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Causes of Concrete Damage

When heavy rains or snow saturate the concrete surrounding your home, it can begin to swell and crack leading to concrete settlement and sinking. Here's how concrete lifting can help repair these issues.

Concrete Lifting Causes

The Causes of Concrete Lifting Needs

Concrete lifting is one of the more complicated procedures you might need to use in your home. However, it’s still one of the best tools you can use for more effective fixes for many issues, especially when it comes to things like concrete cracks and other problems. Many people don’t know much about concrete lifting, which is why you might be researching it right now. Here’s what you need to know about concrete lifting in your own home.

Why Would Concrete Need Lifting?

What are the reasons that could indicate you need lifting for your concrete? It might surprise you to hear that there are many reasons concrete lifting might be necessary. Here are just a few.

  • Issues with the Soil Under the Concrete

One of the biggest reasons you might need help with lifting your concrete is if you have problems with the soil underneath it. For the most part, this indicates that the ground underneath the concrete is just too loosely packed, which can occur if the initial building crew didn’t quite do enough to prepare the soil before pouring the concrete.

It’s also possible for this problem to start and continue if there have been many issues with rain and flooding in the area recently. Water is excellent at eroding soil underneath concrete. If you’ve had a considerable amount of water in your area recently, you should get an expert in to make sure there isn’t a lot of erosion happening.

  • Poorly Poured Concrete 

What if the concrete wasn’t poured correctly to begin with? Unfortunately, this is something that happens often. It’s essential to be on the lookout for related issues.

Most of the time, you’ll notice this near the beginning of the settling process. You might notice that the soil is sinking a lot more than it should, that there are lots of little hairline cracks all across the concrete, or that the concrete seems uneven right off the bat. No matter what it is, if you have a foundational problem like this, re-pouring the concrete might be your only real option.

  • Too Much Weight on the Concrete

You can have too much weight on your concrete. This typically occurs inside, but it can also happen outside. Concrete can hold an awful lot of weight, but sometimes people go overboard. If you have too much weight on a concrete slab, you can end up with severe cracks and concrete sinking.

Most of the time, this issue with too much weight occurs very soon after installing something new. It’s the same reason you may end up with floor joist problems when you do something like replace your countertops. If you’ve started to place too much weight on a specific area in the concrete, you’re more likely to have cracking and sinking problems in that particular area.

How Can I Lift Concrete?

What can you do to lift the concrete? When it comes to concrete lifting, there are several potential answers. Some of these will work better than others, while certain solutions may not even be a possibility for you.

  • Slabjacking and Mudjacking

This refers to the relatively archaic process of lifting concrete by pumping a concrete slurry underneath. The idea is that if you can fill the void underneath the concrete with more concrete, the concrete will not continue settling. That means you can have more concrete underneath the concrete you already have.

However, there are many problems with this. First off, concrete slurry tends to be overly expansive. Next, this slurry almost always fills the center of the sunken area but leaves the corners completely untouched. Last, it’s incredibly invasive, often requires weeks to cure completely, and is very complicated to carry out.

  • Ignoring the Problem 

It’s also common for people to just ignore the problem. Especially if the problem doesn’t seem very significant, like uneven concrete slabs that just don’t match up very well, you might wonder how bad it could be if you just ignore it. Of course, as you probably already know, ignoring the problem is one of the worst ways to approach this concern.

You can’t just ignore the problem and expect it to go away. The concrete will just start sinking further and further. At best, you’ll have these issues for the rest of the time you have your home. At worst, the concrete can continue to sink, eventually leading to further serious problems. You can’t just ignore it and hope it gets better.

  • Polyurethane Foam Injections 

The most tech-savvy and up-to-date option are polyurethane foam injections. With polyurethane foam injections, an expert will inject a mixture of two different products underneath the concrete slab using a tool that only requires a few holes about the size of a dime in your concrete slab. That makes it less invasive, but it’s also more successful than other options.

The great thing about this solution is that you can start walking on your concrete about 15 minutes after the polyurethane foam injection is introduced. Plus, covering the holes is much easier when those holes are less than an inch in diameter. If you want the best bang for your buck when it comes to fixing concrete slabs, polyurethane foam injections are the best option.

Get Your Concrete Lifting From an Expert to Save Time and Money

Although concrete lifting can be an extremely beneficial tool for your home, you mustn’t just do it halfway. If you use a low-quality method of concrete lifting, chances are that you’ll end up with a low-quality result, which is typically the worst thing you can have in your home. You only want a high-quality outcome.

The best way to achieve that high-quality result is to make sure you talk to an expert before starting with your concrete lifting process. It’s impossible to lift concrete by yourself very effectively, but an expert can help. With more information from a local expert, it can be even easier for you to maintain your concrete’s structural integrity.

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Disclaimer: “Concrete leveling” means the process by which cracked, uneven concrete is stabilized, and in many cases lifted, by means of PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam. Groundworks does not guarantee that PolyRenewal™ can make your concrete perfectly level.