What Causes a Foundation to Heave?

How Heaving Foundations & Slabs Lead To Damage Of Your Home

The Problem:

Your foundation or slab floor is moving upwards, leading to cracks in the walls and floors of your home.

Telltale Signs:

  • Cracking On Inside Walls (Common)
  • Cracking On Outside Walls (Rare)
  • Cracks On The Concrete Floor Slab
  • Displaced or Tilting Slab Sections

How to Fix It:

Solutions can be as simple as repairing a plumbing leak under your foundation — or as extensive as demolishing and then reconstructing damaged sections of foundations or slabs.

A professional foundation contractor is the best person to evaluate foundation heaving problems and suggest suitable solutions.

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Foundation upheaval can lift an entire structure, but more often it forces parts of a foundation or slab upwards, while other sections remain stationary. Either way, the damage that results will require the expertise of a foundation repair specialist as shown above. 

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What Causes Foundation Upheaval?

Heave is the upward movement of a foundation or slab caused by underlying soils that expand or swell. This occurs due to an increase in moisture or by freezing forces. Heave is more common with slabs than foundations because slabs have less weight to resist heaving forces. Unless there is a long period of drought, heave most commonly occurs within the first few years of the building's construction.

Slab and foundation heave is most commonly caused by these four forces:

What NOT To Do:

Before doing any repairs to your foundation, it's important to identify the problem as heaving.

Some contractors who have not been fully educated on the signs of heave can easily misread the cracks in your home and suggest the wrong solution.

The problem? While heave is the opposite of foundation settlement, the symptoms are often similar. To an untrained eye, it may appear that the exterior walls are going down - when what's really happening is that the basement slab is being pushed up near the center of the house.

To apply the right solution to a foundation problem, make sure you're getting the right diagnosis. 

Repairing Heave Damage

Start by having an experienced foundation repair specialist inspect your foundation issue and identify what is causing your problem.

Once the problem is identified, a customized solution can be proposed to repair the damage and address the cause of the issue.

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Cracks on floor slabs that are caused by foundation heave are unique in appearance.

You will see multiple cracks that come together to a point or form an enclosed loop where the heave is greatest.

We Do Foundation Heave Repair in IL and IA!

At MidAmerica Basement Systems, we have the tools and training available to fix foundations and slabs that are experiencing problems with upheaval.

We offer foundation and slab heave repair quotes to all within our Illinois and Iowa service area. If you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment with one of our foundation specialists, call or e-mail us today!

We proudly serve Davenport, Peoria, Waterloo, Iowa City, surrounding areas such as Normal, Iowa City, Dubuque, Rock Island, Clinton, Moline, East Peoria, and nearby.