5 Reasons to Repair (Not Replace) Your Sinking Concrete
Despite being one of the most versatile building materials in the world, concrete is not without faults. When concrete is placed over a weak base (like soft soil, loose aggregates, etc), it’s easier for water to slip underneath slabs and speed up erosion. Over time, this causes the concrete to sink into the ground and reduces its durability. Whether a driveway, sidewalk, patio, or pool deck, cracked, uneven, or wobbling concrete contributes to serious trip hazards, unattractive surfaces, decreased property value, and foundation damage.
Whether your concrete has cracks, crumbling, potholes, or uneven surfaces, fixing the concrete requires determining the extent of the problem to choose the best solution. But this guide on repairing your sinking concrete will discuss factors to consider to help make the decision between concrete repair or replacement easier.
Concrete Leveling and Repair vs. Concrete Replacement: Factors to Consider
Before you consider why concrete repair might be a better alternative to concrete replacement, you'll need to ask yourself a few questions as you inspect the concrete around your home.
- Are there drainage problems?
- Are there multiple or deep potholes?
- Are there extensive cracking or widening cracks?
- What's the age of the concrete?
If you've checked your concrete but are unsure how serious of a sinking problem you have, you can hire professional concrete leveling contractors for help. These experts offer a range of concrete repair services so they can recommend the right solution for your specific sinking concrete problem. Getting your concrete inspected now can help you avoid needing a more expensive and invasive solution in the future.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to fix concrete issues thanks to advancements in construction technology, such as polyfoam concrete leveling (also referred to as polyfoam concrete lifting, polyjacking, or polyurethane foam injection), a popular method of raising sinking concrete slabs. Here are the primary reasons why concrete leveling has become a favorable solution for repairing uneven or sunken concrete.
Reason 1: Concrete Lifting Restores Sunken Concrete
A concrete slab can support a large amount of weight, but overall durability depends on the underlying soil. If the soil shrinks or washes away, cracks can appear. If concrete is replaced and poured over the poor soil, the concrete will crack and sink again. Uneven concrete slabs are a major issue in almost any area, whether the sinking occurs in a driveway, sidewalk, or patio. However, these slabs can be raised back to their original height using polyfoam concrete leveling solutions without impacting their safety or durability. And since PolyLevel® addresses the underlying soil conditions that cause sinking concrete slabs, it's also a long-lasting choice for residential slab jacking.
Reason 2: Concrete Leveling is Less Intensive
It's no secret that concrete replacement can be a long, burdensome task. Consider the time it takes to tear out the old concrete, pour the new slab, and let the concrete cure. PolyLevel requires a simple process that injects structural-grade polymer beneath the slab, filling the empty area underneath and lifting it back to its original level. Nothing needs to be torn out, no new concrete must be bought, and no additional time must be wasted.
Reason 3: Concrete Lifting is Much Quicker
Following the initial filling, concrete leveling materials only need to sit for 15 minutes before they can be walked or driven on, compared to the 24-48 hours it takes new concrete to dry. Therefore, concrete leveling is typically the favorable option to avoid the significant interruptions caused by concrete replacement.
Reason 4: Concrete Leveling Can Increase Curb Appeal
Sunken concrete slabs can reduce your home’s value and turn away potential buyers. Although repairing or replacing damaged concrete slabs can increase a property's value, homeowners should consider the final result of both options before deciding. Replacing concrete slabs can create a mismatched surface, whereas leveling the concrete offers a more uniform look. Investing in concrete leveling and repair can help ensure your home remains attractive and highly valued for years to come.
Reason 5: New Concrete Will Crack
When new concrete is poured over unstable soil, the concrete will eventually crack and sink again. Since polyjacking addresses the underlying soil conditions, this reduces the chance of future sinking and extends the life of the original concrete.
What's the Best Method to Repair Sinking Concrete?
While concrete patches are a popular DIY option to fix cracks in concrete, their use is mostly cosmetic, and they don’t provide long-lasting protection against further sinking or damage to the surrounding concrete. Stopping concrete from sinking and creating an even surface requires stabilizing the soil below the slab. Polyurethane foam injection, like PolyLevel, lifts and levels concrete slabs while filling voids in the soil to keep the slab from sinking again.
Faster installation, curing time, and attractive results are among the top reasons PolyLevel is a better alternative to mudjacking, concrete replacement, and other less effective approaches to sinking concrete slab repair.
When Should Concrete Be Replaced?
Although replacing concrete is not the first choice, sometimes it is the only option. If your concrete slab has multiple or deep potholes, spiderweb cracks, widening cracks, or it’s contributing to drainage problems, it may be time for a replacement. Remember that even if some concrete needs to be replaced, it can still be possible to level other sections of the driveway, sidewalk, or patio. Professional PolyLevel contractors will recommend how to solve your sunken concrete problem.
Don’t Ignore Your Sunken Concrete: Call Your PolyLevel Expert Today!
With time and constant exposure to the elements, concrete is at risk of cracking, sinking, wobbling, and other cosmetic and structural issues. Take action today if you’ve got uneven concrete walkways, cracked driveways, concrete stairs pulling away, or signs of concrete settlement. The solutions become more expensive and invasive if you wait too long to fix your sinking concrete problems.
Schedule your FREE consultation with TerraFirma today to learn more about how PolyLevel can repair the concrete around your home.