Concrete Lifting Problem Signs
Sinking sidewalks, driveways, and concrete floors aren’t just eyesores – they can quickly turn into safety hazards!
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Keeping your concrete slabs even is all about spotting the problem signs early and preventing severe damage. Here’s everything you need to know.
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Flooding and storms do away with the soil under your concrete. Without a solid foundation, your slabs will settle from soil washout.
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The way your concrete looks says a lot about the health of your home. Spotting the signs of concrete pitting, flaking & staining can save you a lot in home repairs.
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Knowing what driveway and sidewalk settling looks like can prevent accidents and expensive repairs.
Is your concrete sinking into the surrounding ground? Are your concrete slabs uneven? Does your driveway, sidewalk, or garage floor have any unsightly cracks? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, concrete lifting and stabilizing might be the right solution for you. At JES Foundation Repair, we can repair your concrete problems by fixing cracks and lifting uneven slabs. Tackling cracks and sunken concrete can be a daunting task, that is why it’s important to hire concrete lifting professionals. At JES, we utilize skilled technicians, innovative repair systems, and warranty-backed solutions to your concrete problems whether you’re in Roanoke, Richmond-Petersburg, or Hampton Roads, VA .
Causes of Concrete Damage
Sometimes, the combined weight of concrete and what it supports causes concrete settlement to occur. The soil beneath the concrete compresses and can cause major problems.
Soil washout refers to the erosion of soil due to water running along the topsoil. The water loosens up and displaces the soil’s particles. Said particles are then washed down the slope in the stream of water.
The reason you should care about soil washout as a homeowner is because the slabs that make up your driveway, patio, pool deck, and walkways are supported by a layer of soil. Even your foundation depends on an even layer of soil in order to stay stable.
The conditions of the soil on your property will affect how the concrete structures of your home behave. Soil washout displaces the soil that exists under your concrete, essentially removing its base. An uneven base can destabilize concrete structures and cause them to crack and break. Let’s chat more about what causes soil washout, and how it affects your property.
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I had forman Charles and installers Hunter, Ricco, and Rock come out and encapsulate my crawl space today. The guys were prompt, professional, and very polite! I highly recommend their work (they need a drone to help with photos in tight…View review Read Kelly Lott's review for JES Foundation Repair
Andrew Alman came out for our annual inspection. Very nice and very professional. He did a complete and thorough inspection of all aspects of our system. I am totally pleased with his service. Felt like I was in good hands. He is an excellent…View review Read David Godbold's review for JES Foundation Repair
After needing to fix a crack in our foundation that was leaking water into the basement we did our due diligence and scouted several estimates. We opted for JES with Rudy Gonzalez and Jose Reyes undertaking the task to complete the repairs. From the…View review Read Rudy Iturrino's review for JES Foundation Repair
Amazing work! Our basement looks great and Rudy, Jose, and Luis were professional, friendly, and kept us well informed every step of the process. I cannot recommend them enough!View review Read Wesley Lunsford's review for JES Foundation Repair
Concrete Lifting Solutions
If the concrete around your home is beginning to sink and crack, then you’ve found the right company to take on your problems. Whether it’s cracked concrete, uneven slabs, or sunken concrete, JES can provide the expertise and tools needed to assess and resolve any issues with concrete before further damage can occur.
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Concrete steps in need of repair are not only unsightly, but they are also dangerous for anyone entering or exiting your home.
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Driveway sinking can be a frustrating situation for anyone to be part of. How can JES help you determine the best method of driveway lifting?
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If you are experiencing cracks on your basement floors or outdoor concrete slabs, it’s important to have a professional concrete repair expert assess your situation.
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Replacing and ripping out concrete is expensive and timely. But, polyurethane injection foam, a modern concrete lifting alternative, saves homeowners and businesses time, money and stress.
Is Concrete Lifting the Right Solution For Me?
Not only is cracked and uneven concrete an eyesore, but it also lessens your property value and can even cause serious injury from tripping and falling. If you have concrete stairs connected to your sidewalk, uneven slabs can crack your stairs and cause them to unevenly sag. This could lead to a misstep and a potential injury. Cracks can occur in your sidewalk, driveway, garage floor, and more. Uneven concrete slabs typically only occur on sidewalks where the path is made of individual slabs organized in a row.
Because your home’s entire foundation is made of concrete, keeping your concrete up to shape is extremely important. Our skilled crew can evaluate your property, and then provide solutions to remediate the issue. JES also provides FREE, no-obligation home inspections, so you can be sure there is a problem before any work is done. Contact us today if you’re experiencing any cracks, sunken concrete, and uneven slabs.
If your concrete is flaking off, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the concrete. Concrete doesn’t stay smooth forever, and some flaking is to be expected after a few years. However, you should inform yourself on the kind of flaking it is so that you can get a better understanding of what your concrete is going through and how it could potentially lead to settling.
There are two types of surface deterioration concrete structures go through: pitting and flaking. They are caused by different things though are very similar in terms of appearance. Pay close attention when inspecting your concrete, and you’ll be able to differentiate between the two.
- Concrete Pitting
Concrete pitting is caused by problems with the way the concrete was produced or poured. It’s a problem that only shows up after the concrete has finished curing. Concrete pitting means there’s a problem with the structural integrity of the concrete itself. It indicates that the concrete is weak and deteriorates incredibly easily, which means that you have to be careful if you see signs of pitting on a settled slab.
Concrete pitting is defined by small craters that form on the concrete structure. Although the craters are only visible on the surface, if you were to break the slab open, you would see that the craters run deep since the entire concrete is deteriorating. The craters can either appear sporadically across the concrete or, they can clump up and form one big crater that makes it look as if a piece of the concrete has broken off.
- Concrete Flaking
Concrete flaking is caused by an external force eroding the surface of the concrete. Freeze-thaw damage is a common cause of flaking since the ice creates micro-tears across the surface of the slab. If the micro-tears become too much, the piece will flake off. Concrete flaking can still happen on slabs that are strong, so it does not indicate that there was a problem with its production. You can tell it’s flaking and not pitting when a big chunk flakes off and you don’t see any craters, indicating that the damage was only surface-level.
Just because flaking can occur on slabs that are strong does not mean it doesn’t affect settling. By deteriorating the surface of the slab, it allows water to seep through to the soil a lot easier, accelerating settling. Plus, a flaking slab does not stay strong for long. As the surface breaks apart, the slab loses its soundness and is likely to break once it begins settling.
Homes can often be difficult to keep up with. Just when you’ve gotten one thing fixed, something else breaks. It’s understandable if you want to put a repair job on the back burner while you try to solve other problems around your home.
You might be wondering just how long you can wait to get that settled slab of yours fixed. However, you might want to bump concrete lifting up your priority list, because it can go from insignificant to consequential in only a matter of days.
- How Concrete Settling Damages Your Property
Nothing breaks a settling concrete slab faster than a heavy car going over it. Your car can create a pothole in the middle of the slab, effectively ruining it and making repairs very difficult. Not only does having to replace your slab more expensive, but it can also damage the wheels of your car as it goes over the potholes every time you use your driveway.
The more a slab settles, the more damaged your property is. The more damaged a property, the lower its value. Even if you’re looking to sell your home and aren’t interested in repairs because of it, you might want to consider lifting your slab to raise the property value. The longer you wait for the repairs the more expensive it will be.
- How Concrete Settling Can Be Dangerous
Part of the reason a property’s value goes down when there’s concrete settling is that it’s a safety hazard. Walking on a settling slab is a risky affair. If it’s not already sunken into the ground, your step can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and brings down the slab as you’re walking on it. There’s nothing scarier than feeling the ground suddenly give out under you, so even if you don’t trip, you’ll get a little scare.
It’s especially dangerous for children and the elderly, as they aren’t able to balance themselves as well to avoid falling. If you want to protect yourself and your family members, you need to contact an expert for concrete lifting solutions as soon as you spot the problem signs.
Things can get complicated for a homeowner once they realize that there are multiple concrete lifting solutions. Polyurethane foam injections, mudjacking, and limestone grout leveling are some of the methods you might come across when wanting information about concrete settling repairs.
Not all repair methods work in the same way and not all of them are beneficial. There is one method, however, that is better than all the rest in terms of longevity, efficiency, and overall performance. If you want a long-term solution that slows down future settling, choose polyurethane foam injections.
- Polyurethane Foam Injections
Part of the reason polyurethane foam injections work well for your driveway and sidewalk is that it doesn’t place pressure on the soil. Polyurethane foam is a light substance, so it doesn’t displace the soil with its weight. This is important for preventing future settling, especially in your driveway. Driveway slabs have to frequently support heavy loads as cars go in and out of the driveway.
Another important characteristic unique to polyurethane foam injections is that it doesn’t wash away with time. Given how frequent flooding is in cities like Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, you definitely this material may be ideal for you. Other materials, like the cement slurry used in mudjacking, are short-lived for this reason. There are only so many times you can repair a settling slab, so a solution like polyurethane foam injections goes a long way in saving you money.
- How PolyRenewal™ Is Installed
PolyRenewal™ is a concrete lifting method that utilizes polyurethane foam. The installation is easy and a lot more straightforward than other concrete lifting methods, which are often messier and less reliable. First, concrete dpecialists drill holes the size of pennies into the slab. They inject the polyurethane foam until it fills the gap and lifts the slab. Then the holes are filled back up and covered, and your concrete is left looking like new.
Installing PolyRenewal™ is something only JES experts can do. If you want a job well done, contact your local experts for professional repair solutions.
Your concrete slab is a lot more likely to break once it begins settling. Concrete is a reliable building material that has excellent compression strength, meaning that it does not lose its volume when under a lot of pressure. Unfortunately, this compression strength comes at the cost of its tensile strength, which is the reason why concrete slabs break when settling.
- Why It Breaks
Tensile strength refers to a material’s ability to handle pressure. It measures how much tension a structure is able to endure before breaking. If a concrete slab is able to evenly disperse the pressure throughout its body, it will have an easier time handling the weight. However, when slabs settle, they aren’t able to disperse the pressure evenly, causing them to crack.
This is more likely to occur in outdoor slabs that have to support heavy weights frequently. Your driveway is an obvious one, what with your heavy car putting pressure on the slabs whenever you drive in and out. The slabs on your patio are also likely to break if they have to bear the weight of heavy furniture and the people that use them.
- How To Prevent Breaking Your Concrete
The more cracks on the slab, the harder it is to repair. Replacing a concrete slab can be an expensive ordeal, and it’s not as convenient as polyurethane foam injection repairs. Because of this, it’s in your best interest to want to preserve your concrete and keep it as intact as you can.
The moment you notice the settling, make sure not to place any weight on the slab or the slabs that surround it. For your driveway, this might mean parking your car elsewhere until the slab can be fixed. For your patio, you might have to remove the furniture or simply avoid sitting on it. Avoid walking on any settled pathways, and make sure to inform your family members of the change so they don’t end up breaking the slab.
Who is in charge of sidewalk repairs—you or the city? Your driveway is no doubt part of your property, but what about the sidewalk?
- City Responsibilities
If it’s considered public property, it is the city’s responsibility to keep the sidewalk repaired and safe so the residents can walk on it without getting injured. Making sidewalks public property benefits the city because it means that they can repair sidewalks without needing the homeowner’s permission. It also means that they can prevent homeowners from tampering with the sidewalk in a way that isn’t beneficial to the members of the community.
Read up on your city’s municipal code and see if it’s their responsibility to fix the sidewalk. If it is, you’ll need to file a report. However, this doesn’t guarantee that the city will have the resources available for repair.
- Homeowner Responsibilities
Depending on the city municipal code, you might be responsible for your sidewalk repair whether it’s public property or not. Certain cities have codes that state that homeowners are responsible for sidewalk repair. Not keeping up with sidewalk maintenance could result in a fine since there’s a chance that someone in the community could get injured as a result of the unstable slab.
Most municipal codes state that any homeowner that wants to repair their sidewalk needs to get a permit from the city in order to do so. Sometimes, even when it’s the city’s responsibility to repair the sidewalk, if they lack the resources to do it in a timely manner and you are willing, they might grant you a permit to do it yourself. Once you have that permit, you can contact your local experts.
Why Concrete Lifting Is Needed
Increasing Property Value
Like many homeowners, you may find yourself in a position where you want or even need to relocate. Having a home with a cracked driveway and a sunken sidewalk can be a deciding point for potential buyers. Keeping your concrete properly maintained helps increase your home’s value. Cracks in your concrete, as well as uneven slabs, may cause people to trip and fall. This can lead to minor or major injuries. This makes your property unsafe, and it may be seen as a liability to new buyers. In addition to being a tripping hazard, cracks in your concrete can cause water to seep through, causing damage to wooden structures and more.
As previously mentioned, damaged concrete can lead to injuries. You can easily trip over uneven concrete slabs and severe cracks. Concrete is an extremely hard surface, making falls on it particularly painful and damaging. Visitors, as well as yourself and members of your household, can take a misstep off a stair that has shifted due to uneven or cracked concrete. Uneven slabs of your sidewalk can jut out, causing another tripping hazard. Water can also start to pool around and leak out of cracks in your home’s foundation. These pools of water can also lead to falls and injuries.
Preventing Water Leaks and Damage
Water damage is prevalent in areas where there is frequent rainfall, such as Lynchburg. Water leakage can also occur if you live in coastal areas – such as Hampton Roads – you will experience frequent flooding due to being directly on the coast where high tides and hurricanes can form. Once you begin to find leaking cracks, you should contact a concrete lifting and repair professional. If there are cracks or unevenness in your garage, water can seep through the voids and ruin any personal belongings stored there. In addition to water damage, leaks can cause mold, mildew, and humidity to form. This makes for an undesirable living environment.
Common Concrete Lifting Tips & Mistakes
Tips On Concrete Lifting
- As part of your home’s maintenance, you should be regularly checking for cracks, unevenness, and other structural issues. You should try to catch any damage to your concrete before the damage gets worse.
- If you see water, look for cracks and voids in your concrete. The majority of the time, standing water and leaks can be attributed to cracks in your sidewalk, driveway, or garage floor. Catch water before it leads to mold, mildew, water damage, and excessive humidity.
- Make sure you do your research when looking into concrete lifting and stabilizing. It is better to repair your concrete the right way with professionals, than using flimsy methods that will falter. We provide free home inspections at no obligation to you, so contact us today!
Mistakes To Avoid
- You should avoid outdated solutions, such as mudjacking. Polyurethane foam – like PolyRenewal™ — is a lightweight alternative that is made to keep your concrete permanently lifted. It is also less invasive and affordable.
- Don’t attempt to fix the situation yourself. Concrete lifting is not a DIY project that can be done without specific tools and skills. Avoid this mistake by hiring a skilled JES technician who comes with both the equipment and knowledge to fix your concrete.
- You should also avoid ignoring any standing water. Water can pool up through voids in the concrete. These water leaks should be remediated as they can lead to water damage to personal belongings, as well as mold and mildew.
Find a service area near you
Washington DC & Northern Virginia
Cracks and water intrusion impact your home’s safety, health, and appearance. Repair and protect your home with trusted solutions only available from JES Foundation Repair.
We understand that keeping your home protected is of the utmost importance, and Charlottesville’s rainy and humid environment can make that challenging. That’s why JES has world-class solutions and knowledge to keep your foundation permanently protected.
Hampton Roads, VA
The Hampton Roads region is home to several cities in Virginia, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach. All these cities share similar weather and soil conditions, with sandy soils and an above-average amount of rain – a combination that causes damage to your foundation.
Northeast North Carolina
Northeast North Carolina’s heavy rain and unstable soils can lead to water, excess humidity, cracks, and unevenness around your property. JES has the best solutions to combat these problems and permanently repair and protect your home.
Muggy summers, above-average annual rainfall, and clay soils make Lynchburg a challenging place for your home's foundation. These environmental conditions quickly lead to crawl space, basement, or concrete damage on your property, and JES has world-class solutions to fix the problem
Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, Roanoke has wet summers with weekly rain. When winter rolls around, the area gets plenty of snowfall too. All this moisture damages your foundation over time, but JES has world-class tools and experience to repair and prevent issues.
Danville’s native soil has a sublayer of clay that expands during frequent summer rains. This combination causes serious problems for your crawl space, concrete, or basement foundation. JES has world-class solutions to protect your property in any situation.
The sandy soil and wet climate of Richmond will wreak havoc on your home's concrete, foundation, basement, and crawl space. JES is here to help tackle the problems causing your foundation to falter!
Your home in Baltimore is plagued with foundation problems thanks to environmental problems like climate and soil type. JES Foundation Repair has the knowledge and high-quality products to repair them permanently.