Category Archives: Blog

preventing tree root concrete damage

Preventing Tree Root-Related Concrete Damage

As longtime home or property owners may already be aware, tree roots aren’t quite the harmless bit of nature they may seem. Large tree roots can interfere with a few specific structures or areas on a property, and one of the most common examples here is concrete that’s damaged by tree roots growing into and around it.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, not only are we here to offer quality residential and commercial concrete lifting and leveling services for any damaged slab, but also the expertise to help you avoid these sorts of damage in the first place. What are the risks of tree roots in your concrete slabs, how does this sort of damage form, and what can you do to avoid it? Here’s a rundown.

How Tree Roots Infiltrate Concrete

Tree roots, especially the larger systems that connect to big, long-lasting trees, are likely far more powerful and wide-ranging than you might have realized. They can grow to extreme lengths, distances, and depths (especially in the case of older trees) and can even expand their reach underground through networks of smaller feeder roots.

Some roots may even be extensive enough to continue growing far beyond a property line due to unseen damage or natural growth – but either way, they can wind up infiltrating your concrete slabs. When this happens, the roots can wind up growing through them or even lifting whole slabs right off the ground.

Is Your Concrete at Risk?

A lot of common factors can influence whether tree roots may damage your concrete slab, including:

  • The type of soil that it’s in: Tree roots require the right conditions to grow, and this means more than just an adequately thick layer of soil. A mix of loose soil with some dense spots is ideal for growing plenty of new roots quickly, especially if the area has already seen some decay or erosion.
  • The age and type of tree: Trees can produce roots at different rates over their lifespan, and older trees may have a more developed root system that can cause extensive damage to concrete slabs over time. The type of tree in question can also influence whether roots wind up infiltrating a slab, too.
  • How the concrete was laid: Whether it’s in a new home or an old one, there are certain ways that laid concrete gives roots an edge when it comes to infiltrating and growing underneath the surface. These methods include laid concrete without a robust leveling system, with broken, uneven slabs, or with plenty of crevices between individual pieces for roots to grow through.

Visual Indicators of Tree Roots in Concrete

In certain extreme cases where you’ve left this issue to worsen for too long, you’ll actually be able to see tree roots themselves growing through and out of your concrete slabs. However, before the damage ever reaches this point, there are other telltale signs of this issue that you may pick up:

  • Major cracks: If a concrete slab seems to be cracking and shifting more than it should, even if there’s no evidence of tree roots at all, it could still be a sign that those roots are infiltrating the space underneath.
  • Heaving or sinking slabs: Heaving involves small pockets of air forming under a slab as they expand from the pressure of tree roots growing underneath, and this can cause a slab to rise or even lift up once the tree dies. Sinking may happen as well when roots grow into and around a foundation’s footing; since those roots take up space in the soil, it leaves less of it for that footing to hold onto against your home’s weight as time goes on.
  • Buckling slabs: Buckling, on the other hand, refers to the appearance of a concrete slab that’s risen and cracked with bulging sections. At first, you may think this is just another case of heaving or settling followed by major damage, but in reality it can be an indication that roots are actually growing into and around your slab.

Liability Risks

In addition to the risks posed to your concrete by tree roots, these same roots may also lead to major liability risks. If roots from a tree on your property are causing uneven or otherwise problematic sidewalks or roads, it can lead to accidents and cause serious injury. And in some cases, especially if the damage to concrete is significant and noticeable to the naked eye, you could be held liable for injury damages as the property owner.

On top of this, you may also be held responsible for having the roots removed if they’re intruding onto your neighbor’s property – and then, you’ll need to foot their bill for any damages done as a result.

How to Prevent Root and Concrete Issues

The first method for preventing these issues is simple diligence. If you notice even minor signs that tree roots might be starting to grow under your concrete, you should take prompt measures to stop them before they ever reach this point.

The second method is also simple, if not necessarily easy: You can remove any trees encroaching on or near your property that seem to cause these issues with their roots. However, the removal process may be more complicated than simply chopping down a tree, and may also be expensive.

And finally, there are situations where our concrete lifting and leveling services will be the right approach here. For significant cases of damage, we’re happy to not only repair your concrete and ensure it’s at the proper solid level once again, but also to assist with tree root infiltration if it’s taking place.

For more on how tree roots may be playing a role in concrete damage, or to learn about any of our concrete repair services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

proceed concrete driveway cracks

How to Proceed if You’ve Found SLC Concrete Driveway Cracks

There are a few things no one wants to see on their concrete driveway, and cracks are at or near the top of any such list. Cracks can appear for a few reasons, from sinking soil to poor installation and a few other reasons — if you’re just noticing significant cracks in your driveway, what should you be doing about it?

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re here to help. We provide a wide range of concrete lifting and leveling services for homes, businesses and many other property types throughout Salt Lake City, serving as your one-stop shop for quality concrete that lasts many years. Which steps do we generally recommend if you’re noticing cracks in your driveway you’d like to be rid of? Here’s a basic primer.

Assess Damage Level

First and foremost, take some time to assess the damage — you want to know how bad it is, and how much work is going to be involved in repairs. A good way of assessing the problem is using a broom handle or something similar to press down on different sections of your driveway when it’s dry outside. If there is movement between your driveway and frame that is visible with the naked eye, you’ve likely got some damage.

If damage isn’t very significant, you do have the option of holding off on any repairs. However, as we regularly tell clients, concrete damage doesn’t solve itself — it will only get worse with time, and it’s up to you if you’re willing to deal with the issue now or later.

Repair Options

In many cases, moderate or significant cracks in a concrete driveway will be best addressed using the concrete lifting and leveling services we proudly offer to clients. These services can be used to effectively raise and level sections of concrete, aligning them with the surrounding section or other portions of your driveway that are not cracked.

Once we’ve lifted and leveled the affected areas in this way, they will function similarly to a brand new drive — one complete with a decorative touch in most cases!

Replacement for Major Damage

Now, there will also be other cases where cracks and other concrete damage will be so significant that they must be replaced. And while our services are primarily in concrete repair, we care most about our clients first and foremost — we’ll never recommend a repair attempt if the damage is so severe that our efforts won’t really make a difference. Rather, if your concrete has reached this point, we’ll advise you on the proper replacement timeline, plus make recommendations for the ideal contractor if needed.

For more on how you should proceed if you locate cracks in your concrete driveway, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services in SLC or other parts of Utah, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.

concrete sealing crack stain resistance

Concrete Sealing: Crack Prevention, Stain Resistance, Longer Life

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some general themes on why concrete sealing is so important. Used to protect concrete slabs from various threats and damage risks, concrete sealing is an important part of many processes, including both concrete pouring and concrete repairs.

At Lift-Up Concrete, we’re happy to assist clients with a full-service concrete lifting and leveling process that includes detailed sealing of both gaps and the entire surface itself. Our services are applicable to numerous surface types, from concrete driveways and walkways through garage floors, patios and many others. What are some of the other major reasons concrete sealing is so important for your surface? Here are several.

Preventing Cracks

Another key benefit of concrete sealing is the way it prevents cracks from forming in a concrete slab’s surface. As you likely already know, cracks are not only unsightly but can lead to further issues with your concrete, such as water infiltration and other problems.

Excessive temperature changes and pressure from different sources can also contribute to the formation of cracks in a concrete slab. But with proper sealant in place, you can reduce the number of cracks that appear on your concrete surface.

Resisting Stains

For some concrete slabs, the primary concern is the presence of stains from things like oil, grease and other organic matter. An effective concrete sealing job reduces the presence of these stains and helps to prevent them from penetrating into your concrete slab’s surface.

It does so without requiring any chemicals or additives that may lead to long-term damage. While many stains can be removed from concrete through standard cleaning methods, sealing your concrete prevents the potential of such stains in the first place and ensures a longer life for your surface in general.

Longer Lifespan, Less Maintenance

And finally, when your concrete slab is properly sealed, its expected lifespan is extended. If you’re not sealing your concrete at all, the surface itself will erode over time as a result of exposure to anything from water and other liquids to chemicals and air pollution.

On top of this, your maintenance requirements will go way down. Sealants typically last anywhere from five to 10 years before needing a reapplication, and this provides plenty of time between both applications without you having to worry about constant upkeep.

With the help of our concrete sealing services at Lift-Up Concrete, we can provide your concrete with a protective barrier that helps to extend its lifespan and make it more aesthetically pleasing in the process. For more on this or any of our other concrete lifting and leveling services, contact our team today to schedule an appointment or get a free estimate on our services.

concrete sealing risks unsealed

Concrete Sealing: Risks of Unsealed Ogden Concrete

There are several important steps that will be carried out during concrete repair, and one of these is the sealing process. Generally applied after major repairs have already taken place, sealing protects your slab from several risks, including moisture infiltration and others, as you move forward with a pristine concrete surface.

At Lift-Up Concrete, sealing is just one part of our comprehensive residential and commercial concrete lifting and leveling services in Ogden and other parts of Utah. We apply both gap sealants and final sealants to our concrete repair jobs, protecting the entire slab from erosion, water infiltration and more. What are the damage risks that come with unsealed concrete slabs, and what benefits does sealing offer to any slab on your property? This two-part blog series will go over everything you should know in this area.

Risks of Unsealed Concrete

If any of your concrete slabs are not properly sealed, you’re exposing them to significant risk. Here are several possible issues that may arise:

  • Weather disintegration: Exposure to rain, snow and other weather factors means that your unsealed concrete slabs are likely to gradually degrade over time. If you keep those same concrete slabs sealed, however, those elements will have a harder time hitting the surface of the slab and taking their toll.
  • Water intrusion: Unsealed concrete also increases the risk of water infiltration on your property. This is a particular concern during the late fall and early spring, when snowmelt or heavy rains can spell disaster for any unsealed concrete on your properties.
  • Aggregate expansion: Aggregates in your concrete – such as gravel or sand – are likely to expand with the moisture that gets into an unsealed slab. If left alone, this can damage the surface of your entire slab. Sealing is the only sure-fire way to protect against this risk.
  • Delamination: Delamination occurs when the top layer of concrete that has been sealed begins to come loose due to exposure. This is because sealing that surface serves as a protective barrier, one that prevents any significant movement between layers.

Our next several sections, however, will go over how concrete sealing helps prevent these and all related concerns.

Moisture Repellant

Perhaps the most important feature of concrete sealant is its ability to act as a moisture repellant. That’s because unsealed concrete is highly permeable, meaning that any rain or snow that falls on it will start to seep into the slab.

If your slab still has any cracks or fissures in it, then the water will continue to seep in. During the cold Utah winter, water that has seeped into a concrete slab can cause expansion and contraction, which will often crack and otherwise damage the slab.

In part two, we’ll go over some further benefits of proper concrete sealing. For more on this or any of our concrete repair services in Ogden or other parts of Utah, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.

concrete composition proportioning reinforcements

Concrete Composition: Proportioning and Reinforcements

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on how concrete is made. Understanding the composition of concrete is often important for those who are caring for or maintaining it, and it’s a pretty simple formula in most cases.

At Lift-Up Concrete, we’re happy to help with a wide range of concrete lifting and leveling services for any concrete slab that’s been damaged in any way. Our professionals are experts in the way concrete is created and poured into your various slabs, and this expertise often informs our concrete repair services. While part one of our series went over the simple recipe usually used for concrete, today’s part two will dig into a few other important areas to be aware of.

Concrete Proportioning

As we discussed in part one, concrete is made primarily from a combination of cement, water and various aggregates (stone, gravel, sand, etc.). As such, a vital part of its proper installation comes down to using the right mixture of these three ingredients.

A concrete mixture without enough cement, for instance, will be thinner and weaker than originally designed. This can often cause cracking, especially if the concrete wasn’t laid to a specific level during installation, or if it was installed over another material that’s less than ideal. This is where concrete lifting services like ours are vital – we’ll carefully lift and repair your damaged slab so that its leveled out properly again.

Concrete Reinforcements

We should also note here that when a given concrete slab is poured (including many concrete foundations), it’s not simply solid concrete. Rather, the slab is also reinforced with fibers and/or wire mesh, which ensures that it is not only properly supported, but also strong and durable. Depending on the project, these reinforcements may be cast directly into the concrete during pouring (which is why it’s important to have a lift service like us in some cases), or they may need to be interwoven after the slab has been poured.

If your concrete was damaged in some way that caused the reinforcement to become exposed, it can leave you with a weakened structure. This is particularly problematic if the reinforcements are what keep your concrete slab from cracking further. Repairing such damage is vital for maintaining your home or business’s structural integrity and keeping it safe as long as possible.

Decorative Concrete

Finally, there are also forms of decorative concrete that include color additives or concrete printing formats. These types of concrete — plus their care and potential repair needs — require a thorough understanding of how additives or printing will impact the slab. If you have questions here, our team will be happy to answer them.

For more on how concrete is made and poured, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.

concrete composition mix cement

Concrete Composition: Mix and Cement Notes

Concrete is one of the single most common harder substances used in our world today, but many people — even those who utilize it regularly on their property — don’t really understand how it’s made. Concrete is a combination of a few different elements in most cases, combined to create the finished product you see on areas like driveways, sidewalks and numerous others.

At Lift-Up Concrete, we’re happy to offer a wide range of concrete lifting and leveling services for situations where your concrete undergoes any form of damage. Part of this process, though, and part of our common services provided to clients as well, involves understanding the composition of the concrete we’re working on, as this often plays a major role in how we’ll remedy any damage that’s taken place. For those who are unaware, what goes into the makeup of concrete, and how does this composition vary depending on the type of slab needed? This two-part blog series will tell you everything you need to know.

Standard Concrete Composition

Concrete is a mixture of cement, water and various aggregates. The simplest concrete composition consists of 10-15% cement, 15-20% water, and 65-75% aggregates. This mixture needs to set for 8 hours before the concrete can be used.

When we talk about “aggregates,” we’re referring to a few different possible substances: Sand, gravel, crushed stones and possibly a few others. These may be used in different combinations depending on the exact slab you require.

The properties of concrete are determined by its ingredients. Stirring the concrete after it has been mixed will increase the strength of the material as well as cause bubbles to rise to the surface which can be popped prior to final use. Cement also forms a skin on top, which can be scraped off so that it doesn’t interfere with casting or mixing with other materials like gravel.

Concrete and Cement Are Not the Same

While cement is an important ingredient in the formation of concrete, they are not the same and should not be used interchangeably. Concrete is a mixture of cement, water and various aggregates. Cement itself is the substance that creates the glue, binding these three ingredients together.

Cement can be manufactured using one of eight different ingredients: Lime, silica, sulfur trioxide, alkaline, iron oxide, alumina, and calcium sulfate. Within the concrete world, it will then be made into a paste that hardens and holds the other concrete ingredients together within the slab, with highly effective bonding qualities that allow it to create a long-lasting adhesive effect.

For more on the basic composition of concrete, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete today.

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.