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
Your foundation or slab floor is moving upwards, leading to cracks in the walls and floors of your home.
It isn’t always a clear diagnosis when it comes to expansive soils, which means the solution may not always be correct! Unfortunately, symptoms for slab heave and settlement can resemble each other, which is a very concerning misdiagnosis. The solutions are different for these two issues, and we know that it is critical to fix the problem right the first time. In fact, providing the underpinning solution typical to resolving a settlement issue is counterproductive to an expansive clay soil issue or heave. Applying the wrong solution stresses the structure and causes even more damage.
Although we see at least 80% of homes with some form of heave from expansive soils, there is some good news! Arizona Foundation Solutions can help you avoid costly foundation repairs associated with expansive soil and the misdiagnosis that is far too common! We can install a moisture management system to help regulate the moisture level of the soil beneath your foundation.
We solve foundation heave problems! Call us for a free slab or foundation upheaval repair quote today!
We serve Scottsdale, Mesa, Phoenix, Glendale, and many nearby areas in Arizona.
Heave is the upward movement of a foundation or slab caused by underlying soils that expand or swell. This occurs due to an increase in moisture or by freezing forces. Heave is more common with slabs than foundations because slabs have less weight to resist heaving forces. Unless there is a long period of drought, heave most commonly occurs within the first few years of the building's construction.
Slab and foundation heave is most commonly caused by these three forces:
A house built on soils with high clay content will be susceptible to heaving forces because clay-rich soil expands significantly when it gets wet.
The excavation for a foundation often gives the soil around and under a house a chance to dry out and shrink, as shown in the photo at right. After the house is built, clay-rich soil that gets soaked during wet spells can cause heaving problems, while also damaging foundation walls.
Leaks or breaks in plumbing lines that run underneath a concrete slab or through a foundation wall can deposit moisture underneath the foundation and slab. This moisture can be from supply lines, waste lines, or even your home's HVAC system.
Over time, this moisture can cause the soils underneath the foundation to expand, which will then cause them to push up on the structure above.
Too much precipitation combined with too little drainage away from the house will lead to increased moisture underneath your foundation. Moisture that comes into contact with expansive soil can result in heaving of your foundation and slabs.
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.
Before doing any repairs to your foundation, it's important to identify the problem as heaving.
Some contractors who have not been fully educated on the signs of heave can easily misread the cracks in your home and suggest the wrong solution.
The problem? While heave is the opposite of foundation settlement, the symptoms are often similar. To an untrained eye, it may appear that the exterior walls are going down — when what's really happening is that the basement slab 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
Start by having an experienced foundation repair specialist 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 Arizona Foundation Solutions, we have the tools and training available to fix foundations and slabs that are experiencing problems with upheaval.
We developed the MoistureLevel Smart Foundation System to alleviate expansive soil problems beneath concrete slab foundations. This foundation repair technique borrows from reliable radon mitigation technology, using a fan and plastic pipe to create air movement and suction on the under-slab soil. Introducing outside air to the damp soil causes evaporation to take place, making it possible to reduce soil moisture content and (as a result) damaging soil expansion.
We offer free foundation and slab heave repair inspections to all within our Arizona 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 Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa, Phoenix, surrounding areas such as Chandler, Sedona, Payson, Flagstaff, Prescott, Peoria, Show Low, Cottonwood and nearby.