The reason concrete is such a popular choice for both homeowners and businesses in South Jersey is because concrete is usually an exceptionally durable, long lasting product that can last for decades. When something happens where concrete needs to be removed or replaced, it can get cost prohibitive. Disposal fees, labor costs and material costs are just a few bigger ticket expenses when concrete needs to be replaced. However, if your home or business experiences sunken concrete, replacement isn’t your only option. Depending on the extent of the damage, you can raise your concrete instead of replacing it here in South Jersey.
What causes concrete to sink in South Jersey?
If concrete is so durable, why does it sink? The most common cause of concrete sinking or settling is poor base preparation, or the pouring of concrete on fresh, uncompacted soil. There is a process to preparing the soil before concrete is poured, which includes properly compacting soil. If that doesn’t happen, settling occurs and concrete sinks. Another cause of sunken concrete can be improper water drainage. This is a common problem both commercially and residentially on floors and slabs of all sizes, inside and out, including garage floors, swimming pool decks, walkways, etc. In addition to being unsightly, having an uneven surface can cause trip hazards and open the opportunity for further damage, so it’s important to address it.
Don’t replace sunken concrete, lift it!
When sidewalks, floors, etc. sink, most people think it’s time to jackhammer the old concrete out and replace it with new, but that’s not necessarily true. Many people are not aware of it, but there is an alternate solution in South Jersey. The process is called slabjacking, mudjacking, concrete leveling, concrete lifting or concrete raising. The process is fairly straightforward but should be done by professionals. A series of 1″ to 1 1/2″ holes are drilled through the concrete surface to start. Then a grout mix is mixed with cement and is pumped beneath the slab to lift it up. Once the slab is returned back to its original height, the access drill holes are cleaned and patched with a quick set cement, so the repair is practically undetectable. The result is useable concrete once again, eliminating the need for expensive concrete replacement. The cost savings of repair over replacement can be significant, usually 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of concrete replacement. What’s even better is that there is no disturbance to landscaping or surrounding areas and the concrete is useable the same day, eliminating down time. That’s good news for South Jersey homeowners and business owners alike!
How do you know if your sunken concrete can be lifted?
Unfortunately, not all concrete damage can be repaired. Call a South Jersey concrete professional to give you guidance, but here are a few ways you can tell on your own. Check to see if your concrete:
- is basically in good condition and free from deterioration
- has no major cracking, or is not cracked into several pieces
- has no major restrictions that can prevent the concrete from raising like a deck built on top
- has settled and is not severely raised due to tree roots
If you feel your concrete can be raised based on the above, contact a mudjacking professional to get an estimate. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable, insured, and licensed contractor to get the best results. Rest assured that you have a choice if you experience sunken concrete. Don’t replace….lift it!