What Causes Concrete to Sink?
Exterior concrete driveway or sidewalk slabs can sink for several reasons. It’s essential to understand what’s damaging the slabs at your home, so you can best repair the situation and stop any further damage. Most homeowners don’t necessarily think a cracked or uneven concrete slab is a result of a water management problem; in reality, the weather conditions and climate in the Western Slope area play a significant role in the health of your exterior concrete. Below we’ll explain the common causes of concrete settlement.
Common Reasons Concrete Sinks
Problematic Soil Under Concrete Slabs
One of the most common reasons for concrete to crack or sink in Grand Junction is that the soil beneath the slab can no longer support the slab’s weight. The hot, dry summers, and cold, often snow-filled winters mean the freeze-thaw cycle does a number on exterior slabs. Water expands when frozen; once it melts, a void is created under the slab. Without proper support, the slab often settles into this void.
The freeze-thaw cycle isn’t the only cause for concern with the soil beneath your slabs. The rain in Montrose and Telluride causes the bentonite clay to expand, adding pressure to the slab, causing cracks. Cracks alone are a tripping hazard, but they also allow additional water to enter, worsening the sinking problem. Since water is excellent at erosion, cracks really should be addressed as soon as they are noticed.
Improper Concrete Pour
When the concrete was initially poured at your home, the building crew could easily have made a mistake resulting in flaking or deterioration. If the concrete used is either too wet or too dry or the air temperature was too hot or humid, the concrete quality can be affected.
Typically, when a concrete pouring mistake has been made, homeowners will notice the issues soon after the pour. Keep an eye out while the concrete is curing for cracks and sinking. Regardless of the issues noticed, your only real option is removal and re-pouring with a concrete pouring mistake like this.
Too Much Weight on Concrete
Similar to any other surface, there are limits to the amount of weight concrete can support. Although this problem typically occurs inside, exterior concrete can also fall victim when too much weight is added. If too much weight is added to concrete, homeowners in Aspen will notice cracking in the concrete slabs. These slabs may start small, but gradually grow more severe with time.
Homeowners will notice the cracking, or even the sinking problem, in one particular area rather than an area involving multiple slabs.
Solutions for Concrete Lifting in the Western Slope
There are several options to lift concrete with varying effectiveness. Understanding what caused your concrete to sink is important in choosing the proper repair option. Luckily the experts at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado specialize in just that. They offer a no-obligation inspection to find the cause of your concrete settlement and recommend the right repair for your home.
Polyurethane Foam Injections are the latest cutting-edge way to lift uneven concrete. A Foundation Repair of Western Colorado expert will inject two different products underneath the concrete slab after drilling a few holes, about the size of a dime, in your concrete slab. The two products combine under your slab and create foam. As the foam expands, it fills the voids beneath the slab and slowly and gently lifts the slab into place. With a cure time of about 15 minutes, this option is minimally invasive, and the holes are much easier to patch since they are so small.
Concrete Lifting in Western Slope and Throughout Colorado
If you’re concerned with sinking sidewalk or driveway slabs, Foundation Repair of Western Colorado has been lifting and repairing homeowners’ slabs throughout the Western Slope area for years. Call or email us to set up a free, no-obligation inspection. Our knowledgeable team will answer your concrete repair questions and provide you with a free estimate to repair your sinking, uneven concrete slabs.