Why choose a slab foundation
What is the purpose of a slab foundation? A slab foundation is built from a wood form filled with concrete, and then a house is built. A slab foundation is the foundation for a house and is typically 4” to 6” thick in the center when poured with edges up to 24” wider than the house is designed to be. The extra width of the slab around the edges provides extra strength.
Is a slab foundation good or bad to have for a house? A concrete slab foundation is common for houses in climates where the ground isn’t as likely to freeze, which can cause a foundation to crack.
There are pros and cons to having a slab foundation are many, the choice has to be a personal one if you have a choice. Houses built in developments are always on a slab, whereas a custom-built house in a rural area could be slab or pier-n-beam.
Part of your decision may be if you need or want to avoid stairs. If your house has a crawl space, you will have a front and back step, with a slab foundation, there may only e one step up, but you lose that crawl space advantage. Read on for the benefits and disadvantages of a slab foundation.
Slab Foundation Benefits
Comparing slab foundation vs crawl space for a home, the slab foundation house will have less chance of flooding or gas leaks, and that creates a healthier environment than homes built with a crawl space and/or basement. Basements and crawl spaces make a house susceptible to flooding, which can lead to mold, and also leaves them susceptible to gas leaks. Slab foundation houses are right on the ground, which removes the need for extra steps. This can be a plus if you or anyone living in the house is a senior citizen or has physical restrictions.
Slab Foundation Disadvantages
A house on a slab foundation could experience cracking because of earthquakes, invasive tree roots, and shifting soil. This can cause long-term and major problems that can be expensive and time consuming to repair. Slab foundation is susceptible to insect infestations too.
Why is slab foundation bad?
While a slab foundation has advantages and benefits, like being inexpensive compared to other foundation options and low maintenance. They also have some bad features and disadvantages like the potential for expensive repairs to plumbing that is put down before they build the slab. However, with PEX plumbing, this disadvantage is slowly going away. A slab foundation doesn’t provide much in the way of protection in bad weather either.
How long do slab foundations last?
A poured concrete slab foundation with block footings will last 100 years or more, more than a lifetime, if built properly. The slab foundation termite proofing will last 12 years as long as the chemical barriers stay intact. Quarterly pest control and annual termite inspection will help you stay on top of that potential problem.
Can slab foundation be fixed?
The contractors that pour and repair slab foundations are asked every day, “Can a slab foundation be repaired?”, and the answer is, and there is a “however” to follow that answer. In most situations, yes, a foundation slab can be repaired, however, it is expensive. The more extensive the damage, the more expensive the cost.
Then you need to be prepared for possible collateral damage expenses. Meaning, a slab foundation repair can cause ceilings, doors, floors, walls, even windows break and crack. You need to verify what is in the contract you sign with the company that does your slab foundation repair, as some may offer a credit for a few repairs, but most do not.
Is a crack in a slab foundation bad?
It is hard not to find a slab foundation with some cracks. Concrete is not a flexible surface, so inevitably, as the ground shifts, you should expect some stress cracks. However, if it is a plumbing caused crack, this could be bad news and needs to be addressed immediately by a professional plumber. While they will do the plumbing repair, they may have to bring in a third-party contractor to repair the slab. These are things you need to verify with the plumber when you receive a quote.
How do you fix a crack in a slab foundation?
Slab foundation crack that is left unaddressed will keep growing and so will the repair bill. Not only is this a financial matter, but delayed foundation repairs will allow radon gas to seep into your home, creating a health risk. Here are the steps to take to repair your own slab foundation:
- Step One – Inspect: Carefully inspect your slab foundation and identify the cracked areas. This will help you get them all repaired at the same time. Mark the areas with chalk as you find them.
- Step Two – Chisel: Using a chisel, remove any loose concrete inside the crack so you’re removing the weakened material and fill it in with a concrete filler bond. It will be more effective in a cleaned-out crack.
- Step Three – Scrape: With a wire brush, scour the crack to remove any loose concrete, debris, and dirt. A clean area is important before putting in our concrete filler. We can’t stress that enough.
- Step Four – Rinse: Once you have cleaned out all the cracks as we’ve described, flush them water to effectively clean the cracks.
- Step Five – Hairline Cracks: A thin paintbrush will work great to spread a thin layer of the concrete bonding adhesive. This will bind the repair material and keep it from popping out as it dries. Using a putty knife to feather edges of the crack will make it look good.
- Step Six – Large Cracks: Add sand to any large crack to minimize the depth, then using a paintbrush to apply the bonding adhesive inside it and along the edges. Then fill the crack concrete patching compound and pack it in to create an effective seal.
It’s easy to make some foundation repairs yourself as we described, but if there are very many cracks, if you’re having doors that open/close windows that won’t open/close, then you’ll be better off calling a professional for a full slab foundation repair. Call Foundation Support Specialists today at 210-267-8828 for your slab foundation repair in San Antonio and Austin, TX.