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Floor Cracks, Bulges, or Tilting Slab Sections and What They Mean

Cracks in your home’s concrete foundation can cause concern, especially when they show through issues like floor cracks, bulges, or tilting slab sections. Different types of foundation cracks can indicate various problems with the foundation your home is built on. A vertical crack may signify foundation settlement, while a horizontal crack could mean the concrete block foundation is shifting away from the foundation. 

Cracks on the floor, bulging sections, or tilting slab portions can be alarming indicators of a potentially collapsing floor slab. If you notice diagonal cracks in the walls or cracks in the walls and floor, it could be a sign of foundation damage that needs to be addressed. Minor cracks in a concrete floor or wall may not seem like a big deal, but if left unchecked, they can lead to more severe issues. When a crack is wider than 1/4 inch, it’s time to consider crack repair to prevent further damage. Ignoring cracks in your home’s foundation can lead to problems with the first floor and even the structural integrity of your home.

Cracks in a concrete slab section or block foundation can be caused by a variety of factors, including foundation settlement or water damage. Regular inspections and maintenance are key in identifying and addressing potential floor slab collapse risks. Professional Foundation Repair has the skills and experience to expertly assess the severity of the issue and determine the appropriate solutions that can help safeguard your home’s structural stability.

Table of Contents

First - Let's understand the Differences.

Subfloor Types:

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Concrete

If you have a concrete subfloor, cracks in the floor could be due to settlement or shifting of the foundation. Bulging or tilting floors may indicate inadequate support or structural damage to the concrete slab.

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Wood

If you have a wood subfloor, cracks could be caused by moisture buildup or shifting of the foundation. Bulging or tilting floors may highlight a problem with the support beams or joists underneath. 

Foundation Types

Some common problems associated with soil settlement and heave include:

  1. Cracking: Soil settlement or heave can cause uneven pressure on the slab and stem walls, leading to cracking in the concrete. These cracks can compromise the structural integrity of the building and allow water to seep in, leading to further damage. 
  2. Cracks in walls and floors: As the foundation heaves, it can create pressure on the walls and floors of your home, leading to cracks forming. These cracks can weaken the structure of your home and allow water to seep in, causing further damage.
  3. Uneven settlement: Soil settlement can cause the slab to settle unevenly, leading to sloping or sagging floors. This can also cause doors and windows to become misaligned, making them difficult to open and close properly.
  4. Uneven floors: Heaving foundations can cause the floors in your home to become uneven, creating tripping hazards and making it difficult to properly install flooring materials.
  5. Foundation movement: Soil settlement or heave can cause the foundation to shift, leading to structural damage and potential collapse of the building. This can be a serious safety hazard and may require costly repairs to fix.
  6. Leaking: Soil settlement or heave can disrupt the drainage system around the foundation, leading to water pooling under the slab. This can cause moisture issues in the building, including mold growth and damage to the interior finishes. 
  7. Pest infestations: Gaps and cracks in the concrete caused by soil settlement or heave can provide entry points for pests such as termites, ants, and rodents. These pests can cause further damage to the structure and pose health risks to occupants.
  8. Structural damage: Heaving foundations can cause your home to become structurally unstable, leaving it vulnerable to collapse or other serious structural issues.
  9. Damage to plumbing and electrical systems: Heaving foundations can put pressure on your home’s plumbing and electrical systems, potentially causing pipes to burst or electrical wires to become damaged
  10. Decreased property value: The presence of heaving foundations and slabs can decrease the value of your home significantly, making it difficult to sell in the future. 

To prevent these issues, a site must be properly prepared before construction, including addressing any drainage issues, compacting the soil, and providing proper support for the foundation. If that didn’t happen with your home or property, and issues with soil settlement or heave arise, Professional Foundation Repair is here to help. We’ll inspect your foundation, find the source of the problem and recommend the best course of action for repairs.

How Do You Know?
You may have a few small things that could lead to a quick fix before your foundation needs major work.

Types Of Wall Cracks

Shrinkage cracks in poured concrete slab floors running along the foundation walls typically occur due to the concrete drying and curing, leading to minor separations in the slab surface. While shrinkage cracks may not always indicate serious structural damage, they can still allow moisture infiltration and compromise the integrity of the concrete slab over time. It is important to monitor and seal these cracks to prevent further deterioration. The experts at Professional Foundation Repair can handle this for you, and address any other foundation issues you’ve found. 

Floor shrinkage cracks at foundation walls can also be a sign of serious floor slab settlement. Settlement occurs when the soil beneath the foundation compresses or shifts, causing the slab to sink or settle unevenly. The cracks may indicate that the slab is no longer properly supported and is settling into the void created by the compressed soil. 

A professional inspection by a structural engineer at Professional Foundation Repair can assess the extent of the settlement and determine the best course of action to stabilize the foundation and prevent further damage. Ignoring the signs of floor slab settlement can lead to costly repairs and potential safety hazards. It’s important to address any cracks or signs of settlement promptly to ensure the long-term stability and safety of the structure. 

Foundation Cracks: When To Worry

Concrete slab cracks are common in many homes and may range in size from hairline cracks to larger gaps, depending on the underlying cause. Identifying the type and extent of concrete slab cracks is crucial in determining the appropriate repair methods. Hairline cracks may only require surface patching, while larger or more extensive cracks may indicate deeper structural issues. Here are some things to pay attention to:

Where Is the Crack?

The location of the crack in your slab or raised foundation can provide valuable information about the cause and extent of the issue.

If the crack is located near the edges of the foundation or slab, it may be a sign of settlement or soil movement, which can lead to structural problems if not addressed. Cracks that are wider at one end than the other, or are accompanied by other signs of foundation issues such as uneven floors or doors that stick, should be a cause for concern and may require professional inspection and repair. 

On the other hand, cracks located in the middle of the slab or foundation, are small and do not show signs of widening or shifting, may be primarily cosmetic and not a serious concern. 

How Big Is the Crack? 

The size of the crack in your slab foundation can vary, ranging from small hairline cracks to larger, more significant cracks. In general, hairline cracks that are less than 1/8 inch wide are typically considered normal and may not be cause for immediate concern. However, larger cracks that are wider than 1/4 inch or show signs of vertical displacement, bulging, or separation may indicate a more serious problem with your foundation and should be addressed by a professional foundation contractor.

It's important to monitor any cracks in your foundation over time to see if they grow or change in size, as this could indicate ongoing foundation movement or settling issues. Other warning signs such as doors and windows sticking, sloping floors, or cracks in the walls or ceiling may mean it's time to call Professional Foundation Repair.  If you're unsure about the severity of the crack in your slab foundation, we can assess the situation and recommend the appropriate course of action. Ignoring foundation issues can lead to more costly and extensive repairs down the road, so it's important to address any concerns promptly. 

Is the Crack Active or Dormant? 

It is important to determine if the crack in your slab or crawlspace foundation is active or dormant. An active crack is still expanding or moving, potentially causing further damage to your foundation. To determine if the crack is active, monitor it over time by measuring its width and length periodically. If you notice that the crack is getting larger or shifting, it is likely active and may require the attention of the specialists at Professional Foundation Repair.

If the crack remains stable and does not show any signs of movement, it is likely dormant. However, it's still important to keep an eye on it and address any issues that may arise in the future to prevent further damage to your foundation. 

Is the Crack  Admitting Water?

If you've noticed water seeping through a crack in your slab or crawl space foundation, it needs attention as soon as possible. Water intrusion can cause damage to the foundation, leading to potential structural issues in your home. It is recommended to consult with a professional foundation repair expert to assess the situation and determine the best course of action to prevent further damage.

Expert Foundation Assessments for Your Peace of Mind

Our team of experienced professionals conducts thorough assessments to identify any foundation issues and provide you with detailed reports. With our expertise, you can have confidence in the condition of your home’s foundation.

Our Solutions to Soil Settlement or Heave 

Foundation heave occurs when the soil beneath a building’s foundation swells, causing the foundation to move upwards. This can lead to structural damage and instability in the building. Here are some ways to solve foundation heave:

  1. Identify the cause: It is important to first identify the root cause of the foundation heave. Common causes include expansive clay soils, poor drainage, plumbing leaks, or tree roots.
  2. Address drainage issues: Poor drainage can contribute to foundation heave by allowing excess water to accumulate around the foundation. Ensure that gutters are redirecting water away from the foundation and that the ground slopes away from the building to prevent water from pooling around the foundation.
  3. Repair plumbing leaks: Plumbing leaks can cause soil to become saturated and lead to foundation heave. If there are any leaks in the plumbing system, they should be promptly repaired to prevent further damage.
  4. Install a root barrier: If tree roots are causing foundation heave, installing a root barrier can help prevent further damage. The barrier should be installed at least two feet deep and extend outwards from the tree to prevent roots from affecting the foundation.
  5. Install a foundation underpinning system: If the foundation has been significantly damaged by heave, a foundation underpinning system may be necessary to stabilize the foundation. This involves installing additional support under the foundation to prevent further movement.
  6. Monitor and maintain: Regularly inspecting the foundation for signs of heave and addressing any issues promptly can help prevent further damage. It is also important to maintain the landscaping around the building to prevent issues such as plumbing leaks or tree root intrusion.


Professional Foundation Repair has the tools and skills to address foundation heave as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure the structural integrity of the building. We’re here to help and can help determine the best course of action for addressing foundation heave. 

Concrete Foundation Repair Solutions

Whether your home’s foundation issues are caused by soil settlement, heave, or seismic activity, Professional Foundation Repair has the solution. Here are just some of the ways we can help you solve stability issues in your home or building. 

  1. Patching and sealing: Minor cracks and holes in a concrete foundation can be repaired using a patching compound to fill in the damaged areas. This method is suitable for small, localized damage
  2. Epoxy or Polyurethane injection: Epoxy injection is a method used to repair larger cracks in concrete foundations. At Professional Foundation Repair, we use a polyurethane material that is inert, environmentally neutral, and does not contribute to soil or water contamination. This polymer is injected into the crack to fill and seal it, strengthening the foundation and preventing further  damage.
  3. Underpinning: Underpinning is used to stabilize a foundation that has started to sink or settle. This involves excavating beneath the foundation and installing additional supports, such as concrete piers, to provide extra stability.
  4. Slabjacking: Slabjacking lifts and levels a sunken or uneven concrete foundation. It involves injecting a grout or polyurethane foam mixture beneath the foundation to raise it back to its original position.
  5. Carbon fiber reinforcement: Carbon fiber reinforcement strengthens and stabilizes a concrete foundation experiencing structural issues. Carbon fiber strips are applied to the surface of the foundation to provide additional support and prevent further cracking or damage.
  6. Waterproofing: Waterproofing a concrete foundation is essential to prevent water infiltration and damage. Waterproofing materials, such as membranes or coatings, can be applied to the foundation to protect it from moisture and prolong its lifespan.
  7. Drainage improvement: Poor drainage around a concrete foundation can lead to water accumulation, which can weaken the foundation and cause structural problems. Professional Foundation Repair is one of the few companies in the area that can handle the entire solution, including drainage. Our sister company works exclusively on drainage problems, enabling us to fix not only the symptoms of foundation problems but also the core issues that caused these symptoms. 

It is important to consult with a professional foundation repair specialist to determine the most appropriate and effective method for repairing a concrete foundation based on the specific issues and conditions present. . 

Water and Drainage Solutions 

Water issues can greatly impact the soil around a foundation, leading to settlement or heaving that can cause foundation problems. Here are just some of the ways we can help you with water issues that lead to soil settlement or heaving and prevent future foundation problems.

  1. Proper grading: Ensure that the ground around the foundation slopes away from the house to prevent water from pooling near the foundation. This can help prevent water from seeping into the soil and causing settlement or heaving.
  2. Install proper drainage systems: Install gutters, downspouts, and French drains to direct water away from the foundation. Make sure that downspouts extend at least 5-10 feet away from the house to prevent water from seeping into the soil around the foundation.
  3. Maintain a consistent moisture level: Avoid over-watering landscaping or allowing water to pool near the foundation. Monitor the moisture level around the foundation and make adjustments to prevent excessive moisture buildup.
  4. Address plumbing leaks: Any leaks in plumbing fixtures or pipes should be repaired promptly to prevent water from seeping into the soil around the foundation.
  5. Install a moisture barrier: Consider installing a moisture barrier, such as a waterproof membrane or vapor barrier, around the foundation to prevent water from seeping into the soil and causing settlement or heaving.

By addressing water issues and implementing proper drainage and moisture control measures, you can help prevent foundation problems caused by soil settlement or heaving. It is important to regularly inspect the foundation and address any water issues promptly to maintain the structural integrity of your home.

Our Solutions to Soil Settlement or Heave 

Foundation heave occurs when the soil beneath a building’s foundation swells, causing the foundation to move upwards. This can lead to structural damage and instability in the building. Here are some ways to solve foundation heave:

  1. Identify the cause: It is important to first identify the root cause of the foundation heave. Common causes include expansive clay soils, poor drainage, plumbing leaks, or tree roots.
  2. Address drainage issues: Poor drainage can contribute to foundation heave by allowing excess water to accumulate around the foundation. Ensure that gutters are redirecting water away from the foundation and that the ground slopes away from the building to prevent water from pooling around the foundation.
  3. Repair plumbing leaks: Plumbing leaks can cause soil to become saturated and lead to foundation heave. If there are any leaks in the plumbing system, they should be promptly repaired to prevent further damage.
  4. Install a root barrier: If tree roots are causing foundation heave, installing a root barrier can help prevent further damage. The barrier should be installed at least two feet deep and extend outwards from the tree to prevent roots from affecting the foundation.
  5. Install a foundation underpinning system: If the foundation has been significantly damaged by heave, a foundation underpinning system may be necessary to stabilize the foundation. This involves installing additional support under the foundation to prevent further movement.
  6. Monitor and maintain: Regularly inspecting the foundation for signs of heave and addressing any issues promptly can help prevent further damage. It is also important to maintain the landscaping around the building to prevent issues such as plumbing leaks or tree root intrusion.


Professional Foundation Repair has the tools and skills to address foundation heave as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure the structural integrity of the building. We’re here to help and can help determine the best course of action for addressing foundation heave. 

Ready for a Solid Solution?

If you suspect foundation issues, don’t delay. Book your professional inspection now and ensure your property stands strong.

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Have a question?
Text or Call:
800-926-0058

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