Category Archives: Blog

concrete AC condenser pads risks

Concrete AC Condenser Pads: Risks and Professional Solutions

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics and roles of not only your outdoor AC condenser, but also the condenser pad it sits on. Generally made from concrete, this pad is responsible for a few things with regard to the AC unit itself, including keeping it level and allowing it to obtain the proper quantities of air from its surroundings.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we’re here to help with any concrete damage or concerns you may be having on a residential or commercial property, including those on a condenser pad slab. What are some of the additional risks of damaged concrete in the condenser pad area, and how can our quality concrete lifting and leveling services help you avoid these risks? Here’s a primer.

Oil Spread Risks

The compressor unit requires fuel to run, and this fuel is generally oil within the system. Over time, AC condensers may develop small leaks of this oil through refrigerant lines – in normal situations, though, this isn’t a problem, as the oil usually just drips right back down to the compressor without any concern.

On compressor pads that have been damaged or are sinking, however, this will not be the case. Rather, oil leaking through refrigerant lines will begin to pool as it drips, spreading to various unit lines and coils. Not only might this damage these components, it will also create a shortage of oil in the compressor, which may cause overheating and expensive repairs.

Vibration and Wear-and-Tear

Within standard AC compressor operations, some vibration is expected – after all, there are several moving parts at work here. However, there are situations where this vibration can become far too great, including those where internal component movement is causing the compressor unit to move around on the concrete slab.

In these situations, which are sometimes caused by sinking or damaged concrete, there will be nothing to balance the compressor. This may lead to refrigerant lines coming loose and failing to provide cooling to the unit, plus can lead to rocking effects that eventually cause sinking.

Professional Concrete Repair

Luckily, all of these potential issues we’ve gone over to this point are easily avoidable. Have you begun to notice that your compressor pad concrete is cracking, or has sunk even a few inches from its previous level? Don’t hesitate to call our concrete repair professionals, who will provide long-term solutions like lifting, leveling and structural support that ensure your condenser pad properly supports the unit sitting on top of it.

For more on how to care for concrete AC condenser pads, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

concrete condenser pads homeowners

Concrete AC Condenser Pads: Importance to SLC Homeowners

While concrete repair services are most commonly known for their value on some of the larger concrete slabs on a given property, such as driveways or garage floors, these solutions are also often useful for smaller concrete areas as well. One great example here for numerous homeowners: The condenser pad on which your air conditioning condenser sits outside the home, a pad that’s often made from concrete.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re happy to provide a robust and varied range of residential concrete lifting and leveling services in Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah, ensuring the quality of concrete on any part of your property. What is an AC condenser, why are AC condenser pads important, and why is it vital to keep concrete condenser pads in a good state of repair? This two-part blog series will go over several important areas to be aware of.

Role of AC Condenser

First and foremost, for those who aren’t aware, it’s important to understand what the AC condenser is and why it matters. The condenser refers to likely the single most important feature of your air conditioning: It sits outside your home and collects air to be cooled, then passes it through your ducts and vents and into your home to cool the space.

A major factor for condensers is clearance – they need space on all four sides and above to allow for proper air intake. For this reason, they are typically set up on what will be known as condenser pads.

Concrete AC Condenser Pads

And while there are a few materials that might be used for today’s condenser pads, the most common one has long been – and remains – concrete. Concrete slabs are perfect for supporting an AC condenser, with enough strength to support their weight plus the ability to be built in any location. This makes it easy for condenser pads to be created at any precise spot on your home’s exterior.

However, if you do not properly attend to this concrete, it could experience sinking, water infiltration or other forms of damage that can worsen its functionality and aesthetics simultaneously. Our next several sections, leading into part two of our series, will go over the issues that will be prevented by ensuring you have solid, high-quality concrete – including by the sorts of concrete repairs we offer regularly to clients.

Problems With Condenser Sinking

As we noted above, clearance is a huge factor for any AC condenser unit. If the concrete it sits on begins to sink, however, the condenser will fall partially below-ground – and will not have the same clearance throughout the component. It will be more difficult for it to draw in air, meaning it will have to work harder than usual just to produce the same amount of cooling. By allowing concrete to sink or settle below the condenser, you’re actually diminishing your overall AC efficiency.

For more on concrete AC condenser pads, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services in Salt Lake City or other parts of Utah, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

concrete cracks severity management

Concrete Cracks: Severity and Management Themes

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on concrete cracks and the issues that tend to cause them. Concrete cracks may develop from a few sources, many of which are related to either the slab installation or the care you’ve provided for your concrete over the years, and they also vary in terms of their risk levels – some are relatively minor and don’t present much concern, while others are serious and present major structural or hazard-related risks.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we’re proud to offer a comprehensive array of residential, commercial and even municipal concrete repair services, including for concrete surfaces dealing with significant or severe cracks. Today’s part two of our series will help you differentiate between serious and less risky cracks, plus go into the role expansion joints often play here and how our professionals will assist you.

Are Cracks Serious?

When assessing a given crack or group of cracks in your concrete, the primary crux point in determining their severity is whether they expand beyond the slab itself. There are many minor cracks that may appear in certain limited parts of the concrete slab, especially on its surface – these may or may not become a tripping hazard depending on their precise location, and also may have an aesthetic impact. However, if they’re limited only to small areas and are not showing signs of expansion, plus are not allowing moisture into the subgrade beneath, they’re probably not too serious.

On the flip side, cracks that continue through junction points and impact foundations, subgrade and the soil beneath the slab are significantly more serious. These cracks will typically worsen with time, plus will allow moisture to penetrate the lower parts of the slab and create soil settlement, erosion and other risks. If cracks meet these thresholds, or are greater than a quarter-inch in width, you should contact our team for repair considerations.

Expansion Joints and Crack Avoidance

In most cases, certain minor slabs can’t be avoided – but these only impact limited areas of aesthetics. However, with the right care taken during concrete pouring and future maintenance, you can limit the risk of cracks.

One such method that’s often used, especially in business settings, is the placement of expansion joints. Expansion joints separate concrete slabs from the other parts of the structure while allowing independent movement between structural pieces, limiting the risks of cracking based on pressure – or, at minimum, keeping the risks here limited to small, surface-level cracks that don’t impact structural integrity.

Professional Concrete Repair

If significant cracks have appeared in your concrete slabs, contact our team for quality concrete repair services. We’ll both fill in your cracks and level the slab to its proper height, ensuring soil settlement or other concerns that led to the cracking to begin with will not be present moving forward.

For more on concrete cracks and how to deal with them, or to learn about any of our concrete repair services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC today.

concrete cracks understanding causes

Concrete Cracks: Understanding Common Causes

When it comes to the long-term quality of your property’s concrete, both from a practical and aesthetic standpoint, perhaps the single largest enemy out there is cracking. Concrete cracks aren’t always a huge issue, depending on their size and severity, but certain significant cracks risk not only tripping hazards and other dangers, but also long-term damage as moisture infiltration and settlement take place before repairs are carried out.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we’re here to help before this happens. We offer quality residential and commercial concrete repair services, including a full range of lifting and leveling to remedy cracks – and also prevent future cracks from appearing. In this two-part blog series, we’ll begin by going over the reasons why cracks may show up in your concrete, plus some of the ways you can tell whether they’re serious, how to avoid them, and some of the tools or resources we may recommend for this purpose.

Moisture and Shrinkage

There’s an inextricable link between concrete and moisture, including during the mixing and pouring process for your concrete slab. The amount of moisture in your concrete mix will help define several things, including how the concrete cures once it’s poured onto a given surface.

If the concrete is not mixed properly, one of the most common possible results is shrinkage – where the slab loses too much of its volume based on too much water being present in the original mixture. Shrinkage may also take place if the concrete is not properly cared-for, such as if it’s left in extremely hot conditions or exposed to too much moisture infiltration.

Settlement

Another risk that may take place during slab prep or pouring is improper work on the soil below. Soil might be compacted in the wrong way, or conditioned incorrectly and left with either too much or too little moisture. As a result, soil may settle within a few months or years of the installation, causing your slab to sink in certain areas – and, due to pressure surrounding them, to crack.

Inclusions

Yet another possible installation risk in your concrete is the presence of what’s known as an inclusion. This describes a rigid, overly strong piece of stone that’s mistakenly installed among your softer concrete materials, or makes its way into the slab over time. This leads to uneven tensile stress, which raises the likelihood of random cracks.

Erosion Risks

Finally, especially in a place like Utah that goes through major drought periods (including one we’re in right now), there are risks of erosion. A drought period followed by rain may cause soil to shrink and loosen up, and eventually erosion and even washouts may take place, threatening the slab and creating cracks.

For more on the causes of concrete cracks and how to deal with them, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services for concrete repair, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC today.

stopping concrete sinking leveling

Stopping Concrete Sinking: Trees, Leveling, Sealing

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on how to stop concrete surfaces on your property from sinking. Sinking, which often results from soil and concrete settlement that’s often due to moisture or related concerns, will commonly lead to concrete cracking and other forms of significant damage, and these will only worsen with time.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we’re here to provide quality concrete repair services in numerous forms, from walkway lifting and leveling through driveways, patios, garage floors, porches and even steps. In addition, we assist numerous clients with tips and expertise on how to avoid some of the risks of concrete sinkage and its resulting damage throughout their day-to-day lives – there are several basic themes you can hit that will significantly minimize these risks. Here are a few of the other top factors to keep in mind.

Tree Location

Trees on your property can create a few issues with their roots, and one of these in some cases is their impact on your concrete. Tree roots grow toward warmth and moisture, and as we discussed in part one of our series, there are a few risks that may cause both of these to be present around your concrete slab – and this might lead to roots growing toward or even inside the slab.

If this happens, you could be dealing with a number of issues. On the severe end, tree roots growing into your concrete may require replacement of the entire slab if it’s compromised too heavily. However, you can avoid these issues to begin with by keeping track of root systems for larger trees, plus avoiding planting any trees with extensive root systems near major concrete surfaces.

Leveling

We talked about leveling the edges of your concrete slab in part one, and this same theme applies to any other part of the surface that’s been damaged or is sloping incorrectly. If you have uneven surfaces, for instance, it’s possible water could seep beneath them even if there isn’t significant cracking. But leveling these before this happens is not only simple, it’s much more affordable than major crack repairs down the line.

Sealing Themes

Down similar lines, if your concrete slab is showing any visible signs of cracks, especially near expansion joints, taking the time to seal these up will go a long way. Our team can perform a number of spot sealing jobs on your concrete surfaces that are easily affordable, stopping them from expanding into even larger issues that allow in more and more moisture to worsen the cycle.

For more on limiting and avoiding concrete sinking issues on your property, or for information on any of our concrete repair services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC today.

stopping concrete sinking gutters

Stopping Ogden Concrete Sinking: Rainwater Gutters and Runoff

There are a couple primary causes for concrete damage out there, and one of the most well-known – with good reason – is sinking. Often due to issues with the soil beneath your concrete slab or some related issue during slab installation, some concrete will, over a period of months or even years, shift and sink either partially or fully, and the resulting strain on the slab will often lead to major cracks, gaps and similar concerns.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we’re happy to offer numerous commercial and residential concrete lifting and leveling services throughout Ogden and other parts of Utah, plus assistance with municipal jobs as-needed. One of our top related functions, however, is to also inform our clients of some general tips to avoid any concrete damage issues they’ve dealt with as they move forward, and down these lines, there are actually several steps you can take that will heavily reduce the chances of your concrete slab sinking or otherwise settling. This two-part blog series will go over a number of themes to keep in mind here.

Rainwater Direction

One of the top causes of concrete sinkage is erosion and settlement of the soil below the slab itself – and one of the top precursors to this event is moisture infiltration. Also known as washout, this describes a situation where the rainwater on your property is not being directed away from your concrete slabs by your gutters, but rather toward or even directly on top of it.

This leaves the surfaces at-risk of significant standing water, which can penetrate the inner parts of a concrete slab. This, in turn, heavily raises the risk of cracking or sinking in the concrete slab, and when moisture makes its way down into the soil below the slab, these risks only increase. For this reason, it’s vital to ensure you have a working gutter and drainage system that property directs water away from concrete surfaces, particularly your foundation.

Slab Edges and Runoff

Another moisture-related issue is the presence of standing water on the edges of your slab if it’s not sloped properly. The goal here is for water that hits your concrete to flow naturally off of it, but some slab edges actually slope upward and don’t allow this to happen easily. Take a look at the edges of your concrete and consider packing any open areas with soil to prevent moisture issues, plus think about changing your sloping if it’s moving in the wrong direction – you might be surprised how much impact a very simple leveling job can have on not only your slab’s practical value, but also its aesthetic qualities.

For more on how to avoid concrete sinking risks on your property, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services in Ogden, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC today.

concrete GPR method interpretation

Concrete and GPR: Basic Method and Interpretation

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on what’s known as ground penetrating radar, or GPR. This form of non-destructive testing has seen major improvements due to technological upgrades over the last 15 years or so, and is now one of the most common testing formats used to determine the quality and characteristics of the concrete, soil and other materials below the surface of your slab.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re happy to offer a wide range of residential and commercial concrete lifting and leveling, plus robust testing services to determine the need for our concrete repair solutions. When you’re worried there’s significant damage taking place below the surface of your concrete slab, the type you can’t pick up with the naked eye, GPR is often one of the tests used to help know for sure. Today’s part two of our series will go over how GPR works, how data is interpreted, and how this form of technology has improved significantly over recent years.

How GPR Actually Works

As we noted in part one, GPR is an imaging technique that uses electromagnetic waves. But how exactly does this take place?

When you’re looking to investigate a given concrete surface, the GPR setup will be brought and an electromagnetic pulse will be sent into the structure. As this pulse passes from one material type to another, the velocity of its waves changes – the energy reflected back to the receiver is able to note this, and also provides a record of the interference. Basically, by noting when waves return at a different velocity than they were sent out at, this method helps map out areas of the concrete, or even the soil below it, where material damage or other changes are taking place.

Interpreting Radar Data

Now, it takes a bit of expertise to interpret the radar data here. This data comes initially in analog form, or a series of lines that require some experience to understand.

Generally, the most important items in this data are metallic inclusions like reinforcement bars, dowels, pipes and pre-stressing tendons. However, data response will vary from material to material, so an inexperienced user could misinterpret this data if they aren’t careful. This is why both experience and equipment knowledge are required here.

Improvements in Quality

As we noted in part one, GPR has been around for decades – but has seen major improvements over the last 15 years or so, to the point where it’s much more viable than it used to be as a concrete testing method. Radar data is digitally recorded, for instance, rather than being burnt onto thermal paper using belts, making it much more accurate; in addition, three-dimensional maps are now possible where they were not in previous generations.

For more on ground penetrating radar in concrete testing and repair, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

concrete GPR testing basics

Concrete and GPR: Testing Basics and Insights Received

As anyone who has dealt with concrete damage and resulting repairs in the past is likely aware, many issues involved in concrete damage take place below the surface and away from the naked eye. For concrete repair experts dealing with these issues, how are problems that can’t be seen on the surface identified and diagnosed so the proper repair route can be taken?

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re happy to offer robust commercial and residential concrete lifting and leveling services for a variety of concrete problems, including those taking place below the surface. We utilize a few different forms of testing or evaluation to determine exactly what’s taking place within your concrete slab and even within the soil below it. One common technique that’s popular across much of the concrete world is known as ground penetrating radar (GPR) – what is GPR, what’s the broader category of testing it falls under, and why is it often valuable for diagnosing concrete damage issues? This two-part blog series will go over several basic factors.

Non-Destructive Testing

Before we dig deeper into GPR itself, let’s go over the broader category it’s part of: Non-destructive testing, or NDT, which is important across several industries. Consider the automotive industry, for instance, where crash tests and related forms of research must be done as part of the development of new vehicles – NDT practices are often used within this industry.

Over the last 15 years or so, major developments have been made in the development of NDT technology when it comes to concrete inspection and testing. While this field has existed for longer, and was being used in the late 1980s and early 1990s, equipment used and techniques performed have advanced in major ways in the last decade and a half, making the accuracy of such testing far greater. GPR is one of the major benefactors of these upgrades.

Our next several sections will go over what GPR is and how it’s utilized for concrete repair needs.

GPR Basics

Ground penetrating radar refers to an imaging technique using electromagnetic waves to produce images of materials below your concrete surface. GPR can generally penetrate up to about 33 feet (10 meters) deep into your soil, and will produce high-quality images to allow for concrete experts to examine the subsurface. This method is quick and simple, and involves no destruction of the soil or any other materials.

What GPR Offers

GPR may be done by itself, or may be combined with other methods like magnetics or acoustics. Here are some of the data areas GPR testing allows for:

  • Concrete component thickness and reinforcement cover thickness
  • Presence of features like pre-stressing cables, pipes or embedded conduits
  • Presence and details of embedded reinforcement
  • Issues of voiding or honeycombing within concrete, plus extent of concerns
  • Location and level of delamination or separation of concrete
  • Relevant moisture content below surface

Lift-up-Concrete

For more on how ground penetrating radar works for concrete testing and repair, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

pool concrete issues repair

Pool Concrete Issues: How Concrete Repair Helps

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on why it’s important to attend to pool area concrete damage before the warm season hits. While concrete damage in any area of a property is potentially risky, these risks are even higher for areas surrounding pools at this time of year, since these spots get used way more often in the summer than the colder parts of the year.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we’re happy to offer numerous areas of residential concrete lifting and leveling, from sidewalks and walkways to driveways, patios, decks and many other areas. For a combination of both aesthetic and safety needs, we’ve assisted plenty of clients with concrete repair for their pool areas, ensuring surfaces are smooth and clear for the upcoming season. Here are some of the reasons why concrete lifting and leveling are often so beneficial for damage in these concrete areas on your property.

Cost Factors

When significant concrete damage has occurred on a pool deck, or especially within the pool foundation itself, you generally have two options: Repairing the damage or replacing the entire setup. Simply put, the former is far more cost-effective than the latter in nearly every situation.

Speaking only about a deck, which is actually the less expensive replacement of the two forms of pool-related concrete damage, costs here tend to run about double the cost of lifting and leveling the concrete. In some cases, it might be even greater than double depending on the size and layout of the deck. And for pool foundation issues, which are even more expensive to repair, the gap might be even larger.

Safe, Reliable Outcomes

Another value-add area from concrete repair is the safety and reliability of the final product. Materials used for lifting and leveling are both safe and eco-friendly, so you won’t worry about harmful contaminants seeping through into your soil.

In addition, concrete repair is a strong and reliable option. Our concrete services come with very low repump rates and tend to last for decades without issue.

Non-Invasive

Aesthetics are important for pool areas, and concrete repair will not make any significant dent here – in fact, it will improve concrete appearance significantly. Our finishes come with very few injection holes or other notable signs, leaving your visual appeal high.

Quick and Easy

And finally, especially when compared to replacing a pool deck or pool foundation, concrete repair is very quick and easy. It takes little time for us to assess the issues and create a plan for addressing them, then to carry this plan out – on the flip side, replacing an entire deck or pool will often take days or weeks.

For more on the value of concrete repair for swimming pool areas, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

SLC pool concrete issues

SLC Pool Concrete Issues: Locations and Importance

There are a few concrete areas where care takes on added importance during particular seasons of the year, and a good example here – especially for those in Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah, where the climate varies significantly through the year – is a pool deck or related area. Outdoor pools get far more usage in the spring and summer than they do in the colder parts of the year, and this means that any concrete surfaces near or surrounding your pool should also be kept in good quality at these times.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we’re here to help. We offer numerous residential concrete lifting and leveling services, from common areas like driveways and garage floors to distinct ones like walkways, patios, decks and even the concrete near your pool setup. What are some of the pool areas that may experience concrete issues, why is it important to remedy these concerns, and what are some of the areas where concrete lifting and leveling will add value if you’re going this route? Here are several themes to consider.

Pool Deck

In some cases, the issues with concrete will be taking place on the pool deck itself, in which case one of the largest concerns is tripping and falling danger. If there are gaps or cracks in concrete surfaces, these may expose the soil below and cause even further destabilization.

In turn, this can lead to pop-ups across the surface of the deck. Not only is this a safety issue for anyone using the concrete, it’s a major aesthetic stinker that will only get worse over time.

Pool Foundation

In other cases, it will be the actual foundation of your pool that is sinking or causing concrete issues. Between the water involved and several other factors, the soil underneath a given pool has lots of weight placed on it over the course of a year.

In some situations, this water may penetrate the soil, causing settlement and possibly sinking. One side of the pool might sink while the other sits evenly, which presents major cracking and other damage risks. These also often give way to sealing or leaking concerns – and again, these problems only get worse with time.

Value of Remediation

There are multiple areas where attending to concrete damage near pool surfaces is important:

  • Safety: Whether it’s just you and your kids or others in the neighborhood, damaged concrete is often a tripping or slipping hazard.
  • Aesthetics: Many of the worst kinds of pool concrete damage look really bad.
  • Property value: Due to both of the above plus practical use themes, damaged concrete surfaces will be noted during any property inspection and will limit your property value.

Lift Up Concrete staff

For more on concrete damage in your pool area and why it’s so important to attend to this spring, or to learn about any of our concrete repair services in Salt Lake City, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC today.