Expansive soil can cause the foundation of your home to crack, and when wet soil beneath a slab pushes the center portion of the slab upwards, slab edges often appear to look like they are moving down. Raising the slab edges is the wrong repair. Instead, moisture can be removed from the soil, allowing for soil shrinkage and a flat, stable base for the slab.
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.
Call us today to schedule a free foundation inspection and to learn whether our MoistureLevel Smart Foundation System can help solve your foundation problems. We provide written estimates in Mesa, Phoenix, Glendale and nearby Arizona.
Two benefits from one system. Installing an under-slab air extraction system can lower radon gas concentration and solve slab upheaval problems.
In many parts of the country (including Arizona), clay-rich soils damage buildings by expanding and shrinking as soil moisture changes. This is known as expansive soil. Unlike permeable soil components (sand, gravel, loam), clay minerals will absorb water molecules and expand in wet conditions.
Lab tests have demonstrated that expanding clay soil can exert an uplift pressure of over 5000lbs. per sq. ft. That’s more than enough pressure to lift a concrete slab foundation.
It’s easy to misdiagnose foundation uplift problems because the edges of a slab appear to be pushed downward as the center of the slab is pushed up (as shown in the drawing above). The soil around your foundation can dry out easily because it’s exposed to the sun, the air and to plants that suck up moisture.
But these drying forces aren’t in play underneath a slab. Over time, moisture can easily accumulate under the slab from rain, roof runoff, leaks in nearby storm drains and other sources. So the expanding clay pushes up, causing central sections of the slab to move upward as well.
We install the MoistureLevel system to dry out expansive clays beneath your foundation slabs and correct foundation heave.
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.
This map displays the likely rate that local soil could shrink or swell depending upon the clay makeup of the soil, which affects the moisture content itself. Clay absorbs moisture, and when the moisture content is high, it has the potential to cause serious damage to nearby buildings known as slab heave. Common signs are uneven floors, diagonal cracks in bricks and internal walls, and gaps under walls. Where we see moderate or low ratings, we do not need to have as much concern because the extent the soil may expand is far decreased.
If you have problems with your concrete slab foundation, call Arizona Foundation Solutions today to schedule a free inspection. Stabilizing soil moisture content could be the simple and surefire solution you’re looking for.
Arizona Foundation Solutions is Arizona's expert foundation repair contractor. Our service area includes Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, Payson, Sedona, Peoria, Prescott, Flagstaff and surrounding towns in Arizona.