Why Repair Sinking Concrete Slabs?

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.

IN THIS ARTICLE
There are many benefits to fixing sinking concrete slabs beyond just improving your curb appeal and eliminating trip hazards.
Uneven sidewalk slab with a trip hazard on the corner

If you’re faced with a settling sidewalk slab, or a driveway panel that’s not level with the rest, you may be wondering whether or not repairing it is worth the hassle. After all, it’s just a little bit of sunken concrete. What harm can it really do?

The truth is that sunken concrete can be more than just an eyesore. It can continue sinking and become more damaged over time, it can open your home to increased chances of water damage, and it can also make you susceptible to liability claims if someone trips and falls on the uneven surface.

However, these aren’t the only reasons you should repair sinking concrete. There are many other benefits to consider when deciding whether or not to take action against settling slabs.

Here at A-1 Concrete leveling, we’ve been helping homeowners repair their sinking concrete slabs for over 30 years, and in this time we’ve seen how important it is to take care of the problem promptly, and what can happen if the repairs are delayed.

This article will walk you through the benefits of repairing your sinking concrete, as well as give you information about why concrete settles in the first place, and how you should go about repairing settling slabs. 

Why Do Concrete Slabs Sink and Settle?

Concrete is an incredibly strong and durable material that can last for many decades when taken care of properly. However, it’s very common for concrete slabs to settle or sink over time.

This happens when the materials under the slab erode away or are compacted over time. For example, excessive water flowing and hitting the underside of a concrete slab every time it rains will eventually erode away the material holding the slab up, causing it to sink.

Similarly, if animals burrow under the concrete and displace the sub-material, the base gets weaker and the slab can sink. 

Settling due to compaction, on the other hand, happens when the concrete is poured on top of a sub-material that wasn’t properly compacted to begin with. Over time, that sub-material or soil will compact naturally, bringing the slab on top with it.

Concrete leveling, however, can fill any voids due to compaction or erosion, lift the slab, and stabilize it with a new, strong foundation.

The Benefits of Repairing Sinking Concrete Slabs

You Avoid the Headache That Comes With Replacement

If you don’t repair your sinking slabs, the only other real option besides leaving them settled and uneven is replacing them.

Concrete replacement is a long, messy, and expensive process. Between demolishing and hauling away the existing concrete, the big equipment on your property to pour the new concrete, and the time it takes before you can use it again, concrete replacement comes with a lot of hassle. 

By repairing the concrete you already have, you can save time and money while avoiding the headache and other risks involved with replacement.

You Protect Your Sinking Concrete From Bigger Problems

Repairing your sinking concrete promptly can help keep the chances of additional damage to a minimum. Bigger or new cracks forming, the slab settling further, or the slab breaking to a point where it can’t be fixed with concrete leveling are all dangers of letting settled concrete stay put.

In addition, if voids under concrete slabs aren’t filled and stabilized, they can collapse. If you can see an unsupported section under your concrete slab, or you can feel the slab rocking when you walk or drive over it, it’s vital that you get it taken care of to prevent bigger problems.

You Stop Worrying About Trip Hazards

If you’re constantly having to tell loved ones to watch their step when walking up your settling concrete steps, or worried that a guest will trip and fall on the uneven sidewalk panel walking up to your home, lifting the settled concrete back into the right position can give you the peace of mind you need.

You may also be worried about your liability in the event that visitors do get hurt on your property. Accidents due to unmaintained property can end in costly settlements.

Lifting settled concrete and eliminating the trip hazards and uneven areas around your property can help you feel at ease when guests come to visit.

You Protect Your Home From Water Damage

If the water after it rains does not drain away and instead sits around your home’s foundation, you can have problems with water damage. Wet basements and crawl spaces can lead to mold growth and can be expensive to repair.

Ensuring that the concrete around your home is properly sloped away from the foundation is an important step in protecting your home from water damage. 

If concrete porches, patios, walkways, or any other nearby areas of concrete have started to slope towards your home, concrete leveling can help lift it back up and direct the water away from your foundation.

You Can Pass Home Inspections

If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, the sunken concrete slabs and trip hazards around your home may make it harder to pass a home inspection.

Lifting those sinking areas with concrete leveling is a quick and cost-effective way to eliminate trip hazards and minimize the chance that your concrete will slow down the sale process.

You Improve Your Home’s Appearance

In addition to all of the practical benefits listed above, at the end of the day, repairing your sinking concrete can simply make your home look nicer. By seeing your property without unsightly sections of concrete or large trip hazards scattered around, you’ll be more proud to call it home.

Concrete leveling can be done as a standalone service to bring sunken slabs back to an even position, or you can also have the concrete cleaned, sealed, and caulked. While not necessary to improve your home’s curb appeal, regularly maintaining your concrete with these services can definitely help boost its appearance.

How Should You Repair Your Sinking Concrete Slabs?

Now that you know why concrete settles and some of the main benefits of repairing it when it does, you’re ready to lift and level the sinking concrete around your home.

Professional concrete leveling is the easiest and most cost-effective way to achieve even concrete surfaces that will last. 

Stone slurry grout leveling, polyurethane foam leveling, and mudjacking are the three common concrete leveling techniques used by professionals, and each comes with its own set of pros and cons.

It’s important to research and compare all of the options available to you in your area so that you can find the company and leveling method and repair company best for your sinking concrete slabs. 

Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we want to make it as easy as possible for homeowners to get all the information they need to make informed decisions about their concrete. For that reason, we’ve created an online resource hub called Concrete Academy. Check out some of these related topics:

Want to see what A-1 Concrete Leveling can do for you? Click the link below to request a free onsite cost 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.