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Risks of Putting Off Sunken Concrete Repair Services

Whether due to poor installation in the past or changing environmental surroundings, one of several possible issues with concrete slabs over time is the potential for sinking. Often due to soil settlement or related issues below the concrete slab itself, sinking and similar concerns can lead to everything from safety hazards to major financial issues.

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re here to help. We offer a wide range of residential, commercial and municipal concrete lifting and leveling services, servicing a variety of sunken concrete slabs or other settlement issues. One major tip we offer any client who has undergone this process: Resist any temptation to ignore or put off concrete repair needs for sinking issues. Today’s blog will detail why this is so important.

Safety Considerations

First and foremost, ignoring or waiting on concrete repairs for sinking concerns often leads directly to safety hazards and related risks. Whether on a residential or commercial property, uneven and sunken concrete can be a major tripping hazard, especially when present on common walkways.

These safety hazards will not only be present for you and any other common users of the property, but also guests. If third parties are injured on your property due to sunken concrete issues you’ve ignored, you could be held liable for their injuries.

Property Value

In addition, homes or buildings with major concrete sinking issues on the property will see their value lowered as a result. These areas play a big role in what real estate pros would call curb appeal, or numerous visual elements that help make a first impression on prospective buyers during a sale situation.

Luckily, concrete lifting and leveling services restore not only practical areas of concrete slabs, but also aesthetic areas. They leave your concrete smooth and level to present a strong visual impression.

Moisture Infiltration and Structural Issues

On top of the concerns above, sunken concrete also often tends to crack or form gaps based on gravity’s pull and other factors. When this happens, it’s far easier for moisture to infiltrate the concrete, further destabilizing soil and worsening the issue. When this happens near structural areas of the building, such as footings and pads, the entire structure’s integrity could be threatened.

It Gets Worse

Finally, one broad reality that applies to each of the areas above: If you leave sunken concrete alone, the issues will do nothing but worsen. Moisture infiltration and further soil settlement will only grow more significant the longer they’re allowed to run rampant – eventually, your concrete may be damaged to such a point that you have to replace it entirely.

For more on why you absolutely should not ignore or put off concrete repair for sunken surfaces, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.

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Steps

Few concrete problems are as conspicuous as slanted or raised steps. Crooked stairs are highly visible to passersby and neighbors and can ruin the appearance of your entire home exterior. They are also particularly dangerous for anyone who requires the use of your stairs. Likewise, if your stairs lack a rail some people may simply be unable to use them, which can be an embarrassing inconvenience for you and your guests.

Soil destabilization is the most common reason for this problem and can occur in newer or older homes. This problem tends to happen when runoff water from rain, snow or ice leaks through to the ground below, causing the underlying soil to shift. Due to the safety risks associated with this type of concrete damage it is important to get your steps fixed as soon as possible before you or someone else gets injured.

If your stairs are cracked or have actually have begun to pull away from your porch leaving a discernible gap, you may be tempted to call a replacement service. However, with our professional concrete lifting service you can save yourself time and money. Using a special grout mixture, which we inject through several small drilled holes in your concrete, we can seamlessly restore any cracks in your stairs and make them level in the process.

Most repairs are done in just a few hours and you’ll be able to use your stairs in their newly restored form later the same day. You’ll also only pay about half of what you would if you have paid to have your stairs replaced. Best of all, the fix is permanent and designed to withstand water and moisture so you won’t have to worry about replacing your stairs in the future.

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Porches

Your front porch is one is of the most visible parts of your home. Visitors, neighbors and anyone passing by your home can see it. A porch that is sinking or uneven can negatively impact the appearance of your home’s exterior or even lower its value. Soil displacement is the most common cause of concrete porch sloping or cracking. If the problem is significant enough, your tilted porch could also pose a risk to the foundation or surrounding structures of your home.

This threat comes from the rain and snow that can leak down through any existing cracks. An unstable porch area can be very dangerous as gaps and cracks can be significant, increasing the risk of a slip and fall on your property. It is important to fix this kind of concrete problem before it becomes more serious. However, replacing your porch can be costly, time consuming and unsightly. It also renders the front entrance of your home useless, possibly for several days.

Concrete lifting or mudjacking is a quick and relatively inexpensive alternative to traditional replacement.  Our comprehensive time-saving service can repair your porch using a professional-grade grout mixture. This un-invasive technique fuses to the backside of your concrete, restoring cracked concrete slabs and filling in any voids in the soil substrate. The fix is permanent, eliminating the need for cement replacement in the future, which saves you money in both the short term and the long term. In fact, concrete lifting costs as average of 50 percent less than concrete replacement.  Over the lifetime of your home, these saving can really add up. With our expert level service, your porch will be restored in a few hours and ready for use the same day I most cases.

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Garage Floors

Garage floors have a reputation for sinking. This is especially true of garages with poor or improper drain function. However, the snow, ice and rain that fall off of your car can also exacerbate the problem when it seeps down to the substrate state beneath your concrete floor. Water tends to run off to the sides of the garage which are already susceptible to soil settling.  It is not uncommon for a garage floor to settle by several inches over the course of a few years. Large cracks are another common problem associated with soil settling. If your car shakes a little when you pull into your garage it may be a sign that your floor is not level.

Sometimes cracks or slopping aren’t readily apparent. However, you can easily test for soil instability by tapping your floor with a hammer every 3 to 4 feet. A hollow sound means that there are gaps in the soil. Replacing the concrete slabs on your garage floor can be costly and time consuming. Likewise, replacement service providers may be quick to recommend a full garage floor replacement, which requires additional time and money. It is also likely that you won’t be able to use your garage for several days, which can be a huge inconvenience during certain times of year. Our professional grade concrete lifting service can correct the problem by filling in any voids with a grout mixture that adheres to the underside of your concrete, bringing it back to grade level. The mixture is also resistant to the water and moisture that contribute to settling. No expensive concrete removal or replacement is required. In many cases, you’ll be able to use your garage again in a just a few hours.

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Patios

Creating the perfect patio takes time and planning, as well as money. Discovering unsightly cracks or gaps in your backyard retreat can be frustrating as well as costly to fix. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may even be unable to keep chairs, tables or grills on it for fear of instability.

If cracks, gaps or sloping that plagues your concrete patio runs alongside your home they may also be letting unwanted pests in or moving excess water toward your foundation.  Foundation settling can be a true structural emergency for your entire home. Concrete patio problems often arise due to poor construction or a lack of iron reinforcement. Poor drainage is another common cause of patio settling. Your building agreement may or may not cover the cost of replacing damaged concrete slabs. However, even if it does, replacement is a temporary fix at best if the underlying problem is soil-related.

Our concrete experts will be able to tell you exactly what the problem is and in most cases be able to fix it with a special grout mixture that adheres to your concrete and fills in any gaps in your soil.   Concrete lifting and leveling is a low cost alternative to replacement and most importantly actually addresses the underlying cause of the problem, preventing it from re-occurring. Our method is so effective and minimally invasive that you won’t even be able to tell the difference between your old concrete and the restored concrete.  Don’t throw your hands up in resignation- call Lift-Up Concrete and see how we can help you for a fraction of the costs of replacement.

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Driveways

The average U.S. car weighs almost two tons – the equivalent of 4,000 pounds. Each time your car passes over your driveway or remains parked there, this weight is applied directly to the surface concrete and substrate beneath.

When the soil is stable, your concrete driveway can hold this weight without any negative impact. If soil under your driveway is still settling or becomes destabilized by excess water, your driveway could be sinking a little each day. A sinking concrete bed can spell disaster for your driveway and actually exacerbate your settling problem, resulting in tilting slabs and cracks. Due to the size and labor required, replacing a concrete driveway can easily cost you a small fortune. In addition, it doesn’t actually get to the root of the problem, which means it’s just a matter of time before you have to pay to have your driveway replaced again.

If your concrete settling problem is bad enough, your driveway may actually start to pull away from the concrete inside your garage. This creates a dangerous gap in between the two which can damage your tires when you drive into your garage or even serve as a means for insects and vermin to enter your home. This type of concrete driveway damage is also highly visible to anyone passing by your home and may negatively affect your home’s foundation and even its value.

If the settling progresses to a full slant you could also be putting undue stress on your car breaks or risking a serious accident should you forget to engage them one day. Our professional concrete lifting and concrete leveling service can raise your driveway by as much as several inches, if needed, in just a matter of hours. You’ll have a smooth, seamless transition from your driveway to your garage –permanently free from cracks and gaps.

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Walkways

Your concrete walkway serves as an unofficial welcome mat for anyone entering your home. With this in mind, you’ve probably invested a fair amount of time and or labor into making it look as attractive as possible. Unfortunately, the concrete that makes up your walkway derives its structure and stability from the underlying substrate, which may include a variety of substances including soil, sand, chalk or clay.

Over time melting ground water can cause your soil to contract and expand, resulting in movement. This soil erosion breaks down your walkway’s foundation causing damage to the concrete above. Likewise, if your soil was improperly compacted during installation it will eventually lead to the same problem. When soil displacement becomes severe enough unsightly waves, cracks, or general unevenness may appear, changing the appearance of your concrete walkway.  If that were not enough, plant and tree roots can also slowly move concrete over time, creating cracks and gaps.

In addition to being an eyesore, this concrete damage can also pose a hazard for anyone using your walkway path.  Everyone from guests to your local mailman has an increased risk of a slip and fall when your walk is misaligned. With our advanced concrete lifting technique and grout mixture we can fill the area beneath your concrete slabs, lifting them back to grade level. This will also fill in any gaps in the underlying soil, preventing further movement and permanently fixing the affected area or areas into their proper place.

Replacing your walkway can be expensive and doesn’t actually get to the root of the problem. However, concrete lifting (or mudjacking, as it is also known) is affordable and generally costs half the price of traditional concrete replacement services.  Most jobs are completed in just a few hours and in many cases you’ll be able to use your walkway again by the end of the day or even sooner.