Water is a funny thing. When we have too much of it in the form of precipitation, we are in danger of experiencing heavy floods. When we receive too little of it, the risk of drought and crop damage is a serious threat. Although many may not make the association, water can also have a devastating effect on concrete slabs and cement surfaces. In today’s blog, we’ll review a couple of ways that excessive water can negatively impact concrete and what you can do to protect your surfaces from damage.
If you’re a homeowner or business owner in the Houston area who’s experiencing sinking or uneven concrete, contact the concrete lifting pros at Tilted Concrete Solutions today! We’d be happy to come to your home or office and complete an inspection, answer your questions, and address any concerns you may have. Call us today!
How Can Water Cause Problems?
Water might seem innocent enough, however, when unfavorable conditions are present for a long enough period of time, the safety and aesthetic appeal of your sidewalks, driveways, patios, and other slabs can gradually suffer. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways this happens.
Expansion and Contraction of Soil
Houston and the surrounding cities are classified as humid subtropical. This means that we can get a lot of rain and, not surprisingly, we’ve been known to experience the heavy precipitation that’s associated with events like El Niño and hurricanes. While our climate is generally humid, we also go through periods of intense dry heat. When this happens repeatedly, the clay soils that absorbed all the rainfall subsequently dry up and contract, causing cracking and unstable soil. As you might expect, when this happens underneath something heavy like concrete, uneven surfaces are almost guaranteed.
Surface and Subsurface Erosion
Beyond causing damaging cycles of soil expansion and contraction, too much water and precipitation can cause serious soil washout to occur. By its nature, water will take the path of least resistance and follow a downward route thanks to gravity. Unfortunately, this often means that it has a sneaky way of getting under things like patios, sidewalks, and pool decks. Once water is allowed to enter under a slab, it will create a void and allow more water to collect. Eventually, this will lead to subsurface erosion and inadequate support beneath large and heavy slabs.
How Can You Protect Your Concrete?
Now that we know a couple of damaging effects that water can have on concrete, it’s important to address a few ways you can protect your property from damage. Check out the tips we’ve listed below.
- Proper grading — if you’ve ever experienced water in your basement or you see water pooling in certain areas of your property, your land may not be properly graded to carry water away from the house, patio, driveway and walks. A call to a certified contractor can remedy this.
- Expansion joint maintenance — it only takes a very small crack for water to make its way through, and if you’ve noticed the expansion joints on your driveway or sidewalks are cracked or broken, subsurface erosion may be occurring. Inspect your concrete surfaces and expansion joints frequently and perform needed repairs promptly.
- Monitor sprinkler usage — whether you have an underground sprinkler system or you rely on the traditional hose and sprinkler head, check to be sure there’s not excessive water building up in areas near your cement slabs. This can cause soil washout and erosion, allowing concrete to sink, settle, and become uneven.
Concrete Lifting in Houston
Are you concerned that the soils underneath your cement surfaces are experiencing erosion or settling? If you’re in Houston or the surrounding area, Tilted Concrete Solutions would love to help you out. We use an innovative two-part polyurethane foam in our concrete lifting services that’s efficient, eco-friendly, and was designed with Texas soils in mind.
Contact us now to learn more! We can’t wait to speak with you!