Whether you’re talking about a floating foundation or a slab foundation, the definition is the same. A floating or slab foundation is a foundation that doesn’t use footings and the foundation is a poured concrete slab that extends just below the frost line (the depth in the soil to which groundwater is most likely to freeze). A slab foundation is also called a floating foundation because the foundation “floats” above the ground and moves as the soil beneath the slab expands and shrinks. Slab foundations are very common in garage floors, so if you see that the floor of your garage is cracked, it may mean that your floating foundation needs to be repaired.

Can a Floating Foundation be Repaired?

When a slab foundation is poured, the utilities–plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc–are installed under the slab and then the soil is backfilled to support the floating foundation. However, as the backfilled soil compacts over time, the slab foundation will settle because it loses the support provided by the soil underneath. As your floating foundation settles, you’ll notice a few signs that mean it’s time to call a residential foundation repair expert.

Signs Your Floating Foundation Needs Repairs

When your floating foundation starts to settle, you may notice these signs begin to pop up on your property:

  • Doors sticking and jamming
  • Trip hazards or a sloped floor
  • Baseboard gaps
  • Floor cracks

Usually, floating foundations are one large concrete piece, but in some older homes, the slab foundations are not as reinforced as a newer build. This can mean that one side of the floating foundation settles faster than the other, causing tripping hazards, cracks in the floor, or the feeling of a floor that is “leaning” because it’s no longer level.

Gaps in your baseboards (link: https://www.myfoundationrepairs.com/gaps-spaces/) and sticking doors (link: https://www.myfoundationrepairs.com/door-window-problems/) also point to a sinking floating foundation. As the slab settles, it pulls the floors away from the walls and doors, causing baseboards that are attached to the wall to pull free. Door jams also become uneven, which is why your doors begin to stick.

Repair Solutions for Floating Foundations

The good news for these issues caused by a settling floating foundation is that there are many different repair solutions for floating foundations. These include:

  • Concrete Leveling: This repair method involves injecting polyurethane foam beneath the concrete slab to add a strong, supportive layer beneath the concrete.
  • Helical Piers: These piers resemble large screws that are installed in your concrete slab to reinforce it and keep it from further settling.
  • Hydraulic Slab Lift Piers: When you have a slab that’s sinking or settling, hydraulic slab lift piers are used to lift and stabilize the foundation by transferring the weight of the slab from the ground to the piers.
  • Steel Piers: Steel piers, or steel push piers, help with foundation settlement by lifting the foundation back to its original height, gaining back lost elevation, and giving the foundation something stable to rest on.

Contact My Foundation Repairs today to get a free quote for residential foundation repair. We can help you identify your foundation issues, the best course of action, and preventative methods that meet your family’s budget and situation.