Concrete slabs poured for driveways, sidewalks, and patios around your home can start to sink over time if the soil under the concrete was not prepared properly or has begun to erode. Replacing the concrete can be expensive, but in some situations, concrete lifting may solve the issue and be far less costly.
Dealing With Low Spots
Concrete is heavy, and when the soil under the concrete shifts or settles, the concrete can begin to sink in that area. If the concrete is not supported, driving a car on the concrete or the weight of the concrete itself can cause the slab to crack and break.
Getting something under the concrete to support it might sound complicated, but a concrete lifting company can not only support the slab but raise it back up and level it with the rest of the driveway or walkway. The lifting process must be done carefully or the concrete could crack, so it is vital that you find an experienced concrete lifting company to handle this for you.
Lifting the Concrete
Lifting the concrete starts with drilling some holes through the slab so the concrete lifting company can pump a high density expanding foam under the concrete. The foam used is extremely dense, weather and water-resistant, and when done right, it will support the concrete for many years.
The amount of material pumped under the concrete is critical, so drilling the holes and checking the void under the concrete is critical to the job. If the void is too large, the lifting process may not hold the concrete properly, so it is essential that the contractor checks it thoroughly.
The concrete lifting contractor will slowly pump the foam under the slab, allowing it to expand, and slowly lift the concrete. The process takes some time and can't be rushed, or it may not work correctly. Once the contractor has achieved the proper height, and the concrete is level, they will fill the holes they drilled with a fast-setting hydraulic cement to seal them and keep water from getting under the concrete slab.
Maintaining the Concrete
Once the concrete is lifted and the holes patched, there is no special maintenance required. As long as the soil under the concrete is stable and does not settle further, the raised concrete should stay in place for many years without any other interaction.
If the concrete does start to sink a second time, you may need to remove the concrete and address the soil compaction than pour new concrete. This is uncommon but talk to the concrete lifting contractor about that possibility if you are concerned about it.
For more information, contact a company like Jaco Waterproofing.