Preventing Your Concrete From Sinking or Cracking
Concrete sinking and cracking is not just unattractive, but could potentially be a safety hazard, especially if you have concrete walkways. It’s something you want to take care of right away, but how? It’s one thing to fix sinking or cracking concrete. With the right contractor and the right solutions, this can be done in a long-lasting and effective way, getting rid of the cracks that plague your concrete walkways or walls.
But why simply fix a problem if you can avoid it in the first place? Although all things eventually become worn down — including concrete — sometimes cracks and sinking in concrete can occur even with recent structures. If you have the know-how, you can prevent this, as well as staving off concrete cracks and sinking for as long as possible. In today’s blog, let’s break down how to prevent your concrete from sinking and cracking. To get started, however, you first need to know what can cause concrete sinking and cracking.
What Causes Concrete Sinking and Cracking?
Concrete sinking and cracking are two different problems, though some of the causes aren’t wholly unsimilar. Concrete sinking occurs when the slabs begin to slip, often due to problems with the soil underneath the slabs. When water gets into the soil, it can cause a washout or it can cause rapid expanding and contracting, leaving the concrete slabs without support. If the soil is not properly compacted, it can also shift beneath the slabs and potentially cause concrete sinking.
In some cases, problems with the soil can also lead to cracking concrete. If the soil beneath your concrete walkways swells, it can push up against the concrete, causing cracks. The same thing can happen with your basement walls and foundational soil. If you notice horizontal cracks running along your basement wall, you probably have an issue with foundational soil adding pressure to the walls. But there can be many more reasons for concrete cracks.
In some cases, the issue is shrinkage. If the concrete mixture is too wet when it’s poured, it can dry unevenly, causing cracks. Cracks can also form if the weather is too hot or the ground is frozen when the concrete is poured. If your home is not level, you may notice vertical cracks along your concrete walls, which could also be an issue.
Take Temperature Into Account
The temperature when you pour concrete is an essential element to preventing cracks. If the weather is too hot, the concrete will dry too quickly — and unevenly. If the ground is frozen, that frozen surface will melt under the concrete, causing the soil to swell and the concrete to become wet again, which could lead to sinking and cracking. Be careful of weather that is too cold, as well, as that can slow down the process that strengthens the concrete, thereby making it weaker and more vulnerable. Concrete experts hold that the best temperature to pour concrete is between 40-60℉. This will give the concrete enough time to dry and to strengthen itself as it does so.
Fix Any External Issues
As previously stated, sometimes the issue is not the concrete itself, but rather the surrounding elements, such as the soil or the leveling of the house. Since soil is a contributing factor to both sinkging and cracking concrete, it is a common issue that homeowners have to address. When it comes to soil stabilization, we recommend our EcSS 3000TM soil stabilization injections. They are minimally invasive, so they leave no mess, but the effect is unbeatable. This soil stabilization method permanently alters your soil on a chemical level to reduce swelling due to water permeation.
But what if you’re dealing with vertical concrete cracks due to a settling home? Fortunately, we have methods to help level your home, as well. Helical piers go deep into the foundational soil to lift your home and fix your settling issue. We can also repair your pier and beam system with pier and beam adjustment. Basement stabilization can help to get to the underlying problem of cracking or sinkging concrete on the walls or floor of your basement.
Repairs That Last
Sometimes you don’t think to prevent sinking or cracking concrete until you find yourself already faced with a sink or a crack. However, that doesn’t mean it’s too late. Sometimes if your repair method is effective enough, you can prevent any future issues of sinking or cracking. Our epoxy crack repair, for instance, is so tough that it does more than just seals the crack — it also helps to strengthen the existing concrete, preventing further cracks. Slab-lifting foam injected beneath concrete slabs is high enough strength to hold that concrete up for years to come. A smooth, durable concrete coating will also help to ward off any cracks or other blemishes in the concrete.
The best way to prevent concrete cracking or sinking is to keep yourself informed on all things concrete and what can cause sinking or cracking in concrete. You can do this with the help of an expert contractor like Childers Brothers. We know everything there is to know about strengthening residential or commercial concrete and making sure it stays that way for years to come. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule work on your own concrete or home leveling.