Concrete is one of the most durable building materials that man has ever developed, but as tough as it is, concrete, at some point in its life, will need to be repaired. Because of its weight, settling and cracking is the most common way that concrete can fail but the settlement can be caused by a number of different factors.
Whether it’s on your property or somewhere around town, you’ll recognize settling concrete when you see it. Cracking and sinking slabs of concrete are an eyesore and often a sign of underlying issues with the soil. If you’re wondering why your sidewalk or driveway is becoming increasingly uneven, there are several possible reasons, and solutions.
Erosion - Running water is known to displace soil, and it’s possible that this is occurring beneath your sidewalk or driveway. Where does this water come from? Heavy rainfall could be the culprit, but the water could also be coming from a manmade source, such as a faulty plumbing system. As the moving water shifts the soil beneath the concrete slab, a void grows, and the slab dips into this new space.
Poor Soil Compaction - The cause of the sinking concrete might stem from the way it was originally installed. During driveway installation, workers move soil around to ensure the concrete that sits on top of it looks even. However, if the soil is poorly compacted, the concrete will continue to dip and crack as the soil compresses under the new weight. For example, when you park your vehicle on your driveway, the loose soil will begin to compact, resulting in a downward shift.
Changes in the Soil’s Moisture Levels - When clay soil is wet, it expands. When the soil is dry, it can shrink. These changes in size will ultimately affect the concrete sitting atop the soil as well. A concrete slab might lift or fall, depending on specific conditions. This is especially common in areas where droughts and flooding suddenly change the soil’s moisture content.
Frost - Additionally when soils are wet in northern climates like ours in Saskatchewan frost can cause heaving and movement with the seasonal freeze thaw cycle.
The Solution - Because the problem often starts with the soil, it might seem impossible to address concrete settling. But with the help of Liftech Concrete Leveling, Saskatchewan residents can restore their cracked sidewalks and driveways in a single afternoon at a fraction of the cost of replacement.