What Causes Concrete Slab Settlement

The most common causes of concrete slab settlement are drying and shrinking soils beneath a slab, poorly compacted fill soils, or a washout of soil. All of which will create a void below the slab. If the concrete is not strong enough to span the void, the slab will eventually crack, break and settle. This type of damage can cause serious destruction to a home or building.

1. Drying and Shrinking of Soil Under the Slab

Settlement occurs if the soils beneath a concrete floor slab become dry and shrink. This leads to voids below the concrete which causes the slab to sink and crack. If the partition walls of your home or building start to settle with the concrete slab, this is when cracking in drywall can occur.

2. Poorly Compacted Fill Soils

When homes or buildings are being constructed, often times layers of soil are moved around or spread out to lift the grade to a desired level. After the structure is built, the footings may extend below the fill soils, but the slab could still remain on top. If those fill soils were loosely compacted, they will eventually consolidate beneath the weight of the slab which causes a void to form. The slab will then begin to crack and break as it settles into the void.

3. Washout of Soil from Plumbing Leaks

It is common during the construction of a home or building to install plumbing lines below concrete slabs. Soil can wash away if those plumbing lines beneath a slab start to leak. The displaced soil will create a void beneath the slab, causing the slab to crack and settle.

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At Foundation Technology, our permanent concrete slab settlement repair is the most cost-effective in the industry.