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concrete crack precursors mitigation tactics

Concrete Crack Precursors and Early Mitigation Tactics

When concrete slabs have settled or sunk into the soil beneath them, one of the first signs you’ll often notice to signal this is the presence of cracks in the concrete. Cracks in concrete are also often significant issues of their own, creating tripping and other hazards to those using the surface.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we offer a wide range of concrete lifting and leveling services for anytime this issue takes place on your concrete, whether it’s on your driveway, a patio, your garage floor or any other important surface. Cracks can be both a cause of your concrete issues and a symptom, and it’s important to understand where they come from, their severity and what you can do to prevent them in the first place. Here are some general tips.

Crack Type Based on Precursor

First and foremost, where are the cracks in your concrete slab coming from? To understand this, it’s important to look at several of the surrounding or underlying conditions present. Here are some common crack causes and the issues they speak to:

  • Settling: Soil plays a big role in the quality of concrete and how it lasts over time. If soil does not have the proper moisture content and conditioning, it can compact and cause the concrete to sink and settle, resulting in cracks that form.
  • Moisture and shrinkage: Moisture isn’t only important in the soil itself – it’s also vital within the concrete mixture. Too much or too little can lead to improper mixes, which in turn can combine with hot temperatures or other weather conditions to cause cracking.
  • Erosion: One of the related issues here is fluctuating weather, which is very common in a state like Utah. Dry periods followed by wet ones will lead to shrinkage and loosening of soil, which can lead to instability in the subgrade and eroding support for the concrete slab.
  • Inclusions: An inclusion refers to a case where one part of the concrete is far more rigid than the rest, leading to uneven tensile stress that can create cracks in random areas.

Crack Severity

In many cases, concrete cracks will be confined to the slab itself. While this isn’t a positive, of course, and requires concrete repair from our professionals to limit hazards, sinking risks and moisture infiltration, there are even worse forms of cracking.

These forms refer to when cracks continue all the way through junction points into foundation walls, potentially threatening structures. In these cases, immediate professional restoration services are needed.

Expansion Joints to Prevent Cracking

One building-related element that can significantly reduce your risk of cracks in concrete: Expansion joints, which are used to separate individual concrete slabs from other parts of the structure. They allow for movement independently between slabs, limiting many of the precursors that cause cracking. They are made from a variety of material types.

For more on understanding and preventing cracks in your concrete, or to learn about any of our concrete repair services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC today.

concrete lifting leveling pros

Why You Should Leave Concrete Lifting and Leveling to the Pros

At Lift-Up Concrete, we’re proud to serve as your one-stop shop when it comes to all commercial, municipal and residential concrete lifting and leveling services. We’ve been serving Utahns with all their concrete needs for years, assisting when soil settlement, water flow, natural spring interference or other issues lead to sinking and other potential forms of damage to any of your concrete surfaces.

Like certain other jobs that require handy qualities and some expertise, such as plumbing or HVAC services, some DIY-oriented home or business owners may attempt to perform concrete lifting or leveling services on their own. But unlike those other areas, this is a realm where we virtually always recommend you leave the job to the pros – let’s look at some of the risks associated with DIY floor leveling, and why you benefit from calling our team of concrete leveling professionals.

Concrete Leveling Basics

The process for concrete leveling generally involves the following steps:

  • Drilling small holes in the sunken or damaged areas, strategically planned for later filling. These holes will be about an inch in diameter.
  • Pumping a slurry, one made of several possible different material combinations, into the holes to raise the slab from the foundation up.
  • Filling the holes with a non-shrinking grout and leaving the slurry to come together into a solid material.

While this may sound simple on its face, the reality is that it isn’t. The steps may be easy enough to explain, but concrete leveling professionals have years of training and experience for the vital details, such as the mixture used for the slurry or what to do if certain things go wrong. You take major risks if you attempt these jobs on your own, which we’ll get into in our subsequent sections below.

Safety and Quality

For starters, hiring concrete leveling professionals ensures safety above all else – both during the concrete leveling job itself and moving forward. There are issues that non-professionals here can cause during the process that leave both themselves and others unsafe, but even more common is the potential for imperfect leveling jobs that either don’t solve the problem or actually make it worse, making surfaces lower-quality and less safe instead of the other way around.

Saving Time and Money

While hiring our concrete leveling team does cost money, it’s important to think of this from an overall standpoint. Between buying your own DIY leveling materials, taking hours out of your day to do the job and, most importantly, accounting for potential spillage or issues based on your lack of experience, the costs for DIY leveling jobs often easily exceed those of simply calling our team. Save yourself both time and money by looking to the pros from the start.

Future Stress

Finally, instead of constantly wondering whether you got the job right and hoping concrete doesn’t just sink back down again a week or two after you’re done, count on our experienced team to keep your mind at ease. We offer full satisfaction guarantees on all our leveling and lifting services, and our long history of happy customers and successful jobs speaks for itself.

For more on why you should leave concrete lifting and leveling services to the professionals, or to learn about any of our services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.

limiting concrete sinking risks

Limiting Concrete Sinking Risks on Your Property

Because concrete sits on a base surface generally made of some combination of soil and other materials, one of the long-term risks for any concrete area is sinking. Often caused by settlement in the soil or base of the concrete, sinking can lead to not only aesthetic integrity concerns on your major concrete surfaces, but also significant and potentially costly hazards.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we provide residential and commercial concrete lifting and leveling services for surfaces experiencing sinking due to settlement or other possible concerns. While you may not always be able to 100 percent prevent sinking risks in or around your concrete, there are absolutely a few important areas you can make an impact in – let’s look at several where you can significantly lower the potential for concrete sinking and possible costly concrete repair services.  

Rainwater Downspouts and Runoff

For starters, one of the most common causes of concrete sinking concerns is the presence of moisture in the wrong places. When enough water is able to penetrate deep into concrete, including to below its surface and into its soil foundation, it can make significant changes in the soil structure that permeate back up to the surface. This leads to not only sinking concerns, but also concrete cracking and other potential damage.

To avoid this, ensure your downspouts and water runoff system are in proper working order – and directed in the right ways. All gutters should be checked for leaks and pointed in such a way that they move rainwater far away from concrete slabs, ideally into the yard. We also recommend checking the edges of your concrete slabs regularly, especially during any rain or snow, to ensure that water isn’t pooling up or seeping underneath into the foundation. If needed, pack any open areas with extra soil to limit this risk.

Joint and Crack Sealing

Concrete joints are helpful additions that help mitigate the risks posed by shrinkage and expansion. These joints, plus any minor cracks that develop over time, need to be sealed so they don’t allow moisture in.

Trees and Root Systems

You may not have considered it, but the trees on your property – and their roots, more importantly – may impact your concrete surfaces. Roots near any concrete areas may organically grow into base or soil areas, leading to soil changes and often to sinking concerns. If you’re planting new trees, keep a safe distance from any concrete area. If you have previous trees that are showing these concerns, speak to our pros about some tools at your disposal.

Leveling Services

Finally, in cases where minor areas of sinking or any uneven surface has developed, be proactive and call our team for basic leveling services. These will be affordable and simple for such small concerns, but will prevent expanding cracks or other issues that will become far more costly in the future if left unchecked.

For more on limiting the risks of concrete sinking on your property, or to learn about any of our concrete repair services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

assessing preventing concrete cracking

Assessing and Preventing Concrete Cracking Issues

Concrete lifting and leveling services help correct several forms of potential damage to concrete and base areas, and one such form of damage that’s very common is concrete cracking. Concrete surfaces like driveways can crack for several potential reasons, from moisture and weather changes to soil settling and several others, and can lead to issues ranging from basic aesthetics up to serious health and safety hazards.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re proud to offer a wide range of commercial and residential concrete lifting and leveling services if your surface is experiencing cracking or other damage. But as our pros will tell you, not all cracks are created equal when it comes to concrete – here are some basic tips on assessing how significant your cracking issues are, one potential concrete upgrade that will limit the risks of cracking, and some other basic tips we can offer on avoiding crack issues wherever and whenever possible.

Assessing Crack Severity

For starters, areas like the garage floor or driveway can crack for a few different reasons, and in a few different ways. Some of the simplest cracks are still worth worrying about: These are the type that bring aesthetic concerns to any surface you want to be clean and clear, and the first practical risk they tend to be associated with is tripping.

The more serious a crack becomes, however, the greater the risk for other significant trickle-down areas. Deeper cracks lead to water that can make its way into the subgrade below your concrete, in turn loosening the soil and creating erosion concerns. This is a particular risk if you notice a crack in a concrete floor slab that runs through its junction point and all the way to the foundation wall – this is one of the most serious crack forms, and one where you should call our team for concrete repair immediately. Generally speaking, we recommend such a call anytime you notice cracks greater than a quarter of an inch.

Expansion Joints

Many materials expand and contract based on changing temperatures, and concrete is one of them – with this expansion and contraction often serving as a precursor to cracking. One precaution to take in advance here: the use of expansion joints, which are separate pieces that allow for independent movement between adjoining concrete sections. When expansion or contraction takes place, especially in large surfaces, these expansion joints – available in wood, vinyl, silicone and even polyurethane – will ensure the movement doesn’t lead to major cracking.

Avoiding Crack Risks

Apart from considering expansion joints, the best method for limiting crack risks in concrete is ensuring the concrete is unrestrained both during and after the curing process when it’s installed – something that often speaks to the quality of your concrete slab installation. From here, the only real tool at your disposal is diligence – regularly inspect your concrete surfaces for any minor defects or settlement issues taking place, and keep in touch with our pros about how to mitigate any small risks that form.

For more on assessing cracks and preventing their risks in your concrete, or to learn about any of our concrete repair services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

avoiding trip hazards concrete surface

Assessing and Avoiding Trip Hazards on Concrete Surfaces

Whether you’re a homeowner with children or a commercial building owner or operator thinking about the safety of employees, damaged or sinking concrete surfaces can present a couple risks. The simplest such concern, and one that’s often on the mind of such individuals, is the risk of a tripping or similar physical hazard.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, our commercial and residential concrete lifting and leveling services have helped limit trip hazards and resulting liability claims for numerous clients over the years. Whether your hazards are caused by sinking concrete, cracking issues or several other potential concerns, our team will assist you with leveling and several other simple services that raise your safety level and eliminate these risks. Here are some of the common tripping hazards we’ll help you avoid, plus the risks you’re facing from the insurance end of things if you choose to neglect these concerns. 

Common Tripping Hazards

Some of the most common tripping hazards caused by issues with your concrete include:

  • Driveway cracks: The driveway is often one of the largest concrete slabs on any property, and the larger the slab, the greater the risk for soil settlement and related sinking or cracking issues. In cases where the soil beneath the slab is not strong or stable enough to support it, major cracks can develop that pose significant danger to those using the space – both for walking and driving alike. Not only are these cracks a big risk for those moving around in the area, they can even cause vehicle damage when they’re severe enough.
  • Pool deck concerns: For those with in-ground pools on their property, careful attention must be paid to the concrete deck area – especially if you were not the homeowner at the time this area was installed, and cannot be sure it was installed by reputable pros like ours. If the backfill soil wasn’t compacted properly before concrete was placed on top of it, for instance, the deck will eventually settle and sink, bringing major hazards.
  • Step issues: Concrete stairs are generally independent pieces of concrete, but they can easily sink if there’s a lack of proper drainage or soil compaction.
  • Walkways or sidewalk: Similar concrete issues can take place for any walkway or sidewalk area – if someone is injured on a walkway on your property due to this damage, you could be held liable.

Issues With Insurance

Unfortunately, particularly if you’re not thinking about insurance areas until after damage has formed in your concrete, it’s unlikely to benefit you much here. Insurance companies are highly unlikely to insure a “high-risk” area they know is going to cost them money in the near future, and beyond this, concrete repair issues often aren’t included in standard homeowner insurance policies. This is because most policies exclude the conditions that lead to concrete damage – settling, erosion, moisture concerns and even broad land movement. Some policies may cover these concerns after your deductible has been paid, however, so consider this well in advance if you’re worried about potential concrete damage.

For more on limiting trip hazards on your concrete surfaces, or to learn about any of our concrete repair services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

drainage supports concrete property

How Proper Drainage Supports Concrete and Other Property Areas

Recently in this space, we discussed some of the issues with standing water and moisture on several areas of your property, particularly concrete slabs. Standing water and general moisture saturation can pose several risks to structural integrity across concrete areas, including home foundations.

At Lift-Up Concrete, our commercial and residential concrete lifting and leveling services help many property owners or managers address water issues that have built up over time. Our professionals are also here to lend their expertise on preventing future such issues, however, and one important area here that some home or building owners neglect is drainage. The wrong drainage solutions on your structure present major risks, not only to your concrete areas but to your entire property as a whole. Let’s look at both these concerns and why drainage should be a primary consideration on your property.

Concrete and Soil Risks from Improper Drainage

If your drainage is improperly set up or has undergone damage that lowers its functionality, it can create multiple issues related to your concrete and supporting soil areas:

  • Sinking concrete: Most homes and commercial buildings have multiple types of concrete surfaces in their immediate vicinity, from driveways and sidewalks to patios, staircases, decks and other areas. Below most of these surfaces is soil – if your drainage is directing too much water to this area, this soil can become saturated with water and may be unable to support the weight of the concrete above it. This can lead to concrete that sinks, cracks and becomes both unsightly and unsafe.
  • Home water damage: In many cases, these soil concerns can impact your home and its foundation. If soil around your home is badly graded, water runoff may seep into the home itself, creating issues ranging from water damage and mold creation all the way to foundational damage if enough water builds up.
  • Erosion: Because Utah is a climate where rain is often followed by long periods of hot, dry weather, long-term erosion of soil is a distinct possibility with too much water exposure. Soil that washes out beneath several concrete areas may lead to total collapse of these structures, and expensive repairs.

Other Risks

In addition to the specific concrete risks, poor drainage also poses a couple other major concerns:

  • Landscaping damage: Soil damage from water runoff can extend to several areas of your landscape, including damage to several grasses, trees and plant types. Plants need water, of course, but too much can kill many types.
  • Pest issues: Poor drainage and runoff leads to standing water, which in turn leads to the presence of several pest types that are drawn to this moisture source.

For more on the risks of poor drainage on your property, or to learn how our concrete repair services can help remedy some of the resulting concerns, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.

concrete lifting remedy standing water

How Concrete Lifting Helps Remedy Standing Water Issues

There are a number of different potential risks to property out there, and several such risks relate to moisture and water presence. A good example here is standing water, which refers to any larger pool of water that’s collected on the property – these areas can look ugly, for starters, but also may risk several areas of property damage or other future issues.

At Lift-Up Concrete, we have a great potential solution available for standing water on concrete surfaces: Concrete lifting and leveling. We provide residential, commercial and municipal concrete lifting and leveling services for several purposes, including helping level off the surface to remove damaging standing water deposits. Here are some of the risks these standing water areas may pose to any property type, plus the basics on how our services will help you avoid these risks.

Risks of Standing Water on Property

Standing water, even in smaller quantities affecting only limited concrete areas, can pose a few specific hazards to your property:

  • Safety hazards: For starters, standing water in large enough quantities can be a basic slip risk, particularly for older people or younger children. For another, however, puddles of water are also great at hiding various hazards that might be present below them, whether we’re talking about deep holes, sharp edges or any other kind of risk that could sit just below the surface. In addition, water that sits long enough may develop a slime below it, one that not only increases slip risks but can also be unhealthy for humans.
  • Concrete damage: Concrete generally sits above a foundation of soil, and too much standing water can damage this foundation. Water can create instability in concrete boosters, limiting their ability to properly support the weight of your concrete slabs. Over enough time, concrete can erode due to the moisture presence.
  • Pest attraction: Standing water is also a breeding ground for several types of pests. Termites, mosquitoes and several other pest types are drawn to water sources, particularly those that do not move. Removing the water that’s present will remove one of their primary attractions in the area.

How Concrete Leveling Helps

If you have a section of your driveway, sidewalk, deck, patio, pool or any other concrete area that continues to attract standing water, this is often due to the development of improper sloping or water flow over time. Often, the primary cause of this development is concrete that’s become sunken in over certain areas.

Concrete lifting and leveling services will address these issues and several others that may result from this concern. They’ll fully even out the surface and allow it to direct water properly.

For more on how concrete lifting and leveling can help with standing water concerns, or to learn about any of our concrete repair services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.

concrete lifting leveling apartment complexes

Value of Concrete Lifting and Leveling for Apartment Complexes

When most people think about or are introduced to concrete lifting and leveling services, they naturally think first about a traditional home property. A standard home contains several major concrete elements, from driveways and walkways to garage floors, patios and several other potential surfaces.

At Lift-Up Concrete, not only are we also here to offer commercial and municipal concrete lifting and leveling services, we’re here to tell you about an extended area of our residential services: Apartment complexes. If you’re the owner or manager of an apartment complex, utilizing our services to repair any concrete hazards that have formed on your property can have several major benefits to your bottom line. Here are some areas where we’ll assist you.

ADA Compliance

One area we assist many of our clients with is complying with ADA standards for concrete surfaces. Short for Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA involves several requirements for vertical changes or potential hazards on your property. Some property owners may be outside compliance without even knowing it, in fact, particularly in larger apartment complexes.

In fact, did you realize that a vertical change of greater than a quarter inch on concrete surfaces is considered a tripping hazard under ADA guidelines? Luckily, our concrete leveling pros can quickly correct any hazards or uneven surfaces that arise.

Preventive Maintenance

In addition to complying with federal guidelines, concrete lifting and leveling services for apartment complexes helps ward off several potential future issues. Not only do these services leave your concrete areas in great shape, they also assess concerns that reach down to the soil below the concrete itself, which often becomes unstable and causes the issues you’re repairing to begin with.

When we come to the property to perform repairs, they impact the soil as well as the concrete. Stabilizing this soil has several benefits even beyond simply supporting the concrete, including water flow and others.

Safety Enhancements

Another preventive area concrete leveling assists with: Preventing safety hazards you might be liable for on the property. Anyone who slips, falls or sustains other injury due to improperly-maintained concrete surfaces within the apartment complex boundaries could have a claim against you if the conditions were preventable, including if standing water due to uneven surfaces covers up hazards and causes someone to interact with them.

Aesthetic Upgrades

Finally, applying proper concrete lifting and leveling services to your apartment complex will improve the look and feel of the property. Potential new residents who walk by your pool, for instance, will see smooth deck surfaces and an inviting area. Those who tour the area and see sunken concrete, cracked slabs and tripping hazards, however, will likely look elsewhere.

For more on how concrete lifting and leveling services can benefit apartment complexes, or for information on any of our concrete repair services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.

Concrete Driveway Risks and Prevention Methods, Part 2

n part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the top threats facing your concrete driveway’s structural and aesthetic integrity. There are several potential causes and exacerbators of cracks and other damage that may form in your driveway, but the right attention and upkeep can prevent this from becoming an issue.

At Lift-Up Concrete, we offer several concrete repair services to assist you in this area, including commercial and residential concrete lifting and leveling. In addition to these services, there are several things you can do – with help from our pros, if needed – to limit damage risks on your driveway and keep it looking and performing good as new. Here are some general tips.

concrete driveway risks prevention

Standard Cleaning and Maintenance

For starters, the more general attention you pay to your driveway and other concrete areas, the less risk there is for built-up issues you’re unaware of. Cleaning and regularly inspecting the driveway will not only keep it looking great and maintain your property’s curb appeal, but will allow you to spot the very earliest risk signs.

While cleaning the driveway, for instance, you might notice a tree root at the edge of your grass that’s threatening to grow into the concrete space. Unlike many other homeowners who don’t pay attention to the driveway, you’ll have the time to address the issue before it leads to cracking or other concrete damage.

Stain Removal

Down similar lines, any stains that happen to make their way onto (or into) the driveway should be addressed quickly. You wouldn’t leave a stain on your new pants, and you don’t want to leave them on a driveway either. Leaving stains like oil, grease or gas on the driveway will make them far harder to clean later on, and could even lead to minor corrosion or wear issues.

Sealer Application

Down similar lines, sealer is a very important consideration for many driveway spaces. Our pros are happy to explain which kind of sealer is best for your surface, plus how often it needs to be applied to prevent various elements or damage risks. Sealers prevent everything from water and oil to sunlight and air from penetrating layers of concrete they aren’t supposed to hit.

Heavy Equipment

Particularly if your driveway is on the older side, but really at any time, it’s good to keep an eye on the weight loads it’s being asked to handle. If you’re regularly placing heavy loads on the space, such as large vehicles, construction equipment or many other types, the strain will have a cumulative impact. Driveways that deal with these heavier loads on a regular basis may require leveling a bit sooner than others that don’t.

For more on the risks facing your driveway and how concrete repair and other basic areas of upkeep can help prevent them, or to learn about any of our concrete leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.

Concrete Driveway Risks and Prevention Methods, Part 1

For home and building owners everywhere, driveways are vital pieces of a given property. Important for everything from vehicle parking and storage to aesthetic appeal and outdoor safety, driveways need proper maintenance to remain in tip-top shape.

At Lift-Up Concrete, we’re proud to offer residential, commercial and municipal concrete lifting and leveling services, including those designed specifically for driveway spaces. Without these services, sinking, cracked or leaking concrete can lead to major issues, including eventual slanting and pulling of the driveway concrete away from attached concrete inside the garage. What are some of the primary threats to create these issues to begin with? In part one of this two-part blog, here are some general tips on the potential risks facing your concrete driveway, plus how our concrete repair services will help you avoid these risks.

concrete repair crawl space concerns

Cracking and Expansion

Some of the primary issues that concrete may face involve cracking or other minor splits – though over time, without the right attention, the word “minor” here will quickly turn into “major.” Cracks in concrete may form for a few different reasons, whether we’re talking moisture that seeps through into the material, tree roots that grow into concrete areas from nearby trees, or even direct impacts that lead to immediate cracks.

Whether moisture is or isn’t a primary cause of the cracks themselves, it often becomes a concern once they’re present. Specifically, this can become an issue when the temperatures outside fluctuate, something Utah residents know is extremely common. When winter hits, cracks in driveways will hold moisture, which will freeze and thaw several times – leading to expansion and contraction that only exacerbates the cracks and damage. If you let this go through the entire winter or even through multiple seasons, you’re just asking for trouble with crack expansion, and leaving yourself with a driveway that’s both unsafe and costlier to repair.

Heavy Loads

In the majority of cases, heavy loads like vehicles and others are not the primary cause of driveway damage. But they can absolutely be a complicating factor – they’ll often push cracks even further open, and they certainly don’t contribute to any solution to the issue.

Rodents and Other Animals

Once again, with a few exceptions, rodents and small animals are not actually creating the cracks in your driveway. Rather, they’re taking advantage of your inattention and burrowing into covered areas of the concrete, areas where they can be protected from the elements and predators. With enough time and lack of attention, rodents and other small animal types may begin to breed and continuously impact the space, once again leaving it unsafe and also potentially unhealthy.

For help understanding how our concrete repair services can prevent all of the above risks, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.