How to deal with soil erosion under slab floor of garage?


It doesn't look to me like the slab has shifted, since the crack appears level and isn't terribly wide. I would contact a concrete contractor, one that specializes in repairs, if there is erosion under the slab they can usually pump a slurry under it to fill in the void. Is your garage floor "Floating"? Look around the edges, if the floor goes under the walls, it's part of the support of the building and you want to consult a professional immediately. If the floor butts up against the wall, it's a "floating" floor and isn't part of the structure, however you may still have erosion under the wall footing, and I would still consult a professional, however a floating floor will be easier for a contractor to break up, install proper drains and such so it won't erode underneath again, and re-pour.

You could get an endoscopic USB camera from Amazon for about $20 that you could probably snake under the slab and inspect it, but I would consult a professional. Most of these types of...

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Using perf pipe allows water out just as it allows water in. The water stain half way along the garage wall could be from water backing up and out of the perf pipe. I like the solid pipe idea for "transporting" water, if you're not trying to "gather" excess water. Here we can buy one-half perf and one-half solid pipe. We install it with the solid side down and when the water table gets high enough to reach the mid-point of the pipe, it flows into the pipe. We just install the mid-point of the pipe at the level we want to keep the water table at.

How about moving the sump away from the garage to the other end of the house? Then, when it starts pumping, it won't erode (suck) all the soil from the surrounding area out the drain. Also, maybe a sump pump that moves water slower or comes on more frequently so as not to impact the drainage system so severely each time. (It could cut down on the washing of the "fines" (soil or sand) out of the french drain and from under garage...

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Every time we have damp weather our concrete floor in the garage gets so much moisture on it that it’s dangerous to walk on. What causes this and what can we do about it? -Catherine

Hi Catherine,

There are two possibilities that can cause your garage floor to be damp:

When warm, humid air comes in contact with a cold concrete slab, water vapor in the air can condense on the surface of the concrete in the same way that a glass with ice sweats in summer. This usually happens more in the spring and early summer, since the ground temperature is still low and the air is warm and humid. A vapor barrier may not have been installed under the slab when the concrete was poured. This can allow moisture from the ground to penetrate up through the concrete, resulting in damp conditions. If there are cracks in the slab and the drainage is poor, it may even cause ground water to seep up through the cracks and puddle on the floor.

To find out if the problem is caused by...

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PolyLEVEL is a two-part structural grade urethane that expands into rigid foam to fill voids, stabilize concrete, and lift concrete. The product is injected at the interface between the concrete slab and the subgrade soils through small holes the size of a penny.

PolyLEVEL foam is used to stabilize, lift and re-level sidewalks, patios, driveways, garages slabs, and slab-on-grade concrete floors. Concrete decks surrounding swimming pools also often settle over time due to poor compaction of fill soils, soil consolidation/densification, and erosion. PolyLEVEL is the perfect product for this application as it is waterproof and will never wash away.

These repairs can often be completed in a matter of hours with immediate results, less mess, and no “wait time” for typical use of the areas. Driveways, garages and city streets can be driven on within 30 minutes. When the work is done, all the concrete sections will still match and not take on the appearance of a checker...

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Avoid soil compaction.

When people, animals, or machines travel over soil, they press it down, compacting the soil into a dense layer. Since there is less space between dirt particles in compacted soil, water has a hard time draining through, and carries soil on the surface downhill instead. Walk on

paving stones

or cleared paths instead of trampling the soil, especially when it is wet. Adding compost or manure can also help by attracting earthworms, which break the soil into looser clumps.

Compacted soil also makes it harder for plants to become established, since the roots have trouble breaking through.[10] Compaction always lead to net erosion. The water may run off of compacted soil, but as it runs off it generates more force, which can increase the erosion in other...
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While it may be easy to dismiss the importance of dirt, it's a fact that soil is vital to humankind. Stop soil erosion by finding ways to conserve soil. There are several methods of soil conservation that can be achieved through agricultural practices and measures you take at home.

Agriculture Soil Conservation

Three ways to conserve soil through agricultural means include:

1. Practice no till farming. With no till farming, crops are allowed to remain rather than being plowed under at the end of the season. This practice keeps soils anchored in place rather than having bare ground exposed to wind and water.

2. Use terrace farming. This type of farming uses the topography of the land to slow water flow through a series of terraces. This manipulation of the water flow prevents it from gathering speed and washing soil away from farmlands.

3. Practice contour farming. Contour farming replicates the effects of terrace farming, but on a...

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What are frost heaves or frost heaving damage to foundations & slabs?

This article describes How to Identify, Diagnose, & Evaluate Frost Heave/Expansive Soil Cracks in Poured Concrete Slabs & floors or in Building Foundations.

This article series describes how to recognize and diagnose various types of foundation failure or damage, such as foundation cracks, masonry foundation crack patterns, and moving, leaning, bulging, or bowing building foundation walls.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.

Guide to Diagnosing & Fixing Frost Heaves or Expansive Soil Cracks in Poured Concrete Slabs

Frost heaves or expansive soils damage to building floor slabs can range from minor to extensive in buildings depending on soil and weather conditions, site...

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Even the tiniest raindrop can pound the earth like a hammer, say scientists at Vanderbilt University, who studied the effect of rain on erosion [source: Salisbury]. Erosion occurs when the earth wears away, by wind, ice, or most commonly, water. The m ore sandy a soil is, the easier it is for any of the elements to make off with it. Clay soils, even with larger material particles, are also easily eroded by water, yet clay appears to be more durable against the wind. Whether it is rampant waters or wind, erosion is more than just disappearing dirt.

Chemicals and fertilizers can leach into other water sources and soil quality is depleted. This addition of pollutants into water sources and other areas is called non-point source pollution, and is virtually impossible to trace back to the main source. Adding organic materials such as mulch, compost, woodchips or jute to your land can help to prevent erosion as well as replenish the important nutrients and minerals that might...

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Filling hollows under a concrete floor is done through a process called slabjacking. Slabjacking is used to prevent everything from porch floors to patios and basement floors from shifting, settling, and becoming uneven due to formed hollows. Depending on how large the void is under your floor, it may be too large a task for the average homeowner.

Why Do Hollows Form?

Hollows can form under concrete floors for a variety of reasons. When a house is being built, a measurement of the level of compression the surrounding soil can withstand is typically taken. If that measurement is off, the soil under a concrete floor can compress from the weight of the concrete itself, causing voids. Additionally, erosion from rain water and tectonic activity can create voids and cavities.

How Can I Spot Hollows?

One symptom of a concrete floor with hollows can be cave-ins. Divets and bowls can form in the concrete around the area of the hollow or, in more extreme cases,...

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What's underneath the slab? What type of soil is the slab sitting on? Was it properly prepared with a sand/gravel subbase? Or is it just sitting on clay? How low in relation to the surrounding topography is the garage slab?

Drilling holes in the slab could cause more problems than it solves if you don't have proper lot grading or clay soil conditions. It will also be a direct route for termite infestation into your home if the slab wasn't properly prepared with the right treated sub base. Know the answers to these questions, as well as how thick the slab is, and you'll have your answer on whether or not to drill into it. A less expensive option might be one of the new garage mats sold that channel water away. They're designed for cars that just bring a little rain or snow into the garage. If you've got other water problems beyond a small puddle of residual rain or snow running off of the cars, then you have a BIG problem, and one that won't be solved by drilling...

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This sounds like a job for



The problem is how deep does the contamination go? Probably not very far, because as we know, oil is lighter than water and petroleum products are going to float rather than sink. I would start off by covering the area with a foot of wood chips. Then go out and collect any and all mushrooms you can find to inoculate the pile. If you blend the mushrooms up with some water, you can work that into the wood chips so that all the surface area of the chips gets covered. Then keep it nice and wet so the fungi can do their work.

Stamets has a video where he is remediating some oil soaked ground and he did that under a tarp, but it may be better to do without the tarp, because the fungi do need to breathe. What you don't want to do is to rake or stir or turn the pile once you get it inoculated. It is NOT a compost heap, it's a fungal culture, and they don't do well when their hyphae are broken.

If you think that the...

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Concrete Slabjacking TIPS

Soil under slabs can sink Compacting soil is a must Slabjacking usually a better deal Concrete slurry is common filler Expanding foams are good fillers

DEAR TIM: The concrete patio on my new home is sinking. It used to tilt away from the house. Now it tilts back towards the house.

A similar thing is happening to the concrete slab inside my neighbor's garage.

What do you think caused this to happen? Could it have been prevented? Is there a way to fix the problem, other than installing new concrete? S.W.

DEAR S. W.: There is a very good possibility that both concrete slabs were installed on poorly compacted fill dirt. Sub-surface erosion and shrinking soils are also possibilities. Fill dirt is almost always placed along side of house and garage foundations after the foundation work is completed.

CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local contractors that do slabjacking. It could save you lots of money.


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Man has successfully lived through many civilizations, but with the change of each civilization he has moved further away from the earth and its conservation. Air, water or soil, nothing has been left untouched by the barbaric intervention of human beings. While the other two can be purified to an extent, soil is something which cannot be substituted with anything else or purified. Environmental historian Donald Worster correctly said that “fertilizers are not a substitute for fertile soil.” Human beings who arrogantly proclaim that anything can be built under a microscope, even with tons of chemicals cannot make a bucket full of pure soil. Sadly, even after all the hue and cry environmentalists make (or sadly, even after the environmentalists have been crying themselves hoarse), man is quick to forget that soil cannot be made again. Earth has become more like one giant garbage bin, filled with plastics, chemicals and all manners of non-biodegradable rubbish, polluting it to the...

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What is a slab foundation? It is the kind of monolithic foundations in the form of concrete slab laid on a prepared surface of sand and rubble. Traditionally, it is performed mainly on weak soils: peat bogs, sand, saturated clays having a tendency to heave and shift. This foundation is usually not deepened to a depth of soil freezing, so during the seasonal shifting of the soil it is shifted together with the soil. For this feature it is also called “the floating slab foundation”. This structure does not experience point loads - all the changes are transmitted to the foundation wall evenly. In case you wonder how to build a slab foundation in a proper way, here is some information that may be useful to you.

The device of the slab foundation reliable and can be used to build houses in all kinds of soils and at any depth of the water table. This is a good option and if the construction is carried out on uneven, highly compressible, heaving soils or on sand cushions. Thanks to...

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Injecting foam under sunken slabs is revolutionizing concrete leveling repairs

The PolyLevel® System utilizes high-density polyurethane foam to stabilize and level concrete floors and foundations.

The PolyLevel® System is a state-of-the-art approach to repairing sunken concrete slabs, such as sidewalks, driveways, patios, pool apron decks, garage aprons, and basement slabs. It takes the original concept of mudjacking (slabjacking) and combines it with modern knowledge and technology. Rather than using a mixture of concrete and mud, PolyLevel® utilizes high-density, expanding polyurethane foam to raise slabs back to a desired level.

This is done by boring small (penny sized) holes in the slab, and using specially designed equipment to inject a structural grade polymer into the void. After the void is filled, the expanding properties of the polyurethane foam allows for an accurate lift and leveling of the slab. Finally, the small holes are grouted and sealed,...

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Cause of Erosion Under Concrete

We get a lot of calls for repairing erosion under concrete based on situations like the photo above. Most of the calls are for homes with basements, and generally the suspected erosion is under stoops, carports and sidewalks near the foundations. Voids (air spaces) under the concrete are the cause for concern.

In the vast majority of times, the cause of the voids under the concrete isn’t the result of erosion. Soil consolidation is a natural process that occurs when soil is placed loose (no tamping). After being placed, it can take up to 10 years or more for the soil to slowly consolidate. As this happens, it causes a void fill form under the overhead concrete.

If the settlement is extensive enough, it can alter drainage patterns, which can cause some erosion. So, settlement usually starts the process, which can then be worsened by erosion.

Sometimes, erosion is the only cause for voids under concrete. This is usually a...

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Getting Control of Expansive Soil

Expansive soil, also called shrink-swell soil, is a very common cause of foundation problems. Depending upon the supply of moisture in the ground, shrink-swell soils will experience changes in volume of up to thirty percent or more. Foundation soils which are expansive will “heave” and can cause lifting of a building or other structure during periods of high moisture. Conversely during periods of falling soil moisture, expansive soil will “collapse” and can result in building settlement. Either way, damage can be extensive.

Expansive soil will also exert pressure on the vertical face of a foundation, basement or retaining wall resulting in lateral movement. Shrink-swell soils which have expanded due to high ground moisture experience a loss of soil strength or “capacity” and the resulting instability can result in various forms of foundation problems and slope failure. Expansive soil should always be a suspect when there is evidence...

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SETTLEMENT vs. SHRINKAGE CRACKS - CONTENTS: How to distinguish settlement cracks vs. shrinkage cracks in concrete foundations, walls & floor slabs. Slab or floor crack interpretation and diagnosis guide. Photographs of types of poured concrete slab cracks POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to tell the difference between building settlement or foundation settlement cracks & shrinkage cracks in poured concrete foundations, walls or floors REFERENCES

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Concrete crack diagnosis: settlement vs shrinkage:

Here we describe how to tell the difference between slab settlement & slab shrinkage in concrete floors & foundations:

How to distinguish Settlement Cracks vs. Shrinkage Cracks in concrete slabs - a division of our article on How to Identify and Evaluate Settlement Cracks in Slabs in Poured Concrete Slabs or in concrete...

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Different types of slabs will suit different soil types and house designs.

The type of earth you lay your foundations on can have repercussions for your house for decades after it’s been built, and for the course of its whole life - this is especially the case if you have a concrete slab floor.

What is reactive soil?

The term 'reactive soil' doesn't have anything to do with it being contaminated in any way (it's not radioactive); rather, it refers to the way the soil reacts to changing moisture content.

All clay-based soils have the potential to change volume and shift with changes in the amount of moisture in the soil - and are sometimes called 'reactive soils' because of this. The amount that soil is likely to shift defines how 'reactive' it's considered to be.

Some soils have a greater potential to change volume than others, and this amount of potential needs to be measured with a soil test to make sure your house's footings are designed in a...

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To receive a free estimate from a foundation repair expert in your area contact us online now! Your local foundation repair contractor has been trained to answer questions and fix your home right the first time with the highest quality materials and workmanship in the industry.

For many of us, our home is the largest, most important investment we will make. Foundation problems can threaten that investment by causing serious structural damage that reduces a home's value.

Most foundation repairs results from soil-related problems: poor compaction, overloading, poor waterproofing, excessive organic materials, erosion or expansive soils that expand and shrink with changes in the moisture content of the soil. These conditions can produce stresses that damage a home's foundation and overall structure. Underpinning your home with quality foundation repair products will insure the integrity of your foundation, whether it is a crawl space, slab on grade or a basement made...

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Yard Drainage: Moisture Control in Foundation Repair

Moisture Control

The basic goal of yard drainage is moisture control. Here I will examine moisture as a key component of natural processes on earth. I will discuss the important role of moisture in the soil while showing how moisture works to recycle everything back to the soil. Here I will discuss how moisture control compliments foundation repair objectives. On this page, I discuss the basic important tasks of a yard drainage project and I provide guidelines for getting the job done correctly. Here is the “what” and the “how-to” advice for anybody who has to deal with foundation repair and yard drainage.

Yard Drainage Problems

Examples of yard drainage problems include flooding, erosion, sedimentation, piping, ponding, negative drainage, faulty grade, seepage, soil saturation, soil-moisture fluctuation, excessive humidity, and wicking. These problems can create or aggravate a variety of...

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Should taking care of your foundation be part of your home maintenance routine? It should if you want to avoid other problems in your home.

One of the most common statements that I write on my home inspection reports is that a home suffered movement. All houses do, even ones which have been newly built. What becomes difficult for most homeowners to see is the movement happening because of the weight of the house sagging down, or is it because of the foundation. I have written about inspecting a house for homeowners and investors, so I do not wish to go over that again; however, on several recent inspections, I found that I was repeating myself when it came to some repair items concerning foundations, mainly slab on grade foundations with post tension cables. I thought it might help to have one post collecting all of my recent comments to buyers to provide some guidance on how you may want to take care of your own foundation.

Want your foundation to stay in one place,...

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