Slab sinking?

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?
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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.. John

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John wrote:

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 structure.

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 tolerate this. 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 but effective.
Boden

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Charles Spitzer wrote:

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Chris M wrote:

<SNIP>
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 project.
Jim
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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 1) 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 problem. Best of luck to ya
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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.

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Chris M wrote:

Very high.

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Is there any specific things i should look for that will help me determine if the entire foundation is moving? such as out of square door jams, and???

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...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.
Boden
Chris M wrote:

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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.
PJ

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