I have a home built in Arizona. Its on a slab. Parts of the floor are
covered in ceramic tile. The tile started popping up near a control join
and further down the same large hall along another line that is not a
control joint. The control join did not have the slipsheet it should have
had, thus the popping tile on the control joint (so I'm told) After they
pulled the tile from the other rows that were not over a control joint they
discovered another crack, and have told me the concrete is collapsing. I'm
assuming this means sinking? or rather moving downward on this end and
upward near the control joint. They said if they were to retile it as is
the new tile would be a quarter inch above the old tiles near the control
joint. The control joint runs the same direction as the rows of tile, right
under a line of grout. My question is what should I be asking them to do to
repair a 'collapsing' slab?
Look in your phone book under "foundation repair" and you should find
companies that re-stablize slab foundations..Here in Texas that is fairly
common and we used a company called "Perma-Jack" and they did a great job..
The best solution is to not build directly on expansive soils. Piers
that terminate at stable layers (rock) are used to carry the load of the
by sheet did the builder mean "shear membrane"? Shear membranes are the
way to lay tile over cracking concrete that remains planar. You have
two slab segments with changing height. You can't expect tile to
it should have
If there is a sufficiently strong structure of concrete beams to support
the dwelling something like "PermaJack" is a good idea. Not inexpensive
As part of the research into how to actually correct the slab sinking,
find out what utilities (water esp.) are buried in the slab. If they
are threatened by the slab movement, you may want to rethink the
If you in Fountain Hills do some research on expansive soils. Really big
problem when FH got started. Lots of law suits.
I have lived and worked in Az for 35 years. I have never seen a expansion
joint on a residence. I have seen trowel marks that are there for cracking
purposes but never a control joint in a slab. The floor is poured in one
shot, then the garage,then the sidewalks and drive way. When I removed all
the carpet in my 30 year old home I was amazed at the spider cracks in the
floor. The bigger ones I sealed with foam caulk and a self leveling floor
sealer. Then I put down a wood floor. It is perfectly normal for floors to
crack. The floors in most AZ homes do not support anything. The stems and
footing do the structural work. The floor is there to have something to walk
on and a sub surface for flooring.
Tile popping up can be because it was not installed correctly. Take a broom
handle and tap the tiles. If you have a lot that sound hollow. I believe
your dealing with a workmanship issue, not a structural issue. (see sentence
Find the builder and ask some questions if they are still around... Try the
neighbors they might have some suggestions as to how they handled the
Best of luck to ya
According to the home builder they want to (and did) grind down the cement
as to allow the new tiles to be flush with the old ones. Without grinding
they say the new tiles near the 'control joint' would have been 1/4" higher.
They also plan on using a non-fragmenting (?) membrane thing to prevent it
from happening again. I also discovered 20 more tiles in line with the
crack in other rooms that are popping off.
My question is does this sound ok? How do we know that the concrete slab
won't continue to move? And the same thing happens in a year ? Is there
some kind of soil/foundation/something analysis I can request they do to
fully ascertain the situation.
Also, possibly unrelated, a few of the doors that are perpendicular to the
crack don't close as smoothly as they used to. What is the possibilty that
the jam is now out of square due to a change in the foundation?
Thanks to everyone.
...and cracks in walls and/or ceilings. Also out of square or binding
windows. The other was is to accept that if the house is in Texas or
Arizona even if it hasn't moved yet it will.
Chris M wrote:
Cracks in the bricks, too.
You are right to see a foundation repair company and have them
analyze the problem.
I'm afraid your builder has skimped on the foundation and is now
going to pay the price. We are talking about tens of thousands of
dollars to clean this up.
Document everything and then bring in the lawyers.
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