The concrete around your business - driveways, patios, and sidewalks - should enhance your quality of life. But when it cracks, settles or becomes uneven, suddenly you can be forced to deal with issues such as pooling water, uneven surfaces and potentially dangerous trip hazards. And, cracked concrete just plain looks bad.
The good news is, thanks to the latest technology and techniques Foundation Recovery Systems can lift, level, seal and protect concrete, so that it looks great and works as it should for many years into the future. This not only helps maintain your building’s value, but also restores your peace of mind.
Why Concrete Fails
Concrete is pretty amazing stuff. It can be poured, shaped and made into just about anything you like. But even though it's incredibly strong, it's not indestructible. So, when you see cracked concrete or a driveway or patio that has sunken or broken slabs or is pitted, flaked and stained, there are reasons why these things happen.
What Lies Beneath
When your building structure was built, the contractor likely moved the soil around the building site resulting in poorly compacted soil. And even when it is compacted well, it’s never as stable as the original soil. Over time, this can cause voids to form and slabs to settle.
Another cause of soil failure is drought. During dry conditions or even just during periods of warm weather and low precipitation, the soil under your concrete will dry out and shrink, creating voids. The concrete above eventually cracks and sinks into these empty spaces; especially if any weight is placed on it.
When the rains return, the water has an even easier pathway under the slab due to cracks and crevices left over from the dry period. And this wet, soft soil is just too weak to support the concrete above it. In the worst case, the soil erodes and washes away completely, leaving behind large voids that cannot support the weight of the concrete above.
Pitting, Flaking and Staining
Moisture is concrete'ss strongest enemy. It seeps into the pores of untreated concrete, and when temperatures drop, especially during freeze-thaw cycles, that trapped moisture expands as it turns to ice. This expansion destroys the pores and weakens the concrete. This results in concrete slabs that can pit and flake. Concrete’s porous nature also makes it susceptible to staining when left untreated.
As a businessowner, you don’t just have to worry about your own concrete slabs; you should be concerned with the slabs that make up the street that goes past your business.
During colder months, your street’s slabs contract, opening up the joints between them. Those joints then become filled with pebbles and other debris. Then, when the warm weather returns, the slabs expand again - only the joints that were designed to absorb this expansion are now filled with material that won’t compress. This leaves the expansion pressure nowhere to go except up your driveway. This"street creep", as it is known, exerts incredible pressure on your building and can cause all sorts of problems.
Cracked and sunken concrete isn't the end of the world, however. With the right technology and the right know-how, it can be lifted and leveled, so that it can be enjoyed as it was meant to be.
LIFT AND LEVEL
Concrete Lifting and Leveling
When concrete slabs crack and sink due to soil compaction or wash-out, they not only turn your once-new driveway, patio, or sidewalk into an eyesore, they can also create potentially dangerous tripping hazards. So, what's the best approach to fixing cracked and sunken concrete?
The Polylevel Solution
Recently, a technological breakthrough has provided a simple and effective solution for lifting and leveling concrete slabs. Polylevel™ is a lightweight, strong high-density polyurethane foam that is pumped beneath concrete slabs through tiny ports about the size of a penny. Initially, Polylevel flows like water, filling even the smallest cracks and crevices in the soil. It quickly expands and hardens, lifting the concrete slabs above it and compressing the soil around it at the same time. Polylevel is waterproof, so it will never wash out, and it won’t degrade over time due to temperature extremes. Best of all, Polylevel cures quickly, allowing your concrete to be used normally the same day.
Traditional Concrete Lifting
Before Polylevel™, there used to be two basic options for lifting and leveling concrete: mudjacking and slab replacement. Both approaches have limitations and disadvantages.
- Can be extremely messy
- Leaves large and obvious patched holes in your concrete
- Is extremely heavy, which can result in more sunken and cracked concrete down the road
- Can be expensive
- Is disruptive — concrete slabs can take days or even weeks to cure
- Involves pouring new concrete over bad soil, which only delays future problems
- Can leave an unsightly patchwork of old and new concrete
- A lightweight solution that does not further compromise existing soil
- An environmentally friendly material that will not degrade over time
- Polyurethane foam is waterproof and won’t wash out
- High capacity allows for lifting of heavy loads
- Cures quickly — concrete can be used in hours, not weeks