Despite being one of the most durable building materials in the world, concrete can experience issues if the soil below it is weak. For instance, if the soil below your concrete floor becomes too wet, the concrete slabs will begin to sink unevenly and break over time.
However, a few simple solutions exist to repair your concrete floor and prevent it from becoming damaged in the future. In this blog, we’ll explore a few reasons why concrete floors break and then explore various ways our team can fix them.
Why Is Your Concrete Floor Damaged?
As stated before, soil is the main culprit when it comes to damaged concrete. When soil becomes weak, concrete suffers. There are three main reasons why this happens:
- Too wet
- Too dry
- Poorly compacted
When soil is too wet, a concrete slab sinks into the soft dirt and begins to settle unevenly. Concrete cannot bend easily, so if sections of concrete sink further than others, a crack will form.
A similar problem arises when soil is too dry. When soil becomes dried out, it shrinks in volume. This causes a gap to form between the soil and the concrete. Due to gravity, the concrete falls into the newly formed gap, which causes cracking.
Lastly, poorly compacted soil can also cause your concrete floor to crack and settle unevenly. See, poorly compacted soil means the ground is not packed together tightly enough. As a result, the soil is not structurally sound enough to support the weight of heavy concrete, so your floor sinks and cracks.
Despite all of these potential soil issues, they can be solved using two easy methods. Let’s go over the most effective ways to fix your damaged concrete floor.
Bolster Your Floor with a Pier System
Since soil is the main issue that your damaged concrete floor is facing, our team of experts use various pier systems to remove soil from the equation. Piers come in three varieties:
- Push piers
- Helical Piers
- Slab Piers
All three work in a similar way – they’re inserted deep below the ground into load-bearing, stable soils such as bedrock. Since these soils are much further below the ground, they are tightly packed and rarely experience movement because of too much moisture or excessive dryness.
Once a pier is secured into the strong load-bearing soil, the weight of your home becomes properly distributed and unwavering. While all piers can be used to fix your concrete floor, slab piers are specially designed to offer support for concrete slab foundations. Our team can install the slab pier with minimal disruption to your property. In fact, once the installation process is complete, the slab becomes nearly invisible.
No matter which pier system you decide to go with, your floor is sure to be well protected. Besides pier systems, our team offers another way to fix your concrete floor – polyurethane injection.
Give Your Floors a Lift with PolyRenewal™
Sometimes, a pier may not be the best solution for your damaged concrete floor. Depending on the situation, our team will recommend using PolyRenewal™, our polyurethane injection system.
Polyurethane is a durable polymer material that is injected below your concrete in order to compensate for weak soil. Despite being lightweight, this material can support heavy structures. Plus, installing PolyRenewal™ is easy, mess-free, and provides long-lasting benefits.
To start, our team will drill penny-sized holes into your concrete floor. Next, we use special tools to inject PolyRenewal™ below the concrete. As the polymer material enters the space between your floor and the soil, it expands about 15 times its initial volume.
As it grows, PolyRenewal™ fills empty voids and loose soil particles in the ground. Our experienced technicians at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado control this raising action and lift your floor to the perfect level.
Within 30 minutes, the polymer material reaches 90% of its final strength. You can safely walk along your floor in no time. After 24 hours, PolyRenewal™ is at full strength, and you won’t have to worry about a damaged concrete floor any longer.
Solutions That Don’t Work
As with any home repair, some homeowners may be tempted to try a DIY approach to a damaged concrete floor. Filling in cracks with caulk, wet concrete, or some other filling might make the problem look better because it does not address the actual reason behind a damaged floor – weak soil.
Even the best DIY job will break down over time if the soil below the home continues to weaken. Unfortunately, homemade solutions may not last long, and our goal is to provide you with long-lasting service.
This is an outdated method that follows the same idea as polyurethane injection – inserting material between the soil and your concrete to lift the damaged floor. However, mudjacking also fails to address soil issues.
As its name implies, mudjacking uses mud to fill empty space under your concrete. While this works for a short time, the mud eventually suffers the same issues as the original soil. It may become dry and brittle or washed out by moisture.
Ultimately, mudjacking fails as time goes on. Again, the best way to deal with a damaged concrete floor is with specialized tools used by foundation repair experts.
Contact a Professional
At Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, our team is dedicated to keeping you and your home safe. If you’ve been dealing with an uneven concrete floor, we’re ready to help. With multiple solutions to your foundation issues, we can solve any problem you might be dealing with. Contact us today to learn more about our services and solutions!