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Glossary

S

Sealed Foundation Walls

A sealed wall is the process of adding a material to waterproof the wall. This process should only be done in conjunction with a properly functioning waterproofing system. These two products combined create a leak free basement and drastically lower humidity levels.

Settlement

Settlement is the term used to describe the problem when a foundation sinks into the void created beneath a foundation.

Slab Foundation

A foundation type that is made of concrete, typically 4-6 inches thick, and is poured directly on the ground in one pour.

Slab Jack

Another term for ‘mud jacking.’ See mud jacking.

Soil

Soil is mineral and organic materials covering the earth’s surface where plants grow.

Soil Layers

Soil layers are deposits that have formed over a long time. Some factors that facilitate the layer deposits include wind, water, glaciers, and human activities such as construction. The layers gain strength and capacity with time. Beneath the layers are bedrocks that keep it even stronger and stable.

Soil Types

Soil types such as man-moved, backfill, and native layers have various properties that make them suitable for different construction work.

Spalling

Spalling is a defect that occurs in concrete. Concrete slowly breaks because water has entered the concrete causing it to peel, or flake. This is common in colder climates where the freeze-thaw cycle is recurrent.

Spread Footings

A spread footing is a shallow footing in proportion to its width and usually made of reinforced concrete. They can offer additional support for the home’s weight.

Stack Effect

Stack effect is the movement of air in and out of a building. The air at the bottom (the hottest air) is pushed upward before being forced out of the home. The stack effect increases when the air outside is colder than the air inside.

Stair Step Crack

Stair-step cracks can occur in the foundation walls. The cracks follow the familiar step pattern and often follow the grout lines.

Stress

The force at a point within the soil mass that exerts pressure from the weight of the soil above the point plus any pressure exerted on the soil by the structure.

Structural Integrity

A measure of how structurally sound the structure is to support the weight of the building.

Sump Pump

A mechanical appliance to discharge water in a crawl space or basement out and away from the home.

Sump Pump Pit

The sump pit is a hole with a gravel base that is dug at the lowest part of the basement or crawl space. The sump basin is then inserted before the pumps themselves are added.