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What Concrete Slabs Tell Buyers 

Sinking concrete driveway or sidewalk slabs at a home you're looking to buy may not seem like a big deal but learn what it might mean for your foundation.

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Buying your new home usually means multiple walk-throughs and inspections. Although you’ll be pulled in a million directions, one thing not to miss is the concrete slabs around the home.  

And for good reason, the concrete slabs around the exterior of the home can tell you a lot about what may be going on with the foundation. Learn what signs to look for in both sinking concrete and potential foundation issues and the steps to fix both the concrete and the possible foundation problem.  

How Driveway Slabs and the Foundation are Linked  

It may not seem like it, but the exterior concrete slabs around a house and its foundation have a lot in common. Largely, they both sit on the same soil type and come in contact with similar water amounts based on geographical location and the home’s drainage system. Because of this, if there is a problem, the concrete slabs will be first to show signs of damage.  

Concrete slabs crack and sink because the soil beneath them is not strong enough to withstand the slab’s weight. This could be because water has washed out soil leaving a void and allowing the slab to sink downward. Although all soil can wash out with the right conditions, soil with high amounts of sand is more likely to wash out than soil that is well-drained and loamy or clay soil.  

If you consider the same soil under the sinking slab is also around and under the home’s foundation, you begin to see the correlation.  

However, when a home’s foundation sinks, the consequences and cost of damage are much larger. 

Take a Proper Walk Around  

Now that you know the importance, when walking around the home, look for sinking driveway, sidewalk, walkway, or patio slabs. The direction the slabs are sinking can offer some explanation of how drainage is flowing but mainly indicates you need to take a closer look at the home’s foundation. Sinking slabs closer to the house are obviously a bigger red flag, but even sidewalk slabs a ways away from the house can be an indication of the type of soil surrounding the home.  

In addition to looking at the slabs, be sure to walk on them too. Feel for any slabs that feel spongy or loose under your foot; this is a sign a void is beneath, and the slab could settle.  

What’s Next   

So, you notice sinking concrete. Add that to the list of items that need fixing because sinking slabs can be a major tripping hazard, especially for those who struggle with walking like children and the elderly.  

Groundworks uses cutting-edge, waterproof polyurethane foam to raise sunken slabs and stabilize them for years to come, eliminating tripping hazards and restoring the curb appeal to the home.  

As we talked about, sinking slabs are a sign to take a closer look at the home and look for signs of foundation damage. Look for:  

These are all common foundation problem signs to always keep an eye on when walking through a home, especially if you notice sinking concrete slabs outside.  

The good news is Groundworks has several solutions to repair foundation problems, including wall anchors and pier systems. So, falling in love with a home with foundation issues isn’t a reason to walk away, but do be prepared for additional inspections before moving forward.  

Next Steps When a Home has Foundation Problems  

It’s understandable to be worried when you learn the home of your dreams has foundation issues. The local experts at Groundworks understand this and offer a full inspection to review the damage and make suggestions to fix the problem. It’s a good idea to work with the seller’s agent and the homeowner to schedule the inspection. Our team can work with you to find a time and date that works best for all parties.  

It’s not unlikely for the seller to repair the damage prior to the sale. In this case, as the new owner, the warranty would transfer to you, providing comfort for years to come.  

Schedule your inspection today.  

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