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Our Top 3 Causes of Sinking Concrete

sinking concrete sidewalk

Cracking, crumbling, and heaving concrete around your North Carolina home may seem like it came out of nowhere. While it certainly can feel this way, there are many elements at work that will cause your concrete to be damaged over time.

Here, we’ll explore what is behind your concrete problems.

Common Causes of Concrete Damage  

soil washout and erosion

1. Erosion

On average, North Carolina experiences 48 inches of rain per year, which is above the national average of 38 inches. An abundance of rain in any context can be detrimental to your concrete, as it can cause flaking and spalling, and of course, erode the soil supporting the concrete, too.  As the soil washes out, air pockets begin to form beneath your concrete. Since it is now lacking the support of the soil underneath, you may notice it collapsing or cracking over time and crumbling inward.  

shrinking soil

2. Drought 

North Carolina also experiences periods of drought, which can exasperate cracking not only in your concrete sidewalks and driveways but your foundation as well. Drought tends to increase bush and tree root activity, as the roots in your yard will extend further and wider in search of water. This has caused concrete cracking as roots grow underneath concrete slabs, causing them to crack or lift.   

poor concrete installation

3. Poor Installation

If contractors install your concrete poorly or on a bad weather day, your concrete damage will not work itself out over time. Too much water in a concrete mixture or even poor materials will render your concrete weaker and more susceptible to damage by the elements. Poor installation, like not tamping down the concrete enough or buckling interior concrete supports, can cause honeycombing or delamination to your concrete. Worst-case scenario, you may have to completely remove and re-lay the concrete. 

Tar Heel Basement Systems Is Your Concrete Expert 

Mudjacking as a traditional concrete repair method may be able to temporarily fix your damaged concrete, but it’s a messy and labor-intensive process that does not address the root cause of the problem. Polyurethane foam injections are more reliable solutions that not only lift your concrete but cure in just 15 minutes. Since the foam is so light, over time it won’t weigh down your concrete like mudjacking or even a full concrete replacement.  

Interested to learn more about this innovative concrete lifting solution? Tar Heel Basement Systems can help. Don’t let the name fool you. We’re experts in all things concrete, too. Call in our experts for a whole-home inspection to get to the root of your concrete problems. We’re proud to offer you a free inspection, no-obligation quote, and professional opinion so you can make the best decision for your home. We are proud to serve homeowners in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and nearby. Get started today!

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    Sinking Concrete FAQs

    Among the various options for concrete leveling, PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection is superior. It offers advantages over traditional methods like mudjacking and concrete repouring by being less disruptive, more durable, faster to set, and eco-friendly. For a comprehensive concrete evaluation and more information on this advanced repair technique, contact the concrete leveling specialists at Tar Heel Basement Systems to schedule a free inspection.

    The cost to level a driveway is influenced by various factors, such as the severity of the damage, the repair method selected, and the expenses associated with labor, materials, and permits. Generally, the price for driveway leveling can vary between $800 to $4,000 or more. For precise pricing tailored to your specific leveling project, contacting Tar Heel Basement Systems for a free inspection and a no-obligation estimate is recommended.

    PolyRenewal polyurethane foam gently lifts concrete slabs and ensures a permanent fix for sinking and uneven surfaces. This repair method fills voids and stabilizes the soil beneath, providing a reliable and lasting solution for concrete repair.

    Michael Wilcher

    Michael Wilcher

    Michael Wilcher is the Content Lead at Groundworks, helping us to answer all of our customers biggest questions about foundation repair, basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, and concrete lifting. In his free time, Michael enjoys collecting vinyl records, watching Formula 1 Racing, and reading philosophy. He holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge.

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

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