Problem Signs That Indicate a Need for Concrete Lifting
Concrete lifting is one of the best tools a homeowner can have. It’s a great way to help fix some of the most prominent problems you might run into as a homeowner, namely those of concrete concerns. However, many homeowners don’t even know about concrete lifting possibilities, which typically means they don’t know what to look out for as well. Here’s what you should know about concrete lifting warning signs.
What Are the Biggest Concrete Lifting Warning Signs?
Although there are nearly endless reasons you might need to lift certain areas of your concrete, there are some warning signs that are more prominent than others. Here are the most significant things to look out for in your home’s concrete.
- Concrete Cracks
Concrete cracks may be the most obvious warning sign that you need concrete lifting. Concrete cracks are a basic warning sign for concrete lifting; many homeowners run across concrete lifting when they discover concrete cracks all across their home. If you have concrete cracks, especially if they’re there because of concrete settlement, concrete lifting may be a necessity for you.
- Uneven Concrete
What if your concrete is uneven? This is another common concern that homeowners mention when trying to find solutions that may include concrete lifting. Uneven concrete is a huge problem and it typically involves one end of a slab settling and the other end lifting.
- Concrete Edges That Don’t Match Up
If it seems like your concrete edges used to have no problems, but now they’re drifting apart from each other, it’s almost certain that the reason is that your concrete is shifting. Shifting concrete can cause a variety of problems, but it’s most important to address them as early as you can. Even if the concrete edges seem to have sideways rather than up and down movement, it’s essential to manage that movement nonetheless.
- Foundation Concerns
When you’re already having foundation problems in your basement or crawl space, chances are you’re going to end up with concrete problems all in and around your home as well. Foundation problems stem from the same place as concrete problems, which is usually an issue with the underlying soil. Plus, if the foundation is moving, it might have an impact on the concrete.
- Erosion from Rain and Flooding
Do you feel like there has been an abnormal amount of rain or flooding in your area recently? If you do, it might be a good idea to look at the foundation and the concrete in the area to make sure you don’t have lasting damage. Erosion underneath the concrete can cause it to sag, which typically causes many foundation problems.
- Sunken Concrete
Concrete that sinks in the middle is most common, but it can become uneven in many other ways. If you have sunken concrete, you’ll have one part of the concrete that sinks too far into the ground. This typically causes cracks in the center or side of the concrete, as the weight distribution becomes uneven.
How Can I Lift My Concrete?
Now you know that it’s essential to look for signs and symptoms that you might need concrete lifting solutions. However, what are those solutions? There are a few different ways you may be able to fix sunken or uneven concrete. However, their efficacy may vary substantially.
- Concrete Patch
A concrete patch isn’t technically a concrete lifting tool, but it is something homeowners will use when they should instead be using concrete lifting. Essentially, a concrete patch can help with some types of cracking on the surface of a concrete slab. However, what it can’t do is make the concrete no longer have cracking problems.
When you use a concrete patch, it should be because you’re having surface-level problems you need to tackle early on. If you’re having more profound issues, you can’t use a concrete patch to try and bandage over it. It’s important that you instead handle the baseline problem.
- Slabjacking or Mudjacking
These used to be the most common solutions for raising concrete. However, increasingly, they’re looked at as archaic and outdated methods of doing so. This is mostly because both slabjacking and mudjacking require extremely heavy and intrusive fixes that tend just to alleviate current pressure rather than trying to lift the slab in any way.
If you’re interested in raising a concrete slab, slabjacking and mudjacking are not the best options. If someone suggests slabjacking or mudjacking to you, chances are it’s because they don’t know there are better options out there. Slabjacking and mudjacking are not great answers to your problem, regardless of where you’re planning to use them or how much traffic you need to support.
- Polyurethane Foam Injections
This is far and away the best option for lifting concrete slabs that have had falling problems. Polyurethane foam injections offer maximum stability and strength with minimal invasion and curing time necessary; it typically takes only about 15 minutes before you can stand and even drive on the concrete you’ve lifted with polyurethane foam injections.
Additionally, polyurethane foam injections help you lift concrete, not just stop it from sinking. When you utilize polyurethane foam injections, you’ll be able to lift the concrete entirely. That means no worries about concrete sinking or cracking, which tend to be issues that many homeowners have. Polyurethane foam injections can alleviate concrete sinking and falling.
FAQs About Concrete Lifting
When you’re addressing concrete problems that involve sinking, it’s imperative to address them directly with concrete lifting. Concrete lifting is one of the most critical elements of managing and maintaining your home. Why is that, and what should you think about when it comes to concrete lifting?
- Ignoring the Main Problem
If you’re not lifting your concrete, you’re probably ignoring the problem causing any other issues arising from the concrete concerns. Specifically, if you have sunken concrete issues and you do anything other than concrete lifting, you’re going to end up developing other serious problems such as dampness, cracking, and mold formation because you’re essentially allowing the issue to grow by ignoring the problem.
As well as co-occurring issues like dampness–which is caused by the way that cracked concrete allows water to seep into your home–you could see a growth in the original problem. When concrete slabs first start to sink, it can seem inconsequential, but as the process accelerates, the physical evidence of sinking, like cracks and unevenness, will become more severe and could impact the structure of your home.
- Outdated Ways to Stop Falling
Of course, not all concrete lifting procedures are made equal. Some aim to help restore your concrete to its initial state. In contrast, other answers, which may include slabjacking or mudjacking, just enable it not to continue to fall, which is a different benefit altogether. These traditional concrete leveling methods were sufficient for many years, but they’re moving out of style for many reasons.
These outdated methods still have their benefits and applications, of course, but they are messier, take more time to set, and aren’t always suitable for heavier properties. This is why slabjacking and mudjacking are most commonly used on exterior slabs and concrete surfaces that see less traffic. Garages, stand-alone workshops, and patios are perfect examples of areas that are compatible with the solutions.
Lifting concrete in and around your home is a crucial element of your home’s health, but it’s probably not something you should try to do yourself. Instead, you’re going to need help with the lifting and leveling process, even if you don’t realize it just yet.
- The Problems with a DIY Approach
Because concrete lifting requires special tools and specific knowledge of the polyurethane foam injection process, you can’t do it on your own. A DIY approach in this venue could easily lead to disaster because of the two-part process of mixing this foam. The two-stage mixing process is part of what makes this solution so flexible and versatile, but it also means that even the slightest miscalculation can cause the foam to over or under expand. This is not just inconvenient – it can cause damage to the slab as well any of your belongings which it comes into contact with.
Likewise, proper installation will require excavation, pressured injection, and the tools to resurface and repair your slab after the foam has set in place. This makes it a complex and intensive process that most homeowners simply do not have the tools, skills, and experience to undertake. Furthermore, it’s typically not possible to buy the material for polyurethane foam injections at your local big-box store, so it’s usually not even an available option.
- An Expert’s Help
The only person who can help you lift your home’s concrete the right way is a concrete lifting expert who has the tools and experience to make sure that the best possible solution for your home is the one you get. If you’re looking for a better way to lift and restore your concrete levels, a concrete lifting expert can help you do just that. However, a local expert will be able to help you lift and restore the home’s concrete more efficiently.
Better still, a professional will get you great results the first time around. This means that while expert repair services can be more costly than DIY repairs upfront, you will end up paying far less in the long-run. No re-do’s, no unforeseen complications, and no false-starts also means that you will be able to kick back and relax once the professionals arrive, safe in the knowledge that they will take care of everything.
Being on the lookout for concrete problems requires that you know where the concrete in your home is. However, many homeowners don’t even know how they might experience issues with concrete. Concrete is all around your home, and the best way to find it is to talk to a concrete repair expert.
- Sidewalk and Driveway
If you’re looking for places where you may need to lift and level concrete, you’ll probably first want to look at the sidewalk and driveway, which are the most common places for concrete around the home. Of course, these are more common areas, which means you probably already know about them.
These areas are also the most likely to show early signs of problems like frost heave and street creep. This is because they are lightweight, exposed to the elements, and vulnerable to lateral and vertical pressures. If you see sections of your sidewalk and driveway sinking, heaving, cracking, or crumbling, you should consider calling a professional to get advice.
- Pools, Patios, and Decks
Pools also have concrete around them, and while many patios and decks are made of wood, they tend to have concrete underneath them to provide structural support and stability. It’s entirely possible to have issues with this concrete as you would with any other concrete in and around your home. Checking in on this concrete can be a crucial element of maintaining your home’s health.
Look for signs of unevenness in otherwise healthy decking and patios. This could be caused by damaged joists or rotting wood, but there is also a chance that the concrete slabs underneath them have started to sink or crack. When it comes to your pool, you should be wary of any cracks that appear to be anything other than superficial. You should call a professional right away; pool repairs can be very costly and will only rise as the damage becomes more severe!
This might come as a surprise to you, but your foundation often utilizes concrete as a stabilizer. It’s very common for foundations to use concrete in one way or another. Many foundations are made entirely of poured concrete because it is a cost-effective, durable, and versatile material. If you have a foundation, especially one that’s sinking, concrete lifting and leveling methods can help to dramatically improve stability and the health of your property as a whole.
Of course, when it comes to your property’s foundation, many deeper issues can cause concrete sections to sink, crack, or tilt. The most common causes of foundation damage, settlement, and even heaving begin in the soil under your home. Settlement, for example, is usually caused by expansive soil and severe climate changes.
It may be possible for you to lift a concrete slab even when you have severe cracking problems in the concrete. However, it’s also essential to take that assurance with a grain of salt. Everything depends on what you mean by “serious cracking problems,” especially regarding issues with concrete.
- General Cracks and Problems
When you’re just having general cracks in a concrete slab, you’re more likely to be able to lift the concrete slab with no problems. This is especially true with polyurethane foam injections, which raise the concrete slab more consistently. Because they spread out underneath the concrete slab, you don’t have to worry as much about the polyurethane foam injections, even with more severe cracks.
This means that there is less chance of parts of a slab breaking away and setting in a displaced position (or worse, allowing the foam to leak out into your home). If you have cracks and damage to your slabs, please let your repair technician know so that they can assess them. If the cracks are very deep or severe, they may have to tailor their approach to get you the best results.
- Serious Cracks Overall
A slab that has one or two severe cracks may still be eligible for lifting measures. It depends on the likelihood that the slab will break apart. In some cases, it may be possible to deploy supportive measures like slab piers to help lift and repair a slab that has some existing damage (insert link for slab piers). This combined solution can be incredibly durable and cost-effective, but there is always slab replacement.
There will always be a point where the concrete slab will no longer respond to lifting and leveling measures, which means you’ll have to replace it entirely. If you handle concrete cracking and sinking early on, you’ll be less likely to have issues wondering whether or not you’ll be able to lift a specific concrete slab. Slab replacement can be costly, but it’s worth it if your slabs are beyond the point of repair.
Request More Help From an Expert to Get the Right Concrete Lifting Expertise
Concrete lifting isn’t something you can do by yourself. Instead, you must get help from an expert who will be able to talk to you about your concrete problems and how you might fix them. It’s one of the best things you can get from a concrete repair expert because it helps you lay out a plan for the future.
If you’re having a problem with your concrete in and around your home, you can talk to a local expert and make sure you’re feeling great about your concrete options. Call today; you might be able to get more information just from pictures and video.