The decision between whether to repair or replace failing structures or components is a regular one for home and building owners, and concrete damage is a good example. Those looking for an improved concrete surface on any part of their property will often be wondering whether the most cost-effective way to achieve this is through basic repairs or a replacement of the entire slab area.
At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re here to offer quality residential, commercial and even municipal concrete lifting and leveling services in numerous property areas around Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah, from driveways and garage floors to patio leveling and many other options. While there are some situations where damage will be so significant to a concrete surface that replacement is the only option, we often identify situations where property owners thought they’d be forced to replace their slab — but in reality, will do better (and spend less) with our concrete repair solutions. Here’s a primer on how to choose between these two, plus what’s important to keep in mind as you move through this process.
Damaged Concrete Won’t Magically Fix Itself
First and foremost, before we get into concrete repair versus concrete replacement, an important note that relates to both potential areas: When concrete damage is spotted, it won’t just go away or fix itself. In fact, this is one of the most common mistakes we see people making when they notice cracks, pitting, spalling or other types of damage to their concrete surfaces.
Too many property owners believe that all they need to do is wait for time to pass and/or the weather to change — but this isn’t the case at all. Left untreated, concrete damage will only get worse over time. What might start as a small issue can quickly turn into a much bigger and more expensive problem if ignored.
In fact, this is one of the key themes we message to customers we work with, and part of why our repair services are so robust. Many issues that might require concrete replacement if they’re left too long can be easily remedied with affordable repairs as long as they’re addressed in a timely manner.
Re-Leveling Versus Re-Pouring
While there are other forms of both concrete repair and replacement, these are two common processes within each realm — and comparing them is an interesting way of getting a gauge on what each means. Here are some basic variables to stack up next to one an other:
- Cost: When it comes to up-front cost, concrete re-leveling is far more affordable than replacement in most cases. In fact, we often tell customers that they can expect to spend 1/5 to 1/10 as much on concrete re-leveling versus replacement.
- Timing: Concrete repair can be completed quickly and does not require the same waiting time that replacement does.
- Appearance: Concrete re-leveling will often result in a surface that looks very similar to the original concrete. Concrete replacement will result in a completely new surface.
- Cleanup and waste removal: Concrete replacement will result in a fair amount of waste that needs to be removed from the worksite. This is not the case with concrete re-leveling.
As you can see, there are some clear differences between these two approaches — and they should help you better understand when each might be more appropriate.
Curb appeal is a vital concern for many property owners, as it’s a major factor in keeping property value high. This is one area where modern technology has changed the game: Even a decade ago, concrete replacement was significantly more desirable when it came to curb appeal — but today’s quality concrete repair techniques have changed this reality.
Instead, it’s possible today to get concrete repairs that look just as good as a replacement, and in some cases even better. So if curb appeal is a key concern for you, make sure to keep this in mind when considering repair versus replacement. Many are willing to spend a bit more on concrete replacement if it looks better — but if you can get that same aesthetic without the higher cost, it’s a no-brainer.
Situations Where Replacement is Unavoidable
Now, even as concrete repair specialists, we recognize that there are situations where repairs aren’t realistic for a given concrete surface. And because we care most about our clients getting the very best for their needs, we’ll never attempt repairs when it’s obvious that replacement is what’s needed.
A few such situations include:
- Major damage: If a concrete surface has suffered extensive damage, it might not be able to be repaired. Depending on the depth and severity of the damage, this could make repairs a risky proposition. For instance, if the concrete has large cracks that go all the way down to the rebar, it’s probably not a good candidate for repair.
- Multiple issues: If a concrete surface has several different types of damage, it might be best to replace it. This is often the case with surfaces that have both cosmetic and structural damage.
- Customer desire: In other cases, damage itself will not be the primary reason for replacement — rather, it will be customer preference. For instance, some customers might not like the appearance of repaired concrete, or they might want a completely new surface.
In these and other cases, replacement is often the best solution. But remember that this doesn’t mean that repair is never an option — it just means that there are some cases where it doesn’t make sense.
For more on how to choose between concrete repair and replacement for your SLC property, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the team at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.