Why Concrete Settles
There are multiple reasons for a slab to settle.
Concrete is hard to beat as a basic material for all kinds of load-bearing surfaces, from driveways and sidewalks to floors, roads, and airport runways. However, concrete has two characteristics that can cause problems: it’s heavy and it can’t stretch.
The weight of a concrete slab can sometimes cause the soil beneath the slab to compress. When this happens, all or part of the concrete slab will sink down under its own weight, sometimes cracking in the process. The cracking occurs because concrete isn’t a resilient material. If a slab is unevenly supported, it’s likely to crack because it can’t stretch or bend.
In addition to unsightly cracks, slab settlement problems can also result in potential accidents, poor drainage, tripping hazards, and expensive property damage.
Do These Sinking Concrete Slabs Look Familiar?
Sinking Concrete Solutions
Finding the correct and best fix for the problem is pertinent in having a permanent solution. Below are a few concrete lifting options:
Mudjacking is the traditional method of fixing uneven or settled concrete slabs. The process involves drilling large holes in the slab and a heavy, cement slurry or mud is pumped beneath the slab to attempt to lift the slab.
While this option does not involve major disruption to the property, the cement slurry used under the slab is extremely messy during the installation process. The large holes that are drilled in contrast with the look of the original slab once the process is complete.
Mudjacking is also extremely heavy and adds even more weight to the settled soil often times making the problem even worse.
After install, the cement slurry takes several days to cure, meaning you cannot drive or walk on the slab area for several days.
- Concrete Replacement:
In order for the original, settled concrete to be replaced, it must be removed first. Typically, a jackhammer is used to break the existing concrete into pieces. The original concrete pieces are hauled away and a fresh layer of concrete is poured.
However, in some cases the settled area of the slab is large and a backhoe might be needed to break up the slab, causing a lot of disruption to the area and surrounding property.
While this solution leaves homeowners with a new slab (on the same settled soil), this option is extremely disruptive and expensive and can only be done when the weather is nice and temperatures are above freezing. Another problem that homeowners encounter is the color of the new slab will not match the color of the original slab making the area off-putting for potential buyers.
The PolyRenewal™ system is a state-of-the-art approach to repairing and lifting settled or uneven concrete slabs. Rather than using a concrete and mud mixture like Mudjacking, PolyRenewal™ uses high-density, waterproof polymers to raise the slab.
Unlike Mudjacking or concrete replacement, the PolyRenewal™ system is completed using minimal disruption. Small, penny-sized holes are drilled in the concrete slab and the polyurethane foam is injected under the slab. The polyurethane foam is then expanded and allows for the appropriate lift. The lightweight foam has a quick cure time of 15 minutes, making the slab usable minutes after the job is complete. The PolyRenewal™ system is also environmentally friendly, ensuring the product will never rot or deteriorate underground.
When it comes to permanently fixing your sinking slab, the PolyRenewal™ system is the best choice! To speak with a PolyRenewal™ specialist, call our office today.