concrete repair Utah

Why Do Slabs Settle? Reasons Utah Homeowners Get Concrete Repair

A cracked and settled slab can have a negative effect on both the value and the curb appeal of your Utah home. Concrete repair can reverse that, while also making the landscape less of a safety hazard. But, you no doubt already knew all of this – and what you need to know is why slabs settle.

If you don’t already have a settled slab at your home, you’ll likely face this issue at some point. As any residential concrete repair contractor in Utah will tell you, settlement and cracking are pretty much inevitable. That’s just the nature of concrete.

However, if you understand what might cause the slabs surrounding your home to settle, you may be able to address some of the problems and stave off the need for concrete repair. Below, the experienced professional team at Lift-Up Concrete explains the reasons slab settlement commonly occurs in Utah.

Soil Composition

Clay-rich soils are prevalent throughout the state of Utah. When saturated, this type of soil expands, and when it dries out, it contracts. As this action continues over time, concrete can shift out of place.

Concrete Problems

Mistakes made when a slab is installed can lead to the need for concrete repair. For example, using faulty footings or the wrong water-to-cement ratio might cause a slab to sink, settle and crack.

Poor Compaction

Similarly, concrete settlement can also be the result of poor preparation during the initial slab installation. If the soil isn’t compacted properly, air pockets remain under the concrete, causing it to sink.

Ground Slope

Excess moisture in the soil may be to blame for concrete instability and settlement in Utah. When the ground is sloped directly toward a slab, water runoff can easily infiltrate the soil underneath.

Drainage Issues

Water infiltration isn’t always due to ground slope – sometimes, a home’s gutter system is the problem. Downspouts need to be directed away from the concrete, or pooling water can lead to settled slabs.

Soil Washout

Concrete repair might also be necessary if a sudden gush of water creates gaps under a slab and causes it to settle. Utah homeowners face this problem with serious plumbing leaks and after heavy rainfall.

Frost Heaving

In Utah, frost heave often occurs. Snow melts into the earth and the temperature plunges, making the water freeze. Once it thaws, the soil contracts. Repeated over the course of winter, this is problematic.

Burrowing Animals

Voles, mice, rates and other critters like to dig tunnels under concrete, and in doing so, compromise a slab’s integrity. Settlement is the result, and when animals cause a slab to sink, concrete repair is the solution. 

Bulging Tree Roots

Trees growing close to a slab can also be responsible for concrete settlement around a Utah home. As the root system extends into the soil underneath a slab, the resulting pressure can cause it to sink and crack.

What Utah Homeowners Need to Know About Concrete Repair

While concrete repair might not be at the top of your to-do list, putting off the project isn’t in your best interests. If you have any settled slabs at your Utah home, dealing with the issue now is wise for a few reasons.

Repairing settled concrete is important because:

  • Sunken and cracked concrete isn’t just an aesthetic issues – it’s a safety risk.
  • A Utah homeowner may be liable if damaged concrete is the cause of an injury.
  • Settled slabs can create drainage issues and pooling water around a property.
  • After concrete repair has been completed, the value of a Utah home increases.

In addition, holding off on concrete repair isn’t a good idea, as the longer you wait, the worse the settlement and damage will get. The bigger the problem, the more costly the solution – and if you put off the project for too long, repairing a settled slab may not be possible. In that case, tearing out and replacing the concrete would be the only option, and that’s a much more expensive endeavor.

Why Not Take the Do-It-Yourself Approach to Concrete Repair?

Many Utah homeowners think that fixing a settled slab is simple, and that watching a few videos and reading a tutorial or two teaches you everything you need to know. That’s not the case – and going the DIY route isn’t such a good idea.

Concrete repair requires specialized tools, and attempting to address slab settlement without the right equipment could result in additional damage. Sure, you could rent or purchase a high-power concrete drill and a hydraulic pump, but creating a stable cement slurry to inject into the soil voids isn’t easy. And, you’ll just be guessing where and how much of the slurry mixture needs to be injected, so your efforts may only provide a temporary fix.

What’s more, do-it-yourself concrete repair is likely to give you amateurish results. With an experienced professional contractor, the repair work is nearly invisible and evidence of any slab settlement will be difficult to spot.

Contact Lift-Up Concrete for a Free Concrete Repair Consultation

The professional team at Lift-Up Concrete has the skill, knowledge and expertise to fix slabs that settle, sink and crack. We offer affordable, high-quality service – and in most cases, we can restore a settled slab in just an hour or two. For a free, no-obligation concrete repair consultation at your Utah home, contact us today!