Understanding about concrete problems & maintenance to properly maintain sunken concrete that has been lifted back to its original height will help you understand the problems that occur in the peace region/north country and make a quality concrete lifting job last for years.
- Settlement is caused by poor compaction, unstable soils, swampy ground conditions, clay soils, water, and time.
- The factors that affect ground settlement around your building or underneath your concrete pad are, how much the original ground was disturbed, the compaction job, how much fill was brought in to build the building, soil conditions, if water is being directed away from the building or concrete pad, service trenches, and time it takes for ground settlement to occur after the soil is disturbed.
- If the concrete sinks and the ground settlement is not finished, ripping out and replacing the concrete will not solve this problem and only result in the concrete sinking again.
- When sunken concrete is lifted and then resettles, causes for this are: new construction, the ground not fully settled, unstable soils, wet soils compacting, and a water problem which allows water to drain back underneath the concrete. This causes the ground to compact or clay soils to soften, sinking the concrete.
- Water problems can cause your concrete pad to crack, sink or heave (heaving is when concrete has moved upwards).
- Concrete that is heaving in the winter months is caused from water getting underneath the concrete and moving up and down as it goes through freeze/thaw weather cycles. In some cases as the frost comes out of the ground, the concrete doesn’t come back down.
- Concrete that is heaved upwards is also caused from water attacking expanding clay soils. It doesn’t need cold weather to cause this problem. Concrete that is heaved from expanding clays will not come back down to original height.
- Water problems that affect your building can result in foundation problems (foundation wall heaving or sinking, cracks in foundation wall, foundation wall getting pushed inwards from expanding clay soils, cracking in drywall, and interior doors not opening and closing properly).
- Water problems can cause heaved or sinking basement floors, heaved or sinking garage pads, heaved or sinking outside concrete pads around a building.
- Maintaining a positive water drainage away from your building and concrete should be done by proper landscaping, sealing cracks in concrete, proper placement of downspouts, and sump hoses draining water far enough away from the concrete and building.
- If your concrete moves up and down in the freeze thaw cycles then you have a water problem! Solving the water problem and drying the ground underneath the concrete will minimize the movement in your concrete in the winter months. Please note after a water problem is solved it can take some time to minimize the movement in concrete.
Concrete Maintenance After Your Concrete Is Lifted To Its Original Height
- Landscaping must be maintain so water drains away from your building and concrete pads.
- Landscaping around your building and concrete must be rough graded with clay first, then any topsoil or rock on top of the rough graded clay. Clay is the sealant against water, which will shed your water away from the building and concrete.
- Downspouts and sump hoses are properly getting water far enough away from your building and concrete pads.
- Downspouts and sump hoses maintained in winter months from freezing solid. This can be accomplished by putting a post in the ground and running the downspout over to the post to keep downspout higher then snow, using heat tape, and maintaining snow away from the downspout for some examples.
- Seal cracks and gaps in the concrete pad with a rubber base concrete caulking (sika flex) to keep water from getting underneath the slab. Concrete caulking will have to be maintained if their is movement in the winter months that causes the crack to reopen.
Concrete Lifting with Caliber Mudjacking Ltd is a long term/permanent solution if ground settlement is finished, water is properly directed away from the building and concrete pad, cracks and gaps in the concrete are sealed from water with a rubber base concrete caulking. (Please note in most cases after the concrete is lifted, landscaping will have to be redone so water is properly draining away from the concrete. Cracks and gaps that are filled with a concrete caulking will have to be maintained if there is any movement in the concrete during winter months. This will provide a quality lasting job.)