This isn’t a metaphorical question; we’re being quite literal here: is your home on solid ground? Your first reaction is probably, “Of course it is!” Your second reaction is probably, “What a dumb question!” And, you wouldn’t be alone. Most people assume their homes are built on what we’ve come to call “solid ground.” After all, who would build a home or any other structure on anything but?
The answer may surprise you. That’s because the soil under and around our homes is often not as stable as we might think. In fact, the ground beneath your home is actually made up of many different layers of soil, each with its own properties, such as moisture content, density and material type (clay, sand, etc.). Over time, these layers can wash out, soften as they are wetted or shrink as they dry out.
Your house isn’t the only thing on your property. Your driveway, patio, pool deck, sidewalk and walkways — all made of heavy concrete slabs — can all suffer from issues relating to poor soil.
Concrete is amazing stuff. It’s strong, durable and can be made into just about anything. But it’s heavy. And if the soil underneath it can’t support its weight for any of the reasons mentioned above, it can settle, sink and crack. When that happens, it doesn’t just create an eyesore that potentially lowers your property’s value, it can also create serious tripping hazards that you could be liable for as the homeowner.
So, now that you know a little more about the “solid ground” beneath your home and its concrete, it might be wise to ensure that it’s stabilized permanently. A reputable foundation and concrete contractor can achieve this in a variety of ways, including employing piers and anchors for foundations and basements and polyurethane foam to lift and stabilize uneven concrete slabs.
But before any of that can happen, you need to have your home’s foundation and concrete inspected by someone who has the expertise and experience to identify potential issues and customize a solution to address them.