Sinking concrete, cracked and crumbling sidewalk, and driveway slabs are common as concrete ages and is exposed to the elements. The soil and weather conditions in areas like Jacksonville and Fort Myers are no help either. Understanding the reason your concrete is failing is the first step to repairing your concrete and keeping it in peak condition. If your concrete is cracked, uneven, or looks unsightly, explore common causes below and then contact Alpha Foundations for your free inspection.
What Causes Concrete to Crack & Sink?
Even the most beautiful concrete walkways, porches, or driveways can be marred by cracks or uneven slabs. Since exterior concrete slabs handle a substantial amount of weight daily, all concrete is susceptible to cracking and sinking at some point. Cracking and uneven slabs can occur for several reasons, including:
Inadequate Slab Support
A concrete slab that is only partially supported by soil can collapse, crack, and become unlevel. A good, uniformed foundation can help prevent slabs from sinking, but proper maintenance must be performed to ensure washout is minimized.
One of the most common causes of cracks is shrinkage due to moisture. This can be due to poorly mixed concrete – usually with too much water. Shrinkage can also be exacerbated by overmixing the concrete. While shrinkage cracks are often barely visible and are only a hairline in width, they can extend through the entire slab, becoming a larger eyesore.
Different soil types can bear different loads. A heavy concrete slab will cause soil that isn’t load bearing to compact and settle, leading to sinking, cracking, crumbling, and unevenness of the concrete.
Sinking concrete can also be caused by soil erosion. Water can wash away the soil beneath your concrete slabs, which supports its weight. Whenever this occurs, a void is created beneath. Your concrete slab can sink over time if there is nothing to hold it up.
Concrete is also prone to cracking because of expansion. In extremely hot conditions, like in Florida and Georgia, concrete slabs expand as they warm up. Any concrete slab in its path will be pushed against by concrete’s inevitable expansion. A crack will result if neither can flex.
Get your concrete repaired and restored with Alpha Foundations! Schedule a free, no-obligation appointment today.
What Causes Stained Or Patchy Concrete?
Have you noticed homes with stained concrete in their driveways? Sometimes the stains are subtle, but despite their similar colors, it makes the driveway seem blotchy. Stains and patchiness can happen for several reasons, including:
Consistency is key to an attractive concrete surface. A harmonious and even appearance requires all concrete portions to be mixed at the same ratio. Your contractor should choose materials that adhere to the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards so that concrete works consistently.
Replacing Cement With Alternative Materials
Contractors and homeowners may prefer to use recycled materials in a concrete mixture to make it more environmentally friendly. But, because these replacement substances behave differently than traditional concrete, the color they produce may not be the same as existing concrete.
The surface appearance of concrete can be influenced by how it was laid and the weather conditions. Expert concrete contractors take these factors into account to minimize pouring accidents. Failure to do this correctly can result in discolored concrete.
Stop Dealing With Sunken Cracked Slabs, Alpha Foundations Can Restore Your Concrete
Alpha Foundations is one of Florida and Georgia’s most experienced foundation and concrete repair companies. With hundreds of homeowners and property managers relying on us for concrete repair, our concrete contractors specialize in a variety of concrete services, including driveway, patio, and stair repair. Contact us for a free estimate!