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Why Does Concrete Settle?

Poor Soil Conditions: As soils become saturated with water, the clay expands and loses strength. This condition allows slabs to sink – just like standing in wet mud. This can occur from heavy rains, melting snow or plumbing leaks.

Poor Compaction: Many homes are built on backfilled soils. If the soil is not compacted correctly before construction, backfill will gradually compact unevenly, sometimes over a year, which allows slabs to settle.

Tree Roots: Trees and large shrubs can consume up to 30 gallons of water a day. If located near concrete, the loss of water in the soil will make the osil contract and can cause the slabs to settle.

Poor Drainage: Improper drainage can cause soil instability by creating saturated soils, which allows the slabs to settle. Ppor drainage can be typical of an area, or as minor as a misplaced down spout.

Many homeowners make the mistake of waiting until the problem worsens and then end up spending 3-5 times the amount of money to replace, rather than raise their sinking concrete. Until the problem is fixed, your home remains at risk.

What Signs to Look For…

Concrete problems can come out of nowhere after a big rainstorm. Usually a concrete problem is an underlying issue that happens slowly over time. But will you notice them early enough to fix them before they get serious?

We’re here to help alert you to some of the most telling signs you may have a concrete issue in its early stages. we’ll also help find a solution before the problem escalates.

Cracks and Crumbling – Since concrete is one of the strongest building materials in the world, any significant wear and tear is cause for concern. Cracks and crumbling could be superficial and simply the sign of weathering, but it also could indicate a more serious underlying problem: the lack of foundational stability. If the soil is eroding beneath the slab, cracks and crumbling could only be the beginning of the issue. Sinking and shifting could be next, so make sure you get a full assessment of the slab.

Pooling Water – Pooling water on the concrete isn’t good news. It means there is likely singing or shifting beneath that is causing the concrete to hold precipitation and impede drainage. Since concrete is a porous material, it’s best not to have standing water on it for long periods, so raising the slab surface to facilitate drainage might help.

Porches or Patios Pull Away from Foundation – When you see your front stairs or your back patio begin to pull away from the foundation, it’s probably not the foundation that’s moving – it’s the concrete base of your steps or patio. This signifies a lack of support beneath and that the soil has shifted or eroded, so it’s imperative to list and stabilize the structure before it causes further damage.

It Only Gets Worse, Unless You Take Action – Maybe you noticed a trend – we keep warning against waiting, encouraging you to act right away. That’s because sinking concrete doesn’t ever get better on its own. If you trust us to make repairs now, you may be able to avoid replacing the structure down the road.

 

Contact us to schedule a free estimate