Foundation Repair Concrete Repairman® We Fix It Right™

Licensed, Bonded and Insured Commercial & Residential Foundation Repair Contractors - ROC# 300512 CR-9

Your Foundation – Know Before You Buy

Throughout the Phoenix Metro area, you can find pockets of places with expansive soil. For realtors and real estate investors, this becomes a serious problem because you can buy a potential home without realizing that you will have a lot of problems with it later down the road. The Phoenix, Gilbert and Mesa areas have all had homes that have been built over former farmland. The farmland does help the soil because when it had been farmland, it received ongoing watering and drying for the crops. That activity helped to eliminate some of the expansive soil so that homeowners do not have as many problems. Nevertheless, you still have to be careful. A soil inspection from the Concrete Repairman can help you to avoid paying a fortune later.

[widgetkit id=17615]

Click Here To See The Full Map For Phoenix

Tips for the Phoenix and Tucson Areas

Similar to the Tucson, Arizona, location, you will often find that the lower areas or valleys of Phoenix suffer from expansive soils. If you are in the Catalina Foothills or Mount Lemmon areas in Tucson, for example, you should understand that you will be dealing with silty and sandy areas that can be collapsible. Likewise, if you plan on moving into a valley-like area in Phoenix, you should first check for expansive soils. You cannot expect the people selling the home or property to tell you about it. One of the common signs of soil expansion would be if you see anything that is slowly moving away from the house.

Expansive Soils in the Phoenix Area

The expansive soils of Phoenix will shrink or swell in the terraces along the Salt and Gila Rivers. Beware of old alluvial fan surfaces and valley plains in Phoenix as well. You can check the US Natural Resources Conservation Service, which you can find online. It can give you a view of the area soils that you might be moving into that might harm the foundation of your home. If you choose a home in an area South of I-10 in Phoenix, you should be cautious of expansive soil. Many homes in Arizona have suffered damage to the foundation because of the expansive soil that sits beneath the home and causes problems. Cracked foundations and stem walls cost people millions of dollars in repairs each year. What’s worse is that these repairs will not normally be covered by homeowner’s insurance, so you will have to pay out of pocket.

Why Phoenix Uses Post-Tension Slabs

In Phoenix, they have sometimes used post-tension slabs to deal with expansive soil. A post-tension slab creates a monolithic slab that will be stronger than your typical slab, and it will be poured in stages for maximum strength. However, post-tension slabs have been used throughout the country where the soil has problems. Gilbert, Arizona, for example, would be another location that is covered with expansive soil and would need post-tension slabs. They will resist the movement of soil. If the soil exhibits a high swelling or shrinking potential, then this slab will protect your investment.

How Post-Tension Slabs Get Created

Under compression, concrete can perform extraordinarily well, but when under tension, it does not do as well. For this reason, post-tension slabs will use cables that have been stretched with hydraulic jacks that can withstand more than 25,000 psi. It will also be clamped near the ends. As a result, a post-tension slab works with its strengths of creating compression. The designers create a stronger and more reliable foundation and slab.

Positioned in the slab at the right distance and height, the cone-shaped supports help to put it in the right place. Because of the plastic coating, the cables can move within the slab independently, which leads to greater flexibility. After you have poured the concrete, and it has reached 75 percent of the required strength, you will add a hydraulic jack.

How Can You Tell if Your Home Has a Post-Tension Slab?

Because the cables have been stretched to guarantee the best strength, you do not want to do anything such as chisel, drill or cut anything that exposes the cables. If you want to identify if a home has a post-tension slab, check the edge of your garage near the door. You will see a stamped warning on the concrete. That means that you have a post-tension slab.

What if Your Home Does Not Have a Post-Tension Slab?

This would not be surprising because the majority of houses in the Phoenix area do not have post-tension slabs. Some home builders have chosen not to use this construction method if the home sits in a low-risk area. Others avoid it because it costs more, but if you are a realtor that chooses this construction method, it will add greater strength and value to the home. A good inspector such as the experts at Concrete Repairman can become a great source of information for post-tension slabs.

Protecting Your Foundation

Here at Concrete Repairman, we advise customers to keep landscaping and sprinklers a minimum of 12 to 24 inches away from the side of the house because if the moisture gets into the concrete or in the soil, it can start to cause problems. If you have expansive soil under your home, being aware of it would be the first step. The second step would be taking a proactive approach to avoid letting it damage the foundation of your home. Using a highly qualified inspector can also help you to keep your foundation safe. We can tailor tips that will work specifically for the protection of your Phoenix home.

In some parts of the state, such as Phoenix, the soil has a clay-like tendency that can cause a lot of issues for realtors and property investors. Having an inspection done before you buy can save you a fortune. Consider the full implications of buying a home on expansive soil ahead of time—expansive soil in the United States has done more damage to homes than earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.