anderson.