Concrete slabs around your home, such as the concrete on your driveway, in your garage and on your patio, should stay flat and even. If you have any concrete slabs around your home that have sunk, they can be fixed through concrete lifting or by removing and replacing the concrete slab.
Why Concrete Sinks
The most common reason that concrete slabs sink has to do with the soil underneath the concrete slab. The soil under the concrete slab may not have been properly compressed before the concrete was laid on top of the soil, which can lead to the soil shifting over time.
Certain types of soil also expand and contract due to external temperatures, which over time can cause the concrete on top of the dirt to shift and sink. This process can take anywhere from a few years to a few decades to occur.
Problems with Sunken Concrete
Sunken concrete creates a variety of safety and drainage problems, which is why it’s important to take care of these sunken slabs.
Safety is one of the biggest concerns created by a sunken concrete slab. Sunken concrete slabs can create tripping and safety issues. For example, if one of the slabs on your driveway have sunken, and others around it have not, that creates an edge that anyone walking on your driveway could potentially trip and fall over. If one part of your patio is higher than another, this too presents a tripping risk.
Next, sunken concrete slabs can create drainage problems. When concrete is poured, it is poured at a slight angle to ensure water drains away from your home and towards the proper drainage channels. When concrete slabs sink, water may no longer drain away from your home and in the proper direction. This can lead to water pooling up in the wrong spaces every time it rains.
Depending on where the sunken concrete slab is located, a drainage problem could simply create unwarranted puddles or it could lead to larger issues, such as washed out landscaping, basement water leaks and foundation damage. Water needs to be able to drain properly away from your home to prevent these issues from occurring.
How to Fix Sunken Concrete
If some of your concrete slabs have sunk over time around your home, you can fix the damage. The two most popular ways to fix sunken concrete slabs are replacing the concrete as well as raising the concrete slab back to its proper height.
Replacing the Concrete
When replacing the concrete slab, it will be removed, typically using a jackhammer or similar tool. Then, the pieces of broken concrete will be hauled away or put in a rented dumpster. After that, new concrete will be poured. Replacing concrete can be expensive as you will have to pay demolition and removal costs, as well as installation costs for the new concrete slab.
Raising the Concrete
Another option is to raise the concrete slab. This process is called concrete lifting or sometimes slab jacking.
First, a powerful saw is used to bore holes all the way through the concrete slab and the dirt underneath it. Numerous holes are bored throughout the concrete slab.
Once the holes are in place, a hydraulic concrete pump is used to pump a special mixture of concrete and sand through the holes. This mixture goes under the concrete slab and lifts the concrete slab up until it is level and provides a solid base.
The concrete mixture that is pumped under your current slab is designed to cure quickly. When the mixture has cured, the holes that were drilled into your slab are filled with concrete.
Talk to the experts at Southport Concrete Corp about the best way to deal with your sunken concrete.