Common Causes and Solutions for Concrete Settlement

If a home has a sunken sidewalk, steps, porch or patio, or driveway, it is likely caused by one or two very common factors: water runoff from the roof, and poor soil, such as clay or top soil. Addressing the cause of the sinking, as well as having concrete raising done, are a cost-effective way to solve the problem and save the homeowner money in the long run.

Many homeowners do not realize how much water comes off a roof during even a mild rain; it can actually be gallons! A home with improper water run off, such as a lack of gutters or downspouts, can begin to display sinking concrete and even a wet basement.

To help fix the problem and prevent further damage, we advise clients to bury downspouts in a way that directs water away from the home. Installing proper gutters and a solid drain pipe in the ground, then connecting the downspouts to that pipe, gives the water from your roof a place to drain, leaving your concrete, landscaping, and basement safe and dry. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive repair.

Once the cause is fixed (if a fix is possible), then a homeowner can have the hazardous concrete raised back up, which not only prevents further problems, but also repairs the aesthetics of the home.

Concrete raising (also called concrete lifting, or commonly, mud-jacking) is a cost-effective way to raise a home’s sunken concrete back to its original grade. A matrix of holes is drilled in the desired sections of concrete and a slurry (or concrete-like liquid) is pumped down under the slab. The slurry fills the void, forces the concrete back up to grade, and supports it. Afterwards, the drilled holes are patched inconspicuously with concrete and the job is complete.

Many homeowners, who are not aware of this mud-jacking process or the cause of sunken concrete, will replace the concrete without repairing the cause of the settlement. The new concrete will settle just as the old did because the true problem was not addressed, and in most cases, the cost of replacement is double the price of an effective repair! However, resolving the cause of the settlement and raising the concrete is a combination that assures a long-lasting and cost-effective repair.

Call Kent Home services to schedule a visit to your home and pr

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