Skip to Main Content

How to Repair a Slab Foundation

Basement or crawl space foundations reign supreme as popular foundation types throughout Central and Southern Ohio, but concrete slab foundations are also commonly used to build homes.

Just like their below-grade counterparts, slab foundations are susceptible to damage that can impact your home’s structural integrity and safety. If your home was built on a concrete slab, it’s important to recognize problems and fix them immediately to avoid further damage.

In this article, we explain what a slab foundation is, typical problem signs, and how the local pros at Ohio Basement Authority can ensure your home’s safety with the right slab foundation repair solutions.

diagram of a slab foundation

What is a Slab Foundation?

Monolithic or slab foundations consist of a single concrete slab resting directly on the ground.

These foundation types are economical choices, ranking among the most affordable options available. By eliminating the need for a basement or crawl space, slab foundations reduce concerns about pest infestations and mold growth underneath the home.

Their single-piece construction minimizes weak points, enhancing durability and stability. While prevalent in warmer regions, slab foundations are not ideal for our region that experiences frequent ground freezing and thawing, as this can lead to cracking.

Similarly, substantial underground shifts can also cause cracks to form. Identifying signs of movement and damage in your slab foundation is crucial for maintaining your home’s structural integrity.

Signs of Slab Foundation Damage

There are various visible symptoms that may suggest your slab foundation has experienced movement or settlement. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to seek prompt assistance from a professional foundation expert like Ohio Basement Authority. Some of the potential signs to watch out for include:

drywall crack by a doorframe
  • Drywall Cracks: Fine or gaping cracks in drywall can develop over time, indicating wall movement, foundation settlement, or improper installation.
  • Drywall Nail Pops: Similarly, raised areas on the drywall surface can appear where the nails or screws have worked their way out, creating a bump or protrusion.
  • Sticking Windows and Doors: Windows and doors may become difficult to open or close, often getting stuck in swelling, disjointed wooden frames.
  • Floor Cracks: It’s normal for concrete slab floors to develop hairline cracks within the first two years of construction. However, these cracks can grow, widen, and deepen, indicating serious structural problems.
  • Floor Gaps: Gaps or spaces between the floor and the walls or other surfaces can easily form, often caused by the settling of the structure or the expansion and contraction of materials due to temperature and humidity changes.
  • Cracked Bricks: Bricks can crack individually, or fractures can develop in the mortar joints, usually in a stair-step pattern.
  • Cracked Chimney: Similarly, exterior chimneys can crack along bricks, mortar joints, and lean away from the structure, indicating settlement and posing a safety hazard.

Slab Foundation Repair Methods

Our experienced team at Ohio Basement Authority understands that no two foundations are the same. That’s why we offer various foundation repair solutions that can be customized to meet your specific needs.

This includes foundation piers to address foundation settlement. Foundation piers are sturdy structural elements driven deep into the ground, reaching stable soil or bedrock layers, to provide the necessary support for your foundation. These piers function as robust columns, allowing the weight of the entire structure to be effectively transferred through the piers and into the more stable subsurface.

We offer three types of foundation piers: slab piers, helical piers, and push piers.

Slab Piers

Appropriately, slab piers are designed specifically for homes with concrete slab foundations. After they are installed, slab piers provide permanent foundation stabilization and protection against further settlement.

crew installing a slab pier

Here’s a look at how we install these specialized piers:

  • Remove damaged or affected flooring sections.
  • Drill a hole through the concrete slab foundation to expose the underlying footing.
  • Insert a specialized bracket beneath the exposed footing.
  • Extend the pier sections deep into the ground, reaching stable soil or bedrock layers.
  • Monitor and adjust pier depths and load capacities.
  • Cap and secure the top of the pier system.
  • Place a bracket on the slab foundation’s surface.
  • Gradually transfer of the home’s weight onto the newly installed pier system.
  • Pour and smooth cement into the drilled hole, ensuring a seamless finish.

Other Foundation Piers

While slab piers are solely for slab foundation repair, we may recommend using other piers, depending on your home’s situation, such as:

Helical Piers

Our helical pier system uses steel piers with circular helical plates at their ends, designed to function like screws, effectively anchoring your home into the stable soil layers below. This innovative system ensures a robust and dependable foundation for your property.

Helical piers are highly versatile and well-suited for supporting lighter structures across various scenarios and site conditions.

Push Piers

Push piers operate on a similar principle as helical piers but feature a distinct design and installation method. Push piers are composed of elongated steel rods that are hydraulically driven into the ground using powerful machinery. They harness the resistance provided by the weight of the structure itself, leveraging this force to achieve stability.

Trust Ohio Basement Authority for Reliable Slab Foundation Repair

When a foundation experiences movement, it can lead to widespread damage throughout your home, compromising structural integrity and even affecting the functionality of appliances. At Ohio Basement Authority, we understand the strain these issues can place on your daily life, which is why we take a comprehensive approach to foundation repair, ensuring that these problems are effectively addressed and resolved.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free inspection and receive a no-obligation estimate. Trust Ohio Basement Authority to assist you in safeguarding your home from foundation damage, providing you with peace of mind and ensuring the safety of your living space.

OBA inspector meeting with a homeowner

FAQs

Slab pier installation may be necessary when a slab foundation experiences significant settlement due to factors such as expansive or shifting soil, erosion, or poor soil compaction during construction. Signs that slab pier repair may be needed include cracked walls or floors, sticking doors and windows, and uneven floors.

Yes, slab piers are designed to be a permanent solution for settling slab foundations. By bypassing the unstable soil layers and transferring the weight to stable layers below, slab piers effectively address the root cause of settlement. When installed correctly by professionals like Ohio Basement Authority, slab piers can provide a long-lasting, stable foundation for your home.

Ohio Basement Authority strives to minimize disruptions during slab pier installations. This process requires interior access points for connecting the piers to the foundation. Additionally, some interior flooring sections may need to be temporarily removed and later restored. Your inspector can further discuss the process during a free inspection appointment.

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Ohio Basement Authority Service Map

Our Locations

Cincinnati Office

1270 Hillsmith Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45215

Cleveland Office

7950 Bavaria Rd.
Twinsburg, OH 44087

Columbus Office

2421 McGaw Rd.
Obetz, OH 43207

Dayton Office

70 Birch Alley, Suite 240
Beavercreek, OH, 45440

Dublin Office

5650 Blazer Memorial Pkwy, #124
Dublin, OH 43017

Akron Office

429 Portage Blvd
Kent, OH 44240