Concrete settlement is a common issue in the Toronto Greater Area. Our cold winters, wet springs and hot summers can take their toll on the concrete slabs around your home or business. As we've said before, concrete is durable but not invincible. The signs of concrete sinking and settling are pretty obvious. Cracks in the surface of slabs, uneven areas or dips, cracks in the walls of your home, doors and windows sticking and garage walls separating from the floors are all good indications you are experiencing concrete settlement. Luckily we have a quick and long-lasting fix! Polyurethane concrete raising! So now you know the signs and how to fix the problem, but you might be wondering, "what causes concrete to sink and settle?" The concrete experts at Sanremo Poly-Foam are here to tell you some of the most common causes of concrete settlement! Read on to learn more!
What is Concrete Settlement?
To put it simply, concrete settlement is the process of a concrete slab sinking and settling into the ground. Concrete sinks and settles for many reasons, but they all lead to the same issues. As concrete sinks and settles, it will become uneven and crack, which creates safety hazards for people using your property. Concrete settlement can also cause structural damage to buildings (foundation slabs), leading to an eventual collapse if not taken care of quickly. Below we have listed some of the most common reasons for concrete settlement; let's take a closer look at them.
Too Much Moisture in the Soil
The most common reason your concrete slab is settling is water. Flooding or heavy rain can cause soil to become too soft or wash away, which leads to voids that can cause concrete to sink and settle. The freeze/thaw cycle can also cause concrete settlement. Water in the soil that freezes and thaws in the winter can cause the soil beneath a concrete slab to shift and weaken its ability to support it. Washouts can also cause concrete to settle. Water flowing too close to the foundation can wash out the subsurface, leaving voids in the ground that cause the concrete slab to sink, settle and crack. This is usually the result of downspouts running too close to the building, poor grading around your foundation, and heavy rain.
Soil That is Too Dry
Soil that is too dry can be just as bad for concrete slabs as soil that is too wet. Periods of dry conditions like drought can cause soils to shrink. Dry conditions evaporate the water from the soil under and around your concrete slab, causing it to pull away from the slab. As the soil shrinks, it creates voids that the concrete slab will settle into, causing cracks and unlevel concrete. Dried-out soil soaked with heavy rain can also lead to sinking and settling. As the dry soil becomes wet again, it causes the ground to shift, again creating voids below the slab. Tree and shrub roots can also cause soil to dry out by absorbing all moisture from the soil and causing the slab to sink. This can result in uneven sub-surfaces and voids, leading to sinking and settling concrete.
Poor Soil Compaction
Soil compaction is an integral part of the construction process because it provides a strong base for the concrete slab. Some soils compact better than others. Soils with high salt content, clay soils, low pH soils, and soils with high water don't compact as well. During construction, sometimes the soil isn't compacted well enough before pouring a concrete slab. If the soil is poorly compacted, it will compress and settle over time, creating voids under the concrete slab that cannot support its weight. With nothing supporting the concrete slab, it will sink, settle and crack.
How To Fix Sunken and Settled Concrete
While there isn't really a way to prevent concrete from settling, there is a way to fix the problem and prevent it from getting worse. Our polyurethane foam concrete lifting method uses polyurethane foam to raise your concrete slabs to their original level. The process is quick, simple and noninvasive. We drill dime-sized holes through the concrete slab and inject the polyurethane foam into the ground below. The foam expands within seconds, compressing loose soils and raising concrete slabs. The holes are then sealed when the work is completed. Polyurethane foam has a fast cure time; in most cases, the lifted area can be used hours after the job is done. Polyurethane foam has many benefits for lifting and levelling concrete; you can read our blog about them here! Polyurethane concrete lifting is the most durable and long-lasting way to lift and level sunken and settled concrete slabs.
Sanremo Poly-Foam is Here for all Your Concrete Lifting Needs!
As you can see, many factors cause concrete to sink and settle but not all concrete slabs sink and settle for the same reasons. At Sanremo Poly-Foam, we specialize in polyurethane concrete lifting. We have years of experience in the concrete lifting industry and have a reputation in the Greater Toronto Area for providing high-quality concrete levelling services to homeowners, business owners, municipalities and industrial clients. If you have a sinking slab on your property and need it lifted and levelled, Sanremo Poly-Foam is the company for you! Contact our concrete repair experts for a free estimate on your concrete lifting project! We'll get you level in no time!