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What Is a Slab Foundation?

rendering of a slab foundation

Foundations come in all shapes and sizes. One of the most common foundation types, especially in southern states like North Carolina, is a slab foundation. These types of foundations are easy on your budget and they’re also pretty easy to build.

This article explores everything you need to know about slab foundations, including what they are, how construction teams build them, their pros and cons, and how local foundation repair professionals can help you fix and protect them. 

Slab Foundations Explained

Slab foundations are a common type of house base, particularly in warmer southern climates, including North Carolina. This method involves pouring a thick concrete pad directly on the ground, which serves as both the foundation and the floor of the house. This is also known as “slab on grade.” Having a slab foundation means there’s no need for a basement or crawl space.

The construction of a slab foundation begins with pouring concrete, reinforced with steel rods, over a prepared soil area. The slab is typically 4-8 inches thick, with reinforced edges for added strength around the perimeter. The entire foundation is poured as a single piece. Once the concrete has fully cured, the house is constructed directly on top of this solid base.

How to Build a Slab Foundation 

Construction teams generally follow these nine steps to build a slab foundation: 

mixing cement
  • Determine the width and length of the foundation.
  • Prepare the ground, removing invasive rocks, branches, and roots. 
  • Frame the concrete slab with planks using pre-made 2-by-12-inch boards. 
  • Regrade to ensure the ground is as flat as possible.
  • Dig footings inside the slab area.
  • Compact a mixture of soil and sand in the footings.
  • Push rebar pins and stakes into the footing, tying them together. 
  • Pour a mixture of mortar and sand into the footings.
  • Pour the concrete for the slab.

Pros & Cons of Slab Foundations

There are many pros and cons of having a slab foundation. These include:

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Simple to build
  • Pest and mold-free
  • Easy to extend
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • No basement or crawl space for extra storage
  • Ventilation is required on the walls or in the attic. 
  • Must jackhammer through the slab to fix plumbing problems
  • Prone to concrete cracks
  • Must water the slab to maintain it in a perfect state

Need Slab Foundation Repair? Contact Tar Heel Today!

Tar Heel Basement Systems inspector meeting with homeowners

If you have a moderate budget, a concrete slab foundation may be the perfect choice for you and your home. The building cost is low, and the process is quick and simple.

Contact the Tar Heel Basement Systems team today for a free foundation inspection and repair quote. Our professionals will assess your foundation and recommend quality solutions to keep your home safe and stable. 

FAQs

The best foundation for a house in North Carolina depends on many factors, but alternatives like crawl spaces and slabs are often preferred over basements due to the region’s geological and climatic conditions. Contact a professional to learn more about foundation repair and protection for your North Carolina home.

If your slab foundation is settling and cracking, it’s not necessarily beyond repair. Depending on the damage and condition of the foundation and underlying soil, slab piers or polyurethane injections can be used to stabilize the problematic area. Contact Tar Heel Basement Systems today for a free inspection and solutions customized to your home’s repair needs.

Slab piers are designed specifically to stabilize and potentially lift slab foundations, offering a targeted solution that can address settlement issues effectively. They work by transferring the weight of your home to deeper, stable soil layers or bedrock, bypassing the unsettled and compromised soil that caused the issues in the first place.

Related Resources

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

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