There are three primary types of home foundations: slab, crawl space, and basements. Here in Fort Worth and the Dallas area, we have a growing number of slab foundations. If you have a slab foundation home or you are in the market, you need to know if a slab foundation is a good fit for you. Foundations are forever, so make sure you know what you are getting into. There are pros and cons to buying a home built on a slab. To learn more, click here.
The foundation that your house is built on can have a major impact on the structural integrity of your home. Some houses don’t have a basement or crawl space under them but are simply built on a concrete slab – perhaps because the house sits on bedrock or a high water table. This type of foundation has both advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a look at the pros and cons that come with a slab foundation.
First, a definition is in order: A slab foundation is created by digging about a foot or so into the ground where the house is to be located, pouring concrete into the hole and reinforcing it with steel bars. The house is then constructed on top of this concrete foundation.
One of the most significant potential disadvantages is if the slab cracks. This can substantially compromise the structural integrity of the house and be difficult and expensive to repair. Among the factors that can result in a slab cracking are tree roots, soil displacement, earthquakes or frozen ground.
Slab foundations are prevalent in the Dallas- Fort Worth metroplex because of the warm climate, they cost less to build, and they are faster to construct. Here are some details about how slab foundations are installed.
Slab foundations are making homes in the Dallas area more affordable. If you are looking to purchase a slab home, make sure that the builders are reputable and that the foundation is in good condition. Here are some details about slab thickness and the process of construction. For more, click here.
Around the edge of the slab, the concrete forms a beam that is perhaps 2 feet deep. The rest of the slab is 4 or 6 inches thick. A 4- or 6-inch layer of gravel lies beneath the slab. A 4-millimeter sheet of plastic lies between the concrete and the gravel to keep moisture out. Embedded in the concrete is 6-inch by 6-inch wire mesh and steel reinforcing bars. You will often hear this sort of foundation referred to as a “floating slab” — it “floats” on the soil, with the deeper concrete around the edge holding it in place. In northern climates, the concrete around the edge has to extend deep enough to remain below the frost line in winter.
One thing about a slab is that the sewer pipe, and sometimes much of the electrical conduit, has to be put in place before the concrete is poured. The sewer pipes are actually embedded in the slab.
There are advantages and disadvantages to slab foundations. If you see cracks in your slab foundation or you are looking at buying a home that has cracks, make sure you have an expert look at the foundation to evaluate the condition and determine the best solution for any possible problems. Here at Master Repair Plumbing, we are experts in slab leak detection and can identify and repair any leaks or issues you might have. Since the sewer pipes are engulfed by concrete, fixing the issue needs to be left to an expert with the right tools and training. Don’t hesitate to give Master Repair Plumbing a call for a free estimate at (817) 338-0000.
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