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How Burrowing Pests Can Cause Concrete to Sink

September 26th, 2023 | 2 min. read

By Sarah Etler

Find out how burrowing animals can play a big role in concrete health, and what you can do to reverse the damage.

While you might not think of it at first glance, the cute, innocent-looking chipmunk using your porch as wintertime storage is actually putting your concrete at risk.

When burrowing pests move in under your concrete slabs, not only can they cause health and safety concerns, but they can also cause damage to your concrete.

Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we see multiple cases every day where animals make homes under concrete slabs, ultimately causing them to settle.

In this article, we’ll break down why exactly this is the case, what you can do about it, and which pests we have seen the most throughout our 30+ years repairing concrete.

How Burrowing Animals Cause Concrete To Settle

Soil erosion is one of the main reasons that concrete slabs sink. If the soil under a concrete slab is removed or displaced, the slab on top will eventually settle down where the soil used to be.

Rodents and other burrowing pests are big culprits of soil erosion. As these animals dig away at the soil and burrow under a slab, they loosen and displace the soil that the slab is sitting on.

Over time, the concrete slabs sink as the loosened soil compresses back down or the burrowed voids give way.

How To Fix Concrete Settling Due to Burrowing Pests

As burrowing pests create voids, tunnels, and weak places under the slab, they’re removing and displacing the important material that holds the slab in place.

Concrete leveling can fill rodent holes under concrete, stabilize the slab in place of the loosened soil, and lift the settled concrete back up into the proper position.

The concrete leveling process works by first drilling small holes in the affected slabs, pumping a leveling compound underneath, lifting the concrete, then sealing off the drill holes.

It’s important to mention that concrete leveling is not a pest control method. Pests can still come back after leveling is done and cause your concrete to settle all over again if they are not properly removed and prevented.

Animals That Burrow Under Concrete

We most often see these burrowing animals under settling concrete slabs: 

  • Chipmunks
  • Mice
  • Moles
  • Opossums
  • Woodchucks
  • Ants*

Some less common but still relevant burrowing pests found under concrete are:

  • Snakes
  • Raccoons

*Ants are commonly found burrowing under concrete, but their damage can be slow-going. 

Your Next Steps

Now that you’re aware of the dangers that burrowing animals pose to your concrete, you should remove unwanted pests and take care of any damage left behind. 

Leaving pest removal up to the professionals can be safer and help ensure that no animals come back to the concrete, potentially causing it to settle again.

Once the pest situation is under control, concrete leveling can fill the voids left behind by these animals while lifting and stabilizing your slabs at the same time. 

If your concrete has settled due to animals, or any of the other many reasons that concrete sinks, you can schedule a free concrete leveling estimate with a member of the A-1 Concrete Leveling team using the link below: 

Click Here to Find Your Nearest Location and Receive a FREE Estimate

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.