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How To Fix Uneven Concrete Slabs: 5 Options

July 1st, 2024 | 4 min. read

By Sarah Etler

Settling concrete around your property? Learn about the ways you can repair it.

Whether it’s a driveway, pool deck, parking lot, or anything in between, settling concrete can cause problems ranging from simply looking bad to liability concerns and dangerous trip hazards.

Fortunately, if you find yourself with uneven concrete around your home or business, you have various options to repair it.

Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we’ve been lifting and repairing settled concrete for over 30 years, and during this time, we’ve gotten to know the most common and effective ways to fix those uneven concrete slabs.

In this article, we'll explore five techniques for fixing uneven concrete and help you determine which option is best for your home.


Man pumping stone slurry grout leveling compound under sunken concrete wakway

1. Lift the Settled Slabs Back Up

Many property owners that have uneven concrete don’t know that there’s a way to lift entire settled or sinking concrete slabs back up to a level position – it’s called “concrete leveling” and can be done indoors and outdoors.

Concrete Leveling

The concrete leveling process works by drilling small, strategically placed holes through the uneven concrete slabs and pumping a compound beneath the surface.

This compound fills any voids under the slab, then gently lifts it back into place, hardens, and becomes a durable new base for the slab to rest on.

When To Lift Uneven Concrete

Concrete leveling can help in a wide range of situations – settled concrete causing trip hazards, concrete lifted by tree roots, bad-looking slabs…

It can also save up to 70% off the cost of replacement, usually takes a day or less to do, and can last the life of the concrete slab itself, which makes it a convenient solution to settled slabs.

Concrete Leveling

Lift Your Settled Concrete Slabs

Eliminate trip hazards and enjoy safe, beautiful concrete by lifting it back into place from the bottom up.

Learn More




2. Grind Down the Uneven Areas

Grinding uneven concrete down flush with the neighboring panels can be one of the cheapest and fastest ways to eliminate trip hazards, depending on how big the affected area is.

Downsides to Concrete Grinding

While concrete grinding is cheaper and quicker, it does come with some risks long term.

For example, shaving down the concrete leaves a splotchy and discolored surface that doesn’t look the best.

It also opens up the absorbent pores of the concrete to more damage during freeze-thaw cycles and makes the slab’s structure thinner and weaker.

When To Grind Concrete

If you plan on replacing your concrete in the near future and don’t want to invest in a long-lasting repair, grinding can be good as a temporary fix to hold you over.

And, while concrete leveling can even out slabs lifted by tree roots by lifting the adjoining slabs, sometimes the tree roots have lifted them too far out of place to be effective, and grinding is the only alternative to replacement.

Pro Tip: If your long-term plan isn’t replacement, concrete leveling could be a better option as grinding can typically only be done once, and concrete can be leveled again if necessary as the situation changes over time.

Read More: When Is Concrete Grinding the Right Solution?

3. Add New Concrete or Patch Compounds

Another way to fix uneven concrete slabs is by adding additional concrete or patching compounds onto the uneven surfaces to even out the difference.

Note: This method is usually a temporary solution.

How To Apply the Patch

You can buy concrete patch kits from the hardware store to fill smaller trip hazards and missing pieces of concrete, or you can mix up and apply concrete to create a grade between the high and low points of the uneven slabs.

Risk of Chipping Off and Cracking

While this is one way to even out the settling concrete, it usually will not last long.

Because the new concrete or compound sits on top of the existing concrete, it has a very high likelihood of chipping or cracking off as the existing concrete expands and contracts during freeze-thaw cycles.

Spreading self-leveling concrete compound over uneven concrete

4. Self-Leveling Concrete

Self-leveling concrete compound is commonly used on the surface of interior concrete floors in order to remove texture or dips that were created when the concrete was poured.

Self-leveling concrete is a great way to even out the surface in preparation for installing flooring, like hardwood, tile, or vinyl planks.

When Not To Use Self-Leveling Concrete

Self-leveling concrete should not be used to correct sinking or settling concrete slabs, or on exterior concrete slabs. 

When applied too thickly, which is usually necessary to “lift” the sinking slab, the compound can break down over time and leave you back at square one.

When used outside, the existing concrete’s expansion and contraction can cause the self-leveling compound on top to crumble and crack off.

Related Resource: Common Problems With Using Self-Leveling Concrete

Newly poured concrete driveway slab that doesn't match existing slabs

5. Replace the Uneven Slabs

If you’re struggling with uneven concrete around your home, you can always replace the affected slabs.

Replacing the affected concrete can leave you with a clean slate to maintain and protect it properly from the start while eliminating the trip hazards that come along with the uneven slabs.

Concrete Replacement Process

To replace the uneven slabs, concrete contractors will have to demolish the sunken concrete, and possibly some adjacent slabs, haul it away, and pour the new slab to be even with the existing concrete.

Then, you’ll have to wait around 30 days for the concrete to fully harden.

Related Resource: How New Concrete Is Poured

Downsides to Concrete Replacement

Replacing only the uneven sections doesn’t look great aesthetically as it’s very difficult to match concrete colors and textures. However, replacing all of the concrete rather than only the uneven parts is much more expensive.

Also, pouring new concrete comes with additional risks, like the potential for resettling and property damage due to large, heavy equipment.

Concrete replacement is also a very messy, long, and labor-intensive process, which explains why it is the most expensive option listed here.

How Should You Fix Uneven Concrete?

The best way to fix uneven concrete slabs will vary from person to person and situation to situation. For some, the appeal of starting fresh with brand-new concrete sounds great, and to others, the convenience and durability of a concrete leveling repair may seem more enticing.

But now that you’re familiar with your options, it’s important that you weigh each one carefully to decide which one is right for you because each one comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Read Next: All About Concrete Leveling - Cost, Pros & Cons, FAQ, and More

Want to get a professional opinion on your options? Request a free estimate from an A-1 franchise near you!

Concrete Leveling

Lift Your Settled Concrete Slabs

Eliminate trip hazards and enjoy safe, beautiful concrete by lifting it back into place from the bottom up.

Learn More

Sarah Etler

Sarah Etler joined A-1 Concrete Leveling after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northern Kentucky University. As A-1's Content Marketing Manager, she works closely with industry experts to produce content that will best answer questions related to concrete repair and maintenance practices. Sarah loves living a life full of discovery and is excited every day to see what new things she can learn and share with those around her.