Fixing Your Concrete Driveway

How Can A Crooked Or Cracked Foundation Be Repaired?

by Gavin Jackson

Foundation repair is never an easy task. Often, the slab may just have settled or tilted over time. Sometimes, though, the slab has actually cracked. Luckily, there are ways to repair most foundation problems.

Why Do Foundations Shift or Settle?

Over time, foundations for homes and other structures can settle, tilt, or even crack.  Often, this is because the original soil was not properly compacted, especially if land is mostly landfill with little or no bedrock to anchor it. Erosion can also cause soil to slowly drain out from underneath a structure.

Consistent shifting over time can eventually result in a crack or cracks in the foundation. A cracked foundation needs to be repaired quickly so that more damage does not occur.

What Methods Are Available?

Foundation repair can be expensive. One of the most established methods involves sinking concrete piers all over the house, around the outside of the house and even through the foundation, to shore up and stabilize the house. This technique is often used where the soil under the house doesn't have enough structure to hold the house in place.

If your home or structure is built over stable ground (not loose soil or landfill), the concrete can be raised using less intrusive and less costly methods. Slabjacking is one of the methods for raising a concrete slab. The purpose is to inject a mud-like material underneath the slab to shore it up. This mud-like material is a polyurethane foam.

To get the foam underneath the slab, small holes are drilled through the slab. Then, the polyurethane foam is injected through the holes to fill in the spots that have eroded or settled underneath the slab. Once all of the spaces are filled, more material can be injected to level the slab. The polyurethane foam can also be used to fill and seal cracks in the foundation as part of the repair process.

If the cracks are more extensive and are a structural problem, then the polyurethane foam is not the best solution. Instead, an epoxy resin should be used. The epoxy resin provides a very strong weld that bonds the crack together.

Why Use Injection to Fix Concrete Slabs?

Concrete slabs have to be repaired using an injection method.  Any other method will not seal and bond the crack allowing the problem to reoccur. The injection of a polyurethane or epoxy substance fills the crack from the bottom up and prevents water or other elements from eventually working through the repair.

A combination of techniques are often used to level and fix foundations. To keep foundations level on shifting soil, concrete piers are used to provide structure. To level a slab over more stable ground, injection of polyurethane to fill spaces under the slab and re-level the slab works well. Often, both techniques are combined, with epoxy resins used to weld and seal any structural issues. For more information, speak with experts like Southern Concrete Raising Inc.