Concrete settlement is a prevalent issue in the Greater Edmonton region due to our cold winters, sometimes wet springs, and hot, dry summers. Although concrete is sturdy, it is not impervious to damage caused by these weather conditions. Signs of concrete sinking and settling are usually noticeable, such as cracks on the surface of slabs, uneven areas or dips, cracks on the wall of your home, and sticking doors and windows. Fortunately, we have a quick and long-lasting solution to this problem: Foam jacking! Foam jacking, or polyurethane concrete lifting or slab jacking, is the best way to return sunken and settled concrete slabs to their original height. But what causes concrete to settle in the Greater Edmonton region in the first place? To better understand what causes concrete to sink and settle, the concrete experts at LVL Concrete Lifting list some of the most common reasons. Read on to learn more!
What is Concrete Settlement?
Concrete settlement is the process in which a concrete slab sinks and settles into the ground. This occurs for several reasons, but all lead to the same issues. When concrete sinks and settles, it becomes uneven and develops cracks, creating safety hazards for people using the property. Concrete settlement can also damage buildings (sinking foundation slabs), leading to eventual collapse if not immediately addressed. Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons concrete sinks and settles in the Greater Edmonton region.
The Ground is Too Wet
The most common reason for concrete settling is too much moisture in the soil. Flooding or heavy rain can cause soil to become too soft or wash away, leading to voids that cause concrete to sink and settle. The freeze/thaw cycle can also cause concrete settlement when water in the soil freezes and thaws, causing 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.
The Ground is Too Dry
Soil that is too dry can also cause concrete slabs to sink and settle. Drought periods can cause soils to shrink as dry conditions evaporate the water from the soil under and around the concrete slab, causing it to pull away from the slab. This creates voids that the concrete slab will settle into, leading to cracks and unlevel concrete. Additionally, dried-out soil soaked with heavy rain can sink and settle as the dry soil becomes wet again, causing the ground to shift and create voids below the slab. Tree and shrub roots can also cause soil to dry out by absorbing all moisture from the soil, leading to uneven sub-surfaces and voids, which cause sinking and settling concrete slabs.
Improper Soil Compaction
Improper soil compaction during construction can also cause concrete slabs to sink and settle. Soil compaction provides a strong base for the concrete slab, but some soils compact better than others. Soils with high salt content, clay soils, low pH soils, and soils with high water do not compact as well. Additionally, if the soil is poorly compacted before pouring the concrete slab, 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 Do You Fix Sunken and Settled Concrete?
Although it's not possible to completely prevent concrete from settling, there is a solution to the problem that can stop it from worsening. Foam jacking! Our innovative concrete lifting method uses polyurethane foam to raise your concrete slabs back to their original level. Foam jacking is a quick, easy, and non-invasive process. We drill small holes in the concrete slab and inject the polyurethane foam into the ground below, which quickly expands, compresses the loose soil, and raises the slab. Once the job is complete, the holes are sealed. The foam cures quickly; in many cases, the lifted area can be used just hours after the work is done. Foam jacking is the most effective and long-lasting way to lift and level sunken and settled concrete slabs. Foam jacking offers many benefits over traditional concrete lifting methods, such as mudjacking, which you can learn about in our blog.
LVL Concrete Lifting Can Help You With Sunken and Settled Concrete in the Greater Edmonton Region
Even though concrete settlement is a common issue that can't be prevented, we can help you fix it! At LVL Concrete Lifting, we specialize in foam jacking in the Greater Edmonton region. We provide high-quality concrete levelling services to homeowners, business owners, municipalities, and industrial clients. If you have a sinking slab on your property that needs lifting and levelling, LVL Concrete Lifting is the company for you. Contact our concrete repair experts for a free estimate on your concrete lifting project.