Concrete as a building material has been in use since Ancient Roman times. It is used to construct and reinforce everything from roads and walkways to buildings, dams, canals, and other structures. Although strong, versatile, and durable, concrete is subject to wear and tear and is at the mercy of the elements. Over time, varying weather conditions and environmental changes can deteriorate the stability of concrete. Here are a few things to look for that may indicate the need for concrete lifting or repair.
3 Signs It’s Time to Life That Concrete
One of the more common signs of concrete failure is the presence of cracks. Cracks form when shifting weather patterns, and temperatures cause the soil beneath the concrete to expand and contract. This can affect the structural integrity of the concrete, causing it to shift and crack over time. There is no defined standard of how long or wide a crack should be before repairs are necessary. A general rule of thumb is that if the crack is wider than a half inch, then repairs are recommended.
Cracks in the wall are often an indicator of a larger issue: a sinking foundation. In particular, cracks that appear years after initial construction or that grow larger over time, especially near corners of windows and doors, are signs of foundation failure. Cracks that have been previously repaired and have opened again also point to a settling foundation.
Uneven walls and floors are common symptoms of foundation settling as a result of shifting weather and/or improper construction. Sinking concrete can eventually crack and crumble, often becoming a safety hazard. Uneven flooring, especially in your basement, is usually a sign of foundation sinking and should be addressed immediately.
If water pools around certain areas of your concrete floor, it’s not a good sign. Whenever possible, concrete is poured in a slope to allow for natural drainage of water. Poor construction or shifting over time can cause a concrete floor to become uneven and result in pooling water. If left untreated, water damage due to pooling will compound and get much worse.
To prevent water-related issues, a waterproof coating is usually applied to poured concrete. However, elemental damage over time can deteriorate this coating.
The most important thing to do when noticing foundation issues is to act quickly and contact a reliable concrete lifting company like AAA Concrete Raising. Left untreated, these issues will always get worse in time, and putting off repairs will only add to the overall cost down the road.