Aside from a plunging housing market, nothing reduces the value of a property quicker than unattractive or unsafe grounds. In particular, concrete slabs and surfaces that are cracked or uneven can give the impression that a home is run down or not maintained. While living in the great state of Texas has a number of perks, we unfortunately have many conditions that can lead to your concrete settling which may or may not have anything to do with how well you maintain your property.
At Tilted Concrete Solutions, we believe that every homeowner deserves beautiful and safe concrete surfaces, and we provide the Houston area with industry-leading concrete leveling services. If you have an unsafe, unsightly sinking driveway, patio, or sidewalk, contact us to learn more about how you can benefit from our services! In the meantime, let’s take a look at a few of the leading causes for settled, uneven cement slabs.
Poor Installation Method or Materials
Concrete is heavy, and when the ground it’s poured on is not properly prepared, it’s only a matter of time before the cement starts shifting and settling. As such, geographic location and soil conditions play a big part in choosing the right concrete mix for a job and knowing how to prepare the area for the weight of cement, no matter how big or small the slab is. For example, if you live in a very cold, dry environment, you’re likely to need a different composition of concrete mix than you would in a hot, and humid location like Texas.
Experience also makes a big difference for ensuring that your concrete is installed properly, so be sure to contract with a professional for large-scale projects if you can. Any reputable concrete pouring company will make sure that the land is properly graded and prepared for concrete installation and most professional concrete pouring contractors will provide some type of warranty on their workmanship. It might cost more than a DIY project, but can save you time, money, and heartache in the end.
Extreme Weather Conditions
Although concrete is an extremely durable and heavy-duty building and landscaping material, it can be very temperamental in its liquid state if the conditions aren’t optimal when it is poured. The strength of concrete largely depends on a proper ratio existing between water content and cement mix; pouring concrete in weather that is either too hot or too cold can have a negative impact on the slab’s strength. For example, if you pour concrete in temperatures that are below freezing, there is a danger that the water in the mix will freeze. This will prevent the water from properly hydrating the mix as it cures and result in a weaker slab. Pouring concrete in conditions that are too hot can also prove problematic because the top layer may dry much faster than the lower layers. Uneven curing rates result in inconsistent strength between layers and are bound to lead to chipping and cracking.
We tend not to have this issue too much in Texas, but if you live in a part of the country that is susceptible to extreme temperatures between seasons, this can also negatively affect your concrete surfaces. Salt mixtures designed to melt ice can be detrimental to the surface of a driveway and sidewalk. Also, cement that is subjected to severe freeze and thaw cycles will expand and contract as much as nine percent between extremes. This can be damaging to expansion joints, and cause cracking, spalling, chipping, and crumbling.
If you’re in the Houston area and you’ve got concrete surfaces that are experiencing any of these conditions, contact the concrete leveling experts at Tilted Concrete Solutions today!
Tree Roots and Subsurface Water
It can be downright impossible to tell what’s going on underneath your concrete slab, and sometimes, no matter how well your land is prepared and how experienced your contractor is, there are naturally-occurring circumstances that are beyond anyone’s control. Tree roots, for example, have caused many sidewalks to lift and heave, resulting in a dangerous tripping hazard. Even worse, this happens so slowly over a matter of years that it can be hard to notice until the tree roots have created a major area of concern in front of your home or business.
Much like tree roots beneath the surface of the ground, sub-surface water can wreak havoc on the soil beneath the slab. If you live in an area with a shallow water table, there might not be much you can do about this condition. However, doing your best to divert water away from concrete driveways, patios, and sidewalks while ensuring proper drainage on your property will go a long way in avoiding the need for assistance from a concrete leveling company.
If you’re in the Houston, Katy, or Sugar Land area, you should know that you don’t have to live with unsightly, unsafe concrete surfaces! Tilted Concrete Solutions provides innovative concrete leveling services along with an industry-leading two-year warranty. Be sure to check out our gallery of before and after photos, then give us a call to get a free estimate! We look forward to working with you!