What is slabjacking and why would you ever buy a house with issues like that?

To know why and how this may be an issue for you we need to know how the house is built a little bit. The normally concrete foundation is like an upside-down T all of the way around the house and then inside where the load-bearing walls are. If your house is on a slab, the easiest way to tell is to stomp on the floor. If it sounds hollow then you know it is on a crawl but if it is solid then you are on a slab.

The inside of the house is filled with sand and here is where the issue can arise. If the sand isn’t packed down or tamped, it can wash away and cause a weak or hollow spot and crack or drop. This normally will show closer to the edges where the tamping machine they use can’t get too close. You may see a drop in the flooring and a gap under the baseboard a couple of years after its built. If it’s not too much sometimes the flooring guys will float/spread more concrete to level it out again or if a larger issue, then there are other options.

I have seen some floors that have dropped a few inches from front to back and some with some large cracks in them. The cracks can be filled and taken care of and if dropped too much you can do a process called slabjacking. This is where they come in and drill holes in the slab and pump the floor back up to the level it off. This can be done inside the house as well as outside for walkways and patios.

Walkways and patios are easy to spot and drop all of the time. You can see the mark on the foundation wall where it originally was and then see how much it dropped. You don’t want it moving at an angle that will drain water to your foundation wall. You will see the walkways and patios move up and down and they put the crack lines in the slabs because of this. Cracks happen with the movement so be careful of a tripping hazard and in winter you may enlarge it when the water gets into it and freezes and expands. Very common to see these issues in houses of any age.

Remember the slab inside isn’t a structural issue so take a step back and see that it can be fixed pretty easily when the right guys get at it. It probably also took a lot of time for this to happen and moves very slowly so not a rush and just fix it when you are redoing the floors. Walkways and patios are also poured after the foundation goes in and isn’t attached to the house in any way so it can move up and down as the weather does its thing. 

Take a look when you are taking a look at the house and the more information you know the better.

*This blog made available by The Jim Grieve Group is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of real estate, not to provide specific real estate advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no Realtor-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent real estate advice from a licensed professional Realtor.