Is your garage sinking? If so, don’t hit that back button because you’ve landed on the right page. In this article, we’re going to review why garage floors sink, signs your garage floor might be sinking, repair solutions for sinking garage floors, and more.
Signs Your Garage Floor May Be Sinking
The signs of a sinking garage floor include the following:
- There are visible cracks in the concrete slab. These will almost certainly be cracks that are larger than hairline cracks.
- The garage floor is uneven. This slope is often most noticeable where the garage floor meets the foundation or walls of the garage.
- The garage’s doors and windows aren’t opening and closing correctly. This is an indication everything is out of plumb. Why?
- There’s water on the garage floor after heavy rain. This could be a sign of a sinking garage floor, as water can seep into gaps between the slab and foundation.
- There are low spots on the garage floor that tend to collect water.
Causes Of A Sinking Garage Floor
Various things can cause a garage floor to sink. These include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
- One of the most common causes is soil settlement. Over time, the soil underneath a garage floor can shift and settle, causing the floor to sink in certain areas.
- A problem with the garage’s foundation can also cause a garage floor to sink.
- Poor drainage can also contribute to a sinking garage floor. If the soil under the slab is prone to erosion, voids could form. If the slab settles into the voids, the garage floor will sink.
- Poor construction techniques can also cause a garage floor to sink. For example, the soil must be compacted before the garage floor is poured. If this isn’t done correctly, the slab could settle into the ground later and become uneven.
Repair Solutions For A Sinking Garage Floor
What’s Sinking? The Garage Floor Or The Garage’s Foundation?
Some garage floors are connected to the foundation, and some aren’t. So, answering this question will help you determine the best repair solution.
If the garage floor isn’t connected to the perimeter of the foundation, then we can use a repair procedure called polyjacking to lift the sinking garage floor.
If the garage floor is connected to the perimeter of the foundation, it’s possible the entire garage is sinking, not just the floor. If so, that will need a completely different repair solution.
If the garage floor isn’t connected to the perimeter of the foundation
Garage floors that aren’t connected to the perimeter of the foundation can usually be lifted using polyurethane foam injection, also known as polyjacking. This involves drilling small holes into the affected area and injecting polyurethane foam into the voids beneath the garage floor. As the foam expands, it fills the voids and raises the concrete slab back to its original position.
If the garage floor is connected to the perimeter of the foundation
If the garage floor is sinking because of a problem with the garage’s foundation, underpinning using either helical or push piers may be used. Underpinning creates a solid foundation that can support the weight of the garage and prevent future sinking.
Whatever the cause of the sinking, addressing the issue as soon as possible is essential. If you wait, the problem will worsen, and you’ll end up paying more for the repair.
While it doesn’t happen very often, now and then, a garage floor, for whatever reason, is beyond repair and needs to be replaced.
How To Prevent Your Garage From Sinking
Since repairs cost money, it’s best to do what you can to prevent your garage from sinking. Here are some ways to do that:
- Use good construction practices – A well-built garage is less likely to end up with a sinking floor. Ensure that the soil beneath your garage is adequately compacted before construction starts.
- Clean your gutters regularly – Gutters clogged with dead leaves and other debris could cause water to spill over the side of the house and soak the ground around the garage’s foundation. Since water causes most foundation problems, you want to make sure there isn’t any excess moisture in the soil around the foundation.
- Use downspout extensions – Downspout extensions will channel runoff away from the garage’s foundation before release.
- Install a drain tile system – When it comes to foundation waterproofing, nothing beats a drain tile system. An exterior drain tile system would be installed around the outside perimeter of the garage’s foundation at the footing level. After the soil is excavated, a shallow trench is dug around the foundation perimeter and lined with gravel. A perforated drain pipe is placed on the gravel and covered with more gravel. Finally, the excavated soil is replaced. Any excess moisture in the ground will find its way into the drainage pipe and get channeled toward a sump pit. When the pit fills with water, a sump pump turns on and ejects the water away from the foundation.
- Good maintenance practices – It’s essential to regularly inspect your entire garage – not just the floor – for cracks or other signs of damage.
By taking these preventative measures, you can help ensure that your garage remains structurally sound and avoid the costly repairs associated with a sinking garage.
If you’re worried about a sinking garage floor, contact us today to schedule an evaluation and receive a repair estimate. We serve Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada.