There are several potential causes for a sinking floor in Texas. Shrink-and-swell soil underneath the property can lead to the foundation shifting. Water-damaged wood may result in pier and joist failures, compromising the foundation’s support. And sometimes a sinking floor is simply a matter of aged foundational elements. These are among the most common causes, but certainly not the only ones.
At Perma Pier, we’ve provided communities throughout Texas with thorough foundation solutions for decades. In that time, we’ve evaluated and repaired sunken floors for both residential and commercial properties. This post will highlight other potential reasons for a sinking floor and what property owners and managers can do to respond.
Texas has a vast variety of soils, all with their own distinctive qualities. But among those qualities is a trait many Texas soils have in common: expansiveness. What do we mean by that? When the soils absorb moisture from humidity, leaks, or rainfalls, they expand. This expansion can cause pressure against your foundation and, once the soil dries up, it can also lead to channels for water to get into unwanted areas.
Foundations that rely on the integrity of wooden piers and beams may have decades of solid infrastructure. And it’s well-known that these are typically easier to repair and are less susceptible to flooding than concrete slab foundations. However, many older buildings are built with wood-framed foundations. Over time, these fall victim to damage and rotting from insects, moisture, and other environmental influences.
Concrete slab foundations are the most common type of foundation in a modern property. If you have a concrete slab and the floor is sinking, it’s possible that soft soil underneath the property has created a shift in the slab. This can also lead to foundation cracks, which may then cause further problems.
You may have noticed how often water appears in this post. That’s because water is a catalyst for several damages to a foundation. Water seeps into concrete pores and causes cracks, it rots wood, affects soil for the better and worst. Meanwhile, hydrostatic pressure is a more direct cause of water-related damages, where the water need only exist to be destructive.
Lands shift. Water dries up. Everything ages. Even concrete slabs will deteriorate from the elements. It’s not uncommon for a sinking floor to simply be the result of an amalgam of influences that, over time, added to the damage you now see before you.
There are a few possible repair methods that can combat your sunken floor. These will depend on a few factors, primarily which type of foundation you have. Sunken concrete slabs may need to be leveled through pressure grouting or “mudjacking.”
The process of mudjacking entails drilling a small hole into the concrete slab and injecting grout or concrete into the void underneath the slab, lifting the foundation to the necessary measurement. This is an especially preferred method of repair as it’s minimally invasive and relatively efficient when compared to other approaches.
Other repairs that may be needed for a sunken floor include beam and joist replacement and in more extensive cases, properties built on a pier and beam system may need to be lifted for full-pier replacement.
Our team of experienced repair professionals is well-equipped to take on extensive foundation damages. This team includes expert engineers who can evaluate the details of your property’s issues and recommend the best possible approach for repairs while adhering to the long-term sustainability of the infrastructure.
Every property comes with its own unique circumstances and will require different levels of care. We understand that your foundation is nothing to trifle with. It affects your safety, the safety of your guests, and your long-term investment in the property. We pride ourselves on building honest, transparent relationships with clients.
We’ll make it a goal to deliver dependable results while being responsive to your property’s needs. Learn more about our services by giving us a call or schedule your no-charge evaluation now.