Concrete Settlement – Why Slabs Sink, Settle and Crack

Concrete settlement can diminish both the curb appeal and the value of your Utah property. Plus, cracked and sunken slabs pose a potential safety hazard – one that could put you at risk for a costly liability lawsuit.

Getting your settled concrete repaired is clearly in your best interests. But understanding what may have caused the problem in the first place, and addressing any issues you can resolve, can help you avoid the need for future concrete repair. Here are eight reasons slabs sink, settle and crack.

Options for settled concrete repair

Poor Soil Compaction

Before pouring a new slab, additional soil is often placed to level the grade. The soil needs to be compacted in order to remove any air pockets – and when this isn’t done properly, settlement is more likely.

Substandard Craftsmanship

Cracked and sunken concrete may also be due to a failure in some aspect of the slab laying process. If the cement mix has too much or too little water, for example, or isn’t poured and cured correctly, the slab is more prone to settlement.

Improper Ground Slope

The ground around a slab can be just as problematic as the soil underneath. When the ground isn’t sloped to keep water runoff from flowing under the concrete, settlement can occur as the excess moisture in the soil makes it unstable.

Water Drainage Problems

Water runoff isn’t just a concern for ground that is improperly graded. Gutters and downspouts directed toward a slab can drive rain and melting snow directly underneath, compromising its stability and leading to concrete settlement.

Wintertime Frost Heave

When snow melts into the soil under a slab and the temperature drops far enough to make the water freeze, the ground expands. Once the ice thaws, the soil contracts. This freeze-and-thaw action, called frost heave, often plays a role in concrete settlement.

Sudden Soil Washout

Slabs can sink, settle and crack after heavy rainfall, flood or a serious plumbing leak. With a large amount of water rushing into the soil in a short period of time, the concrete’s foundational support can easily be washed away.

Tree Root Growth

Any tree that is planted too close to a slab can trigger settlement. When the root system grows into the soil under the slab, it becomes less stable – and eventually, the bulging roots cause the concrete to settle and crack.

Underground Critters

Concrete settlement can also be the result of burrowing animals. If voles, moles, groundhogs or other critters create tunnels under a sidewalk, driveway or other concrete slab, the lack of foundational support is likely to bring about sinking and cracking.

The professional team at Lift Right Concrete has the expertise to fix slabs that sink, settle and crack – and we offer high-quality repair service and stellar customer service, for an affordable price. For a free, no-obligation concrete settlement consultation, contact our Grantsville or West Jordan office today.