The Key to Successful Concrete Repair: The Materials
You have cracked or sunken concrete, and you know you want to repair it right away. But you also want to be certain that you get the repairs right, so that you won’t need more repairs in the next year or so. The truth is, if you want to get your concrete repairs right, you need the right concrete repair materials. The right concrete repair materials can make the difference between true concrete repair and a mess, between a long-lasting difference and a new repair project in the next few years. Here’s what you need to know about concrete repair and finding the right materials.
Concrete Repair Issues
In order to know what kind of concrete repair materials you need, it’s important to first assess the type of concrete repair you need. Is this an issue of cracking concrete walls or cracked floor? Do you have a paved walkway outside your house or business that’s begun to become uneven and sunken? These all require vastly different treatments, from crack repair to concrete leveling.
In some cases, these issues might even speak to an issue that goes beyond your concrete. For instance, cracked concrete walls in your basement could be due to your foundation settling. It’s not enough to fix the concrete; in this case, you must also repair the foundation to truly fix the issue. Sunken concrete can also sometimes be an issue with the soil. Before you get started on your concrete repairs, make sure you assess any underlying causes.
The Problem With Mudjacking
One common concrete repair issue is sunken concrete in walkways or concrete steps. Sunken concrete not only looks unsightly, but can be dangerous to those who walk on it. For some time, mudjacking has been a popular option when it comes to repairing sunken concrete. Mudjacking includes drilling holes into the concrete in order to fill the space below with a cement slurry that lifts the concrete and levels it.
Unfortunately, mudjacking comes with a few problems. It can be a mess to install, and the cement slurry used in mudjacking is not weatherproof, so over time, it can be worn down, and your concrete can sink again. It can also develop large holes, and it’s a heavy material, which can cause cracks in your concrete. That’s why Childers Leveling recommends instead slab-lifting foam for concrete leveling repair jobs.
Alternatives to Mudjacking: Slab-Lifting Foam & Soil Stabilization
Slab-lifting foam is also injected beneath the concrete but in as minimally invasive a way as possible. It also requires far less material in order to level your concrete because slab-lifting foam, once injected, will expand to fit the size of the space and level out your concrete. It’s lighter weight than mudjacking, so it’s healthier for your concrete slabs, but it’s weather-resistant and likely to stand up for years to come. If you need to raise sunken concrete and don’t want to have to do it a few times a year, then slab-lifting foam is the way to go.
If your soil is unstable, your concrete might also be shifting due to a shifting of the soil. You can prevent issues like sunken concrete — as well as problems with your foundation — by using a soil stabilizer. Our EcSS 3000TM soil stabilizer changes the soil at an atomic level so that it’s less likely to permeable to water and thus will not fluctuate the way it normally would. This can help with several leveling issues, including sunken or cracked concrete.
Concrete Cracks: Epoxy Crack Repair
But sunken concrete is not the only issue you can have when it comes to concrete repair. Concrete cracks can also be quite unsightly, and they can weaken the concrete surface over time. This occurs most often with concrete walls but can plague any concrete surface that bears a heavyweight pushing against it, such as concrete flooring.
For this, we recommend epoxy crack repair. Epoxy is a heavy-duty adhesive, so strong that it actually strengthens the concrete it bonds with, rather than simply filling a crack. With epoxy crack repair, your concrete surfaces will be more durable, and you’ll be able to rest with confidence about them.
As we mentioned above, cracks in concrete walls can sometimes be the result of a settling foundation. This can be resolved with soil stabilizer or by using helical piers to lift your foundation. While epoxy crack repair is a great way to seal the crack and strengthen your walls, you should first look into whether the real issue is a settling foundation so that you can fix the latter problem before tackling the former.
The right concrete repair comes down to the right materials, and at Childers Brothers, Inc., we offer only the best. Contact us today to learn more about our concrete repair products or to schedule a free estimate.