Sinking or Settling Concrete Slabs
There can be many reasons as to why concrete sinks: improper compaction of soils during or after the building process, water intrusion from bad drainage, and natural settlement.
Concrete slab settlement is often because the moisture content and density of the soils under the slab have changed. Missouri soil (especially the clay soil we have under a concrete slab) can dry and shrink over time due to extended dry conditions. Leaking sewer, water or HVAC systems can over time also affect your concrete slab or basement floor by washing out the soil from beneath it. This creates uneven, settled, concrete floors.
Concentrated loads, such as buildings or slabs, can literally squeeze air and water from soils. When this happens, the soil sinks and the buildings or slabs follow closely behind. Sometimes in industrial buildings concrete slabs need to be reinforced to withstand the load of large or heavy equipment that will get installed.
There are various types of concrete slabs that could need repair or reinforcement:
- Garage Floors
- Basement Floors
- Factory Floors
- Commercial Building Floors
Why Repair My Concrete Slab?
Safety. Trip hazards may harm you, your loved ones and allows your property to be open for unwanted liability. Sidewalks and driveways are typical examples of trip hazards that could benefit from concrete leveling.
Cost. You can lift up your concrete for less the cost of replacing the concrete slab. Besides if the soil under your current slab isn't supporting it - why would you think pouring new concrete would fix this issue?
Time. Your slab problem is only going to get wrose in time, repair it now and steer clear of the hassle later on. Raising concrete with some of these metods often takes a couple of hours and is ready instantly upon completion.
Appearance. Of course sunken concrete isn't attractive and could reduce the value of your home or business.
Structural Damage. Whenever a concrete slab settles, doors and windows stick and structures coupled to the slab may crack and settle as well.
Repair Solutions For Leveling Concrete Slabs
Slab piers allow you to fix your settled slab quickly. They consist and helical steel piers (think pipe) that are driven deep into the soil (screwed in) with special brackets that will fit down inside of small holes. These can be installed without removing the existing slab and any walls in the area.
Mudjacking or Slabjcking For Concrete Leveling
Mudjacking attempts to lift a sunken concrete slab by pumping grout through a hole in the concrete, effectively pushing it up from below. It is a cheaper alternative to having replacement concrete poured,
This process has been used since the early 1900s. The process uses a mixture of locally available soils (sometimes including crushed limestone and/or cement for strength), producing a mud-like substance and thus the term "mudjacking."
The downside of this process is poor quality concrete may crack and/or deteriorate when being lifted. This is especially true for slabs that are less than 4 inches in thickness. Cracks can also develop in the concrete during the lifting process.
Pressure Grouting For Lifting Concrete Slabs
In the past few years a better version of mudjacking has come along. Pressure grouting uses a two part polymer similiar to expanding foam which not only supports the slab but also stabilizes the soil beneath. With traditional mudjacking the cement-based materials can mean varying results and levels of precision. Fracturing and over-lifting of slabs is another possibility. Pressure grouting solves many of these issues.
Injecting structural polyurethane foam inside voids underneath settling or rocking concrete slabs can support them without excavation and added weight. Slabs can also be easily upraised back to their original position with this technique. Concrete repair companies in Missouri have a very good track record of successful projects utilizing pressure grouting.