Fixing Up Your Concrete

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Saving Your Sinking Concrete Without Replacing It

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The concrete around your home can be troublesome as it gets old. Driveways, walkways, and even patios can start to settle over time, and if one section of the concrete pad settles too far, the stress can crack the pad. Concrete lifting is one option that you might want to consider before you spend money replacing the entire pad with new concrete.

Concrete Settling

Settling can occur for several reasons, but the most common reason that it happens is that the soil under the concrete has settled or eroded. If a void forms under the concrete, there will be nothing to support the weight of the slab, and it could start to sink or, worse, the concrete may crack or break, leaving you with a section of the concrete that is lower than the rest of the slab.

Water can work under the broken section and continue to erode the soil, allowing the concrete to continue sinking or causing a larger area of the concrete to sink as well. The result is damage that may be hard to repair if you let the settling continue, but there is something you can do if you act as soon as the settling is apparent.

Concrete Lifting

Using a process called concrete lifting, a contractor can drill some small holes in the surface of the concrete slab and use an expanding foam to raise the concrete back to its proper level. The foam will fill the void under the concrete and is resistant to water and the weather, but care needs to be taken when injecting the foam under the slab.

If the contractor adds too much foam, it can raise the slab too high and cause the opposite problem. It is critical that you work with a contractor that understands the process and has experience working with the equipment and materials that the job requires. 

Multiple Lifts

Sometimes the contractor will have to remove some loose soil before they can raise the concrete to ensure that they have a solid base to support the concrete. The contractor may be able to lift several sections of concrete for you if you have several areas that are sinking, but there can be some limitations to the amount of lifting they can do on a large slab.

The foam is strong enough to support the slab in pieces, but the weight of a slab as large as a driveway or patio may be too much, and the only option may involve replacing the slab entirely.

Contact a company like The Dwyer Company to learn more about your options.