Sudden "speed bump" in slab on grade. HELP!

My sister just called. Said all of a sudden a “speed bump” appeared in her floor. Home is Slab on grade, about 30 years old in Santa Barbara. She had new tile floor installed about 5 years ago.

Over the last couple months, she said it seemed like when you stepped on the floor, it felt like it was “floating”…then all of a sudden this bump about 5 feet long shows up. There is a crack along the grout line and now a couple tiles have cracked. She says that at the end of the tile floor, where it changes to carpet, you can see between the tile and slab. No water or moisture visible.

I can’t make it down for the next couple weeks. Any ideas? Burst pipe? Failed tension cable?(not sure if it has tension cables) earthquake fault?:mrgreen:

Don’t know if the concrete is raised or just the tile.

Jeff Pope…you da man…Help.


Is she on a cliff near the ocean?
Any recent siesemic activity?
Water problems nearby?

Probably needs an engineering evaluation.

Ah Santa Barbara, beautiful, but soooo expensive it is where old people visit their parents.:smiley:

Got to be moisture, as you say a pipe leak, and potentially expansive soil.

Got to be? Wow…

The adobe clays have expansion qualities when exposed to water. Most likely the issue here. I had a friend who had the same problem and the repair was to jack hammer out the slab and replace it. Have her check her insurance. Many policies will cover this especially if its due to a leak,


Somebody said somewhere that Kieth had a PHD in English…right???

It’s difficult to tell by the description Stephen. There are many variables to consider and it’s not likely to be a PT slab at that age.

I have an appointment next week in Pizmo Beach. I’ll be driving right through Santa Barbara. I would be happy to check it out for her (at no charge of course).

PM or email me if this works.

Jeff, that was awful kind of you to volunteer for this.

You know what I think? Did anyone realize that tomorrow is dated as:


Would it be the the anti-Christ is being born under that slab. ???

I know, that is not funny, but could not resist. ha. ha.

All fun aside, is it possible, due the area that a fault line is creating some disturbance in the landscape without anyone knowing? After fifty years, it is hard to understand why now.
Good luck in your finding Jeff, and keep us abreast.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


What an offer. You are 'DA MAN". The water company came out today…No leaks in the slab. Tile guy came out. Hadn’t seen anything like this in 30 years of laying tile. He is coming out tomorrow to replace the tiles. We will know (maybe) if there are cracks in the slab or ???

Will post more when he is done.

Thanks again Jeff for the offer. Another reason I joined NACHI. Top notch inspectors helping each other.

Steve :mrgreen::mrgreen:

Pismo Beach, have a cold one at Harry’s for me Jeff, sarsaparilla of course.

La Superica on Milpas, or Joes on State Street in Santa Barbara are good bets.:smiley:

The dangers of definitive statements eh? :wink:

I avoid them at all costs in areas requiring my xray vision…