Concrete slabs have often been used to create foundations for homes and businesses. When a concrete slab becomes unlevel, it is not just unsightly; it is also unsafe. Before you start trying to fix this problem, it’s important to determine the cause of this issue to ensure what led to it in the first place.
Rather than googling details about leveling a concrete slab, you should work with a professional who has experience in dealing with these things. The leveling process can be complicated and challenging, which is why only an expert should do it.
Take a look at these solutions for concrete slab leveling.
What Causes a Concrete Slab to Become Unlevel?
Determining how to best fix a concrete slab requires understanding just what might have caused it to be unlevel in the first place. Figuring out the underlying cause will make a difference when it comes to fixing the problem correctly.
These are some of the most common causes.
Settling of the House
This is perhaps one of the most common causes for an unlevel slab. Houses settle over time with the ground shifting and moving. That settling process through the years can make the slab uneven.
When a house settles, it is not necessarily even or all in one location. Eventually, the settling will start to show through an uneven slab. If you have multiple slabs, they could fail to align and settle in different ways.
Temperature Variations (Freeze-Thaw Cycles)
If you live in an environment like the Northeast which has inconsistent temperatures all year long, it’s quite possible that your home and that concrete slab will be affected by extreme variations in temperature changes that cycle throughout the year.
This includes periods of warmth and heat, as well as cycles of freezing and thawing. Temperature variation primarily refers to the ground and how it freezes, swells, thaws, etc. How the ground reacts will affect the concrete slab.
When concrete is laid, there are many details that have to be planned out. A construction company has details that have to be figured into the original pouring process. It takes planning to get this just right.
Everything from the mixing to the leveling to the pouring process must be done precisely. While most companies are good about paying attention to detail, this could potentially be the cause of your unlevel slab foundation.
Why Leveling Your Concrete Slab is Crucial
If you’re noticing an unlevel slab, you don’t want to ignore it. While it might seem minor at first, the problem can get worse. If it does, the costs and the challenges to fix it can also escalate.
These are some of the reasons leveling a concrete slab is so important.
1. The Problems Will Only Get Worse
You have likely heard that ignoring a problem will not make it go away. That’s true here, too. If the concrete slab already shows signs of being uneven, it is not going to get better from here. That’s the best condition your slab will be in from here on out.
The problem will continue to deteriorate and repairs can become more costly or require even more work to correct as the problem gets worse.
2. Safety Issues
Just looking at your slab, it might seem perfectly safe. However, as it becomes unlevel, it could lead to safety hazards. The safety is not just for you as a person, but for your entire structure. This includes hazards like tripping and falling to eventually affecting the structural integrity of your home.
3. Water Concerns
Another common issue with an unlevel concrete slab is the opportunity for water to take up residence where it should not. When the slab is level, the water can run off it. However, when it starts to become unlevel, this might cause water to pool in certain areas, leading to issues like erosion or cracks. This is also a concern, as once water finds a weak spot in the concrete slab in which to penetrate, the problem will persist and get worse. Water travels the path of least resistance, so over time, as the slab is weakened, more and more water can pool and penetrate.
The bottom line is, unlevel cracked concrete slabs just look bad and no one wants that in the place they live. Most homeowners spend a good amount of time cleaning and repairing their homes, and concrete slabs need to be maintained as well.
5. Resale Value
While you might not have plans to sell your property right now, you never know when the need may arise. You could get an incredible job offer tomorrow that prompts the sale of your home.
If this occurs and you decide to sell at some point, you can almost guarantee an inspection will be needed. They will certainly point out the unlevel slab and require it to be fixed.
6. Structural Damages
The unlevel slab could cause damage to your structure. As part of the foundation, it could impact the structural integrity. If no other reason concerns you, this one should do the trick. A settling or cracking foundation will eventually wreak havoc on the home that stands atop the foundation.
Best Solutions for Leveling a Concrete Slab
Companies that handle leveling concrete slab processes have more than one option to solve the problem. The solution needed will depend on how unlevel it is, as well as what caused the issue in the first place.
These are some common solutions:
- Pressure Grouting: You might hear the term “slabjacking” or “mudjacking” with this method. It lifts up the concrete and then uses a mixture to inject and fill it in the uneven spaces.
- Concrete Replacement: In some cases, the concrete will need to be completely replaced. This is most common when there are major cracks or deterioration. The original concrete is removed and new concrete is put down.
- Polyurethane Foam Injection: This method uses a unique lightweight mixture and injects it beneath the concrete.
Let Drycrete Help You with Leveling Your Concrete Slab
When you need concrete help, we’re here for you. With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, our teams are qualified to get the job done. We strive to provide high-quality and consistent work for every client.
Contact Drycrete Waterproofing today for a quote or more information.