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Probable Cause(s) of Movement Foundation Movement

Various factors can influence the differential movement of slab foundations. The mechanism of the typical causes for slab distress is best summarized as follows:

  • The maintenance of the foundations perimeter moisture.
  • The amount of water/moisture in the soil prior to placement of the concrete.
  • The grading of the perimeter soils up to 10 feet away from the foundation.
  • The presence of shallow groundwater seepage (bog).
  • The past or present influence of large vegetation and/or trees.
  • The presence of fill soils and the various amount of cut and fill across the lot.
  • Soil creep.
  • Structural design of the slab for the assumed soil conditions.
  • The construction execution in the field.
  • The antecedent weather conditions prior to pouring the concrete.
  • Extreme weather patterns causing soil consolidation.

Upon years of observation and research the most significant soil-structure interaction mechanism causally related to
differential slab movement is due to soil moisture withdrawn from nearby root systems of trees extracting moisture from
the soils beneath the foundation.


Brazos Valley Solutions LLC
Serving Bryan, Texas and Surrounding Communities
State of Texas Home Inspector TREC 8806
Bryan/College Station 979.739.8288
Metro DFW 469.358.2426
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