What Causes Foundations and Slabs to Sink?
Foundation settlement and movement can be caused by building on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils, or improper maintenance around foundations.
Whatever the cause, settlement can destroy the value of structures and even render them unsafe.
In any case, water is the basic culprit in the vast majority of expansive soil problems. Specific constituents of certain soils tend to swell or shrink with variations in moisture. The extent of this movement varies from soil to soil.
Those soils highest in clay content are generally more susceptible while those lowest in clay content are the least affected. In some areas the movement in insignificant; in others, it is quite pronounced.
When unstable soils are used as a base for a foundation, the tendency for movement is transmitted to the foundation. Since soil movement is rarely uniform, the foundation is subjected to a differential or upheaval.
If all the soil beneath a foundation or slab swells uniformly, there usually is no problem. Problems occur, however, when only part of the slab settles. Then, the differential movement causes cracks or other damages
In residential properties, slab settlement problems can result in potential damage to the structure, potential accidents, and loss of real estate value. Poor drainage, tripping hazards, rough floors, unsightly cracks, and equipment malfunctions may also result from concrete slab settlement.
How can they be corrected?
Pressed Concrete Pilings provides a fast, relatively clean solution to piering a home. The system consists of pressed concrete pilings topped with a pier cap, concrete spacers, and steel shims.
The pre-cast 5000 PSI concrete pilings are 6” in diameter and 12” tall. They are placed one on top of the other as they are driven into the ground.
The pilings are hydraulically driven to refusal using an installation force of up to 5000 PSI. Studies have shown that due to the soil mechanics of friction and compression, this system will attain a support strength of twice its installation force. The system consists of pressed concrete pilings topped with a pier cap, blocks and shims.
Pressed concrete pilings have been used to level thousands of homes. Depth of the concrete piling system, and hence the ability to support the house, is the reason that this system has worked so well.
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