Thursday, March 15th, 2018 by Niles Erickson
The answer to this question lies in what's beneath the concrete. If the soil under a slab, walkway or patio becomes unstable, or erodes in some areas, this leads to a poor foundation for the heavy concrete above. While the concrete may be fully supported in some areas, the locations where the soil is unstable will cause the concrete to sink and crack. On the surface, this leaves unsightly cracks, trip hazards, and a problem which needs to be fixed.
So what's the solution?
The first thing that comes to mind may be to replace the slab or patio entirely. But what if you just had this concrete surface installed only a year ago? Or what if this slab is supporting your entire home? In such cases, replacing it may be an incredibly time consuming, expensive project.
To pour a new concrete surface or slab, first the existing, failing concrete has to be jack hammered into tiny pieces and removed. This means lots of dust, dirt, man hours, heavy equipment and noise. Once this is complete, the next step is to prepare a new base with more soil or possibly crushed stone, both of which requires more heavy equipment, more man hours, and of course more noise while it is compacted. Lastly, pouring the new slab will involve lots of concrete bags or a large delivery truck. All of this, and we still haven't even gotten to the clean up yet.
This process can take a week or more depending on the size of the project. Also, while the new surface may look nice, it's worth noting it was also expensive to get, and in the end is still at risk of settling and cracking all over again.
Fortunately, there is another solution, one that is more convenient and cost effective.
Do you remember what the initial problem was? It was the soil beneath the slab, not the concrete slab itself. So the solution of course involves addressing the issue of the problem soils and the voids created beneath the slab.
Our solution is a product called PolyLEVEL which can be injected through a small hole in the surface (the size of a nickel) that is lightweight and will not wash away. The material is an expanding, polymer foam capable of supporting substantial loads.
While replacing your concrete slab may take a week or more, PolyLEVEL can be installed in a single day. The material itself cures in 15-20 minutes, and so the surface can be used almost immediately, which means hardly any time lost for the homeowner. The process is much less intrusive when compared to other settlement solutions, as no excavation is required, and a crew of two can handle most projects. The foam that is used is also waterproof, and will not negatively effect the environment. Homeowners will also not have to worry about exterior factors.
The PolyLEVEL fix for sinking concrete slabs is cost effective and the quickest option. It can be used for lifting entire homes on slabs, pool patios, sidewalks, garage floors, warehouse floors, and much more.