Concrete lifting is a near miracle process that can salvage sunken concrete to prevent costly replacement. Not even concrete lasts forever, but over the past decade or two, there is a growing interest in repairing and recycling rather than ripping up and replacing what needs fixing. The question is, in what situations will concrete lifting help sagging, broken concrete, and when is replacement necessary?
The Modern Approach to Concrete Repair
Ripping up and replacing concrete is inconvenient and time consuming, as well as expensive. Since many problems with concrete are caused by issues below the surface, replacing concrete involves fixing those problems as well as laying the new surface.
Modern concrete slab leveling primarily focuses on the underlying problems. Using either the mud jacking or foam jacking process, some sunken concrete slabs can be raised and leveled by pumping material underneath to stabilize them. The process can give the concrete another 10-15 years at a fraction of the cost of re-pouring the area.
Surfaces that Cannot be Helped by Concrete Lifting
Unfortunately, not all concrete is a good candidate for this type of repair. When the surface has cracks, pits, or deterioration, a good concrete repair firm analyzes the best remedy. There are many new products on the market that can fill cracks and pitted or spalled areas to give the slab better support and fix the aesthetics.
Some common scenario when slab jacking or concrete repair are not feasible include:
- Widespread deep cracks, with portions that are crumbling. The concrete must be structurally sound. Adding pressure under deteriorated concrete might make the foam or mud erupt through the surface.
- Multiple adjacent cracks that can make concrete too unstable to fix.
- Repair would still leave the space looking unsightly. This is often the case with deteriorated surfaces.
- Poor initial installation. Lifting can sometimes compensate for inferior surface preparation or insufficient or uneven compacts; only an engineer can make the call about the next step of repair versus replacement.
- Failure to install reinforcing rods. If the initial structure needed rebar installed for strength, the surface may crack because it cannot support the weight it must bear.
- Reinforcing rods are deteriorating due to salt usage that causes rust and corrosion.
Unevenness due to tree roots. Roots typically make slabs heave up. These slabs may be candidates for grinding, or may require removal of the slab and roots.
Take Action when Concrete Shows Sinking or Damage
When you have concrete that is cracked, uneven, or unstable, your first step should be to call in a professional concrete specialist who can analyze the source of your problem. The solution might be concrete lifting, perhaps supplemented with some modern filling, repair, and resurfacing. As a last resort, the concrete repair company might suggest replacement. The secret to keeping repair costs in check is to maintain your concrete with sealing and calling in the pros at the first hint of a problem.
For an analysis of your concrete problems and to see if concrete lifting will help you, call Lift Right Concrete today.