The concrete structures you have outside of your home—your pool deck, your patio, your driveway—are all far more sensitive to damage than they may initially appear. Concrete absorbs water much faster than common knowledge suggests, meaning it can fall victim to cracks and other forms of damage at a relatively rapid pace.
Luckily, you don’t have to try and protect your concrete without help. Area professionals can help you identify what common problems your concrete may fall victim to and how best you can prevent that damage from taking root.
Common Problems For New Concrete
Buying your first home is intimidating. It’s difficult to stay on top of all of your responsibilities, let alone the kind of care your concrete needs to remain intact. If you make a point to get ahead of some of the common concrete problems new homeowners often face, you may save yourself a lot of stress and money down the line.
Some of the most common concrete problems new homeowners can run into include:
Early Cut Damage
As mentioned, concrete is relatively sensitive. If it isn’t given the space and moisture it needs to dry properly, it can become brittle and crack. Alternatively, if concrete is cut while it’s still wet, you may find yourself contending with accessory edges that chip or otherwise put your family at risk for injury.
Your concrete can crack due to errors during the initial pour or due to the work of heavy rain and flooding. Surface cracks in your concrete aren’t particularly dangerous, but that doesn’t mean they’re not indicative of what your patio’s future damage might look like. If you notice cracks starting to form in the concrete around your home, you’ll want to work quickly to patch up what you can and prevent that damage from worsening over time.
Construction teams can make mistakes when pouring concrete for home features around your property. In some cases, your concrete could be poured unevenly. Not only is an uneven pour more vulnerable to cracks and other early damage, but it also puts your family’s overall safety at risk. More often than not, you’ll want to see this kind of work stripped and replaced as soon as possible.
Concrete Problems Down the Line
Some common concrete problems don’t reveal themselves until you’ve been in a home for five to 10 years. These long-term problems can be just as dangerous as immediate concrete problems, if not more so. The array of challenges you may face can include:
Your concrete is not immune to the effects of temperature and moisture. Outdoor concrete structures, like your pool deck or patio, will expand and contract on a molecular level as the temperature in your area changes. Those molecular changes can cause your concrete to literally change in size and shape. This occurrence is known as “concrete crawl,” as your concrete can look as though it’s crawling toward your home or out into your yard.
Unfortunately, concrete crawl does more than disrupt the appearance of your outdoor structures. Moving concrete can force your home’s structural supports out of their original positions, compromising the security of your home as they do. To repair this kind of damage, you may need to both replace the damaged concrete and the supports that have been forced out of place.
Water and time are both powerful forces, especially when you’re considering the structural integrity of your concrete. Both of these forces can cause your concrete to weaken and eventually start to crumble. If you notice parts of your concrete patio or pool deck starting to break away from the primary structure, or should you find that your concrete accessories are sinking, you’ll need to act fast. Getting ahead of this kind of damage can be a challenge, but professionals with experience shoring up these structures can help you undo what damage has already been done.
What’s Causing Your Concrete Problems?
There isn’t always a single force causing your concrete to crack or otherwise suffer from damage. Tree roots, pests, the soil, and even the temperature in your area can all have an immediate impact on the stability of your concrete.
More often than not, you can trace problems with your concrete back to a unifying source: hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is a force that builds up around your concrete when water begins to gather in the area. That water can change the temperature at which your concrete resides. In turn, your concrete can begin to change size and shape on a molecular level, becoming weaker the longer it’s exposed to water and inconsistent temperatures.
Addressing Your Home’s Concrete Problems
Combating hydrostatic pressure and the other forces working against your concrete’s stability is no simple task. That’s why you don’t have to try and do so alone. Instead, you can reach out to the professional contractors serving your area. A contractor can inspect your property with you and provide you with a free services quote detailing what means you may need to restore your concrete or your foundation.