The foundation should be a strong component of your house to it can successfully bear the load of the entire structure. However, overtime, the soil underneath it shifts and moves and these cause the foundation to expand, upheave or even shrink. A shrinking foundation is dangerous, because one more ground movement and your house will entirely shrink.
One of the foundation repair techniques offered by foundation repair Rockwall TX professionals is slab jacking. Now, for homeowners, this technique looks like a piece of cake. But the truth is, it’s not as simple as lifting the slab to level it. That’s why, foundation repair for a shrinking one should never be a DIY project.
The Process of Slab Jacking
If you’re wondering how slab jacking works, imagine lifting stuff on the ground that weights a thousand pounds. Using the hydraulic method, you will be able to do this successfully. When the professionals raise the concrete slab, the process is almost the same. If you have a portion of the foundation like driveway, patio or deck that tilted or sunk over the years, slab jacking is the solution.
If the structure has a basement or crawlspace it’s possible for a person to get under it and insert the jacks so the foundation could be raised. However, this is not possible with the concrete slabs. A cement cocktail should be squirted in the concrete’s holes to raise the foundation. And you have to remember that the slab jacking method can’t raise an entire sunken house, but only for those portions like sidewalks, garage floors, patios and others.
First, holes measuring ½ inch in diameter are drilled in the slab. If you tried insulation injection in the walls, then you know how many holes needed to drill. After that, a mixture of materials like gravel, sand and ash mixed with water will be injected in these holes. After a time, the concrete slab is raised slowly. The holes are finally plugged.
For this process, concrete lifting materials are needed like uretek and polyurethane. There are new methods of the slab jacking process which include the dispersion of the materials with the natural elements. This process relies heavily on the polymer resins. Uretek is a bit costly than the traditional materials used in slab jacking process. However, its process is different from the traditional ones. The pumping pressure expands the polyurethane instead of lifting the slab; the expansion leads to “lift”.
Why Concrete Slabs Tilt or Sink
Now that you understand how slab jacking works, it’s time to have a full understanding of why you need it in the first place. Why do the structure’s concrete slabs fail? The houses are traditionally constructed with basement or crawlspace under it, so the flooring is raised over the ground-level. The soil which made contact with the foundation shits overtime, because this material is not stable unlike the sand, gravel or rock. The empty spaces in your foundation will give soil the opportunity to compact or shift. That’s how concrete slabs sink.