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Concrete Lifting Repair

AFS can fix your sinking outdoor concrete problems so you can enjoy your driveway, sidewalk, or patio again without worry.

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Concrete is all around our Alabama and Tennessee properties – sidewalks, driveways, patios, garage floors, and even around swimming pools. It’s common to see cracking, sinking, uneven concrete slabs around your home, but it can be dangerous. When the concrete does not have a sound support system underneath, it sinks into voids and the uneven slabs present tripping hazards. Fortunately, AFS offers an innovative concrete lifting and stabilization method to put your property back on solid ground. 


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Is Concrete Lifting the Right Solution for Me? 

Cracking, sinking, uneven concrete slabs around your home not only affect the appearance of your property, but its safety as well. Anyone walking over these problematic slabs could trip and fall, and they are especially hazardous for anyone with mobility issues. Repeatedly driving over uneven slabs in your driveway or garage also can cause vehicle damage. 

Mudjacking or slab jacking techniques use heavy equipment and materials, and they do not address the root cause of the problematic underlying soil. Repouring and replacing concrete yields the same result. Instead of investing in invasive, expensive, and temporary concrete lifting solutions, opt for a long-lasting, budget and eco-friendly solution like PolyRenewal™ polyurethane injections from AFS. 

PolyRenewal™ is lightweight, yet durable and waterproof so that it will not wash out from underneath the slab. Its quick curing time allows for traffic flow to continue just 15 minutes after installation. PolyRenewal™ is a functional repair method that can be applied to a variety of projects. It can be used to lift and stabilize sidewalks, driveways, patios, concrete pool decks, garage floors, and more! 

FAQs

Concrete driveways, porches, and pool decks tend to sink because the soil on which they rest is settling. The soil can’t take on the weight of the concrete slab on top of them and they cave under pressure. This leads to the concrete being lowered as well and getting damaged in the process. 

Signs That Water Has Damaged the Soil 

In some cases, the sinking is caused by the water that’s washing the soil off. After a while, the soil density isn’t enough to support the concrete anymore and it ends up sinking. When this is the case, you’ll have to address the voids in the soil and fill them up so that the water can’t reach them. 

Since it takes time for the soil to settle and the concrete to sink, a careful homeowner will notice the problem before it becomes a burden. Small cracks and slight slopes and slants are a good indicator that there’s a problem with your yard and it’s best to react right away. 

Aesthetic and Curb Appeal 

Sometimes sinking concrete can be an actual source of harm, since it’s easier to slip on it and especially so during the winter when the sinking is less noticeable. For most homeowners, however, this is first and foremost an aesthetic issue. Curb appeal is a big part of how the home is perceived and therefore how it’s valued. 

These small cracks, sunken areas, and other aesthetic problems with the yard aren’t that difficult to fix, but they can lower the price of your home with potential buyers. It often happens that bigger, more substantial issues are missed by the buyers. However, signs of poor maintenance tend to lower the price.  

Getting to the Bottom of the Problem 

It’s useful for a homeowner to figure out what’s causing the sinking in the first place. This is about more than just curiosity. Knowing what the underlying issue is will help you choose the best and least expensive solution.  

A lot of the time, homeowners fix the concrete but don’t go into the reason for why it sunk. That may mean that you’ll have to fix the concrete once the soil beneath it settles after a while. A long-term fix ends up being less expensive when additional repairs are considered.  

Uneven concrete slabs are pretty dangerous on their own, but things get even riskier if it’s an uneven pool deck. The settling that occurs around pool decks are more likely to cause accidents because of the water, and those that don’t know how to swim run the risk of falling into the pool. But what exactly causes uneven pool decks? Is it the same thing that causes concrete settling in your driveway or garage? Well, sort of, but there’s a bit of a twist to it that involves the pool’s construction.

A pool is made by digging a hole large enough to fill a pool. Once all the walls are put into place, soil is backfilled around the excavated area until there’s no sign of the hole. The problem with this is that while the soil surrounding the pool is compacted, dense, and capable of holding up the pool, the soil that’s used as backfill is very loose. Because of the soil’s looseness, when the concrete slabs are poured over the soil, it compresses together, forming a gap under the concrete that causes settling. There’s very little that can be done about this during the construction of the pool itself, so all you can do as a homeowner is repair the settled slabs.

Concrete lifting using polyurethane foam injections is the best way to fix a pool deck with settled concrete slabs. Replacing and repouring all the slabs does nothing to address the real issue and will leave you dealing with the same problem in a few years’ time. Polyurethane foam allows you to conserve your slabs by filling in the gaps under the concrete and letting a more reliable material support the deck. Unlike the cement slurry used in mudjacking, polyurethane foam is light, so it won’t put any more pressure on the soil. Not every contractor has the tools or the experience to use polyurethane foam, so bypass those that offer mudjacking as a solution and go with a contractor who provides the best methods.

Due to everyday wear and tear, not to mention various weather conditions, your sidewalk and concrete will get damaged over time. If they are cracked, stained, or uneven, you may believe that it is much easier to remove everything and lay new concrete. However, concrete replacement is not always the best solution. It should be your last option. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of replacement and repair options. 

Replacement 

After complete replacement, your concrete will look amazing. However, this is not a simple procedure. It is time-consuming and expensive. Experts will first need to break down the concrete into small pieces and then take them away. This can be very loud, disturbing, and can completely mess up your landscaping. Only when everything has been cleared up, new concrete can be poured. 

How much money you will have to invest in this will greatly depend on the number of slabs that need to be replaced and the size of your driveway and sidewalk. Also, any underlying problems will need to be addressed first or your new concrete will suffer the same fate as your old one. Even if your  specialists are very efficient, the entire replacement will last much longer than a concrete repair. 

Repair 

Unless your driveway and sidewalk are completely ruined and cracked, your driveway can be repaired with our concrete lifting solution. This option focuses on the root problem as well, so you won’t have to worry about future cracks and tilting. With it, there is no need to remove the concrete. A few drilled holes are all it takes to insert the material underneath the slab. This makes this option much cheaper from the start. 

Polyurethane is a durable material. It will lift your concrete back to its original position, closing the gaps and cracks along the way. Our SettleStop injections will restore your old concrete and make it much stronger than it was. With AFS, your old driveway and sidewalk will look as good as new in just one day. Since polyurethane cures very quickly, you will be able to use these surfaces in just 30 minutes. Also, the entire procedure doesn’t involve any heavy machinery, so it won’t disturb your peace and daily routines in any way. 

If you’re a handy person and you’ve fixed many things around your home by yourself, you might look at a settled slab and think you’re up for the challenge. However, concrete lifting isn’t a simple repair job—It requires a lot of knowledge and specialized tools to do the job right. The first thing you have to understand is that it’s not a one-man job. Concrete slabs are heavy, and you’ll need assistance in order to lift them enough to fill them with material. Handling heavy concrete is very difficult and dangerous and you can either seriously injure yourself or simply break the concrete and have to replace it anyway.

The second thing you should realize is that you won’t be able to obtain the right materials to do the job properly. Traditionally, contractors use cement to lift concrete slabs. Buying and making a cement mixture is pretty easy, but it’s not the best way to lift concrete slabs. Cement is too heavy and compresses the soil even further, eventually making the settling worse. What you need is polyurethane injections to put an end to the settling.

Polyurethane foam that’s used in concrete lifting is better than mudjacking because polyurethane foam is an inert material that neither places pressure on soil or erodes with water. It cures in 15 minutes and most concrete lifting jobs with the foam can be done in less than a day. AFS contractors are the only ones who can inject this specific foam with the care and expertise your slab requires. As tempting as it may be to try to do it all yourself, you should sit back, relax, and let us do the heavy lifting for you.

Even though there are other ways to lift the sunken concrete, PolyRenewal™ Injections are replacing mudjacking, which has been around for a long time. That’s because this method uses innovative technology and fixes the problem once and for all. With mudjacking, you may need to repeat the process a few times once the soil sinks again. 

Quick and Easy Repair 

The repair itself is over in about 30 minutes including the time it takes for the foam to harden and lift the concrete. So, if time is of the essence and if it’s important to you for the repair to be convenient, it’s the best way to go. 

The equipment used to insert PolyRenewal™ is also rather versatile and it can be used wherever it’s needed. A lot of the time, the concrete slabs are located in backyards and somewhat confined spaces, and that isn’t a problem for our crew. 

Minimal Impact on the Slab 

The concrete slab itself won’t get damaged in the process. The repair lifts the soil beneath the slab and therefore the concrete as well. A few holes need to be drilled into the concrete but they are rather small and well placed so there’s no way to crack or break the concrete itself in the process. 

Lifting the concrete will require a crew to come to your yard and do the work. However, in the context of such repairs, it’s the most non-disruptive and clean process you can get. Once the holes are sealed there’s nothing more to do other than cleaning the yard. 

A Convenient Repair Process 

Mudjacking sometimes requires preparatory work and there’s a lot of equipment involved. This isn’t the case here and the problem is solved without having to wreck your yard in the process. There are also no loud noises and other inconveniences that usually come with having a repair crew in your yard. That’s something your neighbors will appreciate as well. 

Lifting the concrete with PolyRenewal™ is a precise job and our team can lift it as much as it needs to be. There’s a lot of nuance in this and our crew will know how to prepare the injection so that the concrete is even when they are done. 

Why is Concrete Lifting Needed?

Concrete slabs depend on the soil underneath them for stability. Birmingham and Nashville’s frequent rains, coupled with the areas’ predominantly clay soil, can lead to soil settlement and washout. This leaves voids between the soil and slabs, which the slabs usually sink into. A variety of problems can result, including: 

uneven and unsafe pool concrete

Safety Hazards

Tripping hazards are present when slabs are significantly uneven. Someone’s foot, cane, or wheelchair could easily catch on a raised edge of a concrete slab. This is particularly dangerous around a concrete pool deck. These uneven surfaces could also be an insurance liability. Having the concrete properly lifted, stabilized, and repaired helps ensure the safety of anyone walking or driving on your property. 

uneven concrete in front of house

Property Appearance & Value

Uneven slabs and cracks in the concrete are unsightly on your property. Whether you are house-proud or do not worry much about aesthetics, the fact is that property appearance matters, especially when trying to sell a house. Damaged concrete slabs negatively impact a home’s curb appeal as well as its value, and they could be instant turnoffs to potential home buyers. Before putting your house on the market, make sure it is in tip-top shape, including the exterior concrete around your property. 

flooding around home

Drainage Issues

Sunken concrete on your property could also be tied to drainage issues around your home. If your downspouts drain water on or near concrete slabs, it could heavily saturate the soil under and around the concrete. This could potentially lead to the previously mentioned soil washout and concrete sinking. Likewise, water can pool in areas of uneven concrete near drainage channels like downspouts. This could also result in flooding. 

Common Concrete Tips & Mistakes

Helpful Concrete Tips:

  • Maintain and Monitor Your Foundation: Especially if concrete slabs are part of or near your foundation, any problems there also could affect the structural stability of your home. Some common foundation damage includes wall cracks and bowing, uneven floors, and sticking windows and doors. Heaving concrete slabs in your driveway or patio that are right next to your house also could push against the foundation to cause various problems. While they may not necessarily be related, it’s important to monitor any changes you notice in your foundation and concrete around your house and to reach out to repair experts as soon as possible. 
  • Closely Monitor Concrete Pool Decks: Concrete pool decks are likely to settle because of the construction process. Soil that is backfilled around the pool excavation won’t be as dense as the undisturbed soil farther away from the pool. Then when a heavy concrete slab is poured around the pool, any loose soil will compress under the slab’s weight. This causes sections of the concrete to sink. Cracking and sinking slabs are dangerous anywhere but are especially deadly around pools. It’s important to keep an eye on any anomalies you notice in the concrete around your pool. 
  • Trust AFS for a Fast, Effective Solution: When you notice you have uneven concrete or cracking slabs around your home, it’s important to seek repair assistance from experienced professionals like our team at AFS. During a free inspection, we’ll diagnose the cause of the concrete problems and recommend the best repair, our PolyRenewal™ polyurethane injection system. Our installers’ attention to detail with exact calculation and precise injection methods is unmatched in the industry. Plus, the PolyRenewal™ material begins to cure within 15 minutes after it is installed, meaning you can use the repaired concrete the same day. 

Concrete Repair Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Mudjacking Is Not the Answer: Traditional repairs for uneven concrete like mudjacking or slab jacking involves drilling large holes into concrete and pumping a heavy slurry underneath in an attempt to lift the slabs. This is invasive, time-consuming, can take a long time to cure, and can be expensive. Because of the weight of the cement slurry, the soil underneath the slab will settle once again, leading to the same problem of concrete settlement and unevenness.  
  • Repouring and Replacing Is a Short-Term Fix: Like mudjacking, completely repouring and replacing the areas of problematic concrete is only a momentary solution. While a “shiny and new” concrete slab might look good and hold up to traffic for a while, the problem with unstable soil still exists. The new slab will eventually meet the same fate of sinking into the ground. 
  • Concrete Lifting Is Not a DIY Project: While taking on DIY projects around the house is understandable and admirable, concrete lifting can be a delicate and dangerous job. It requires the right tools and training to be effective and long-lasting, which is why this repair is best left to experience professionals like the team at AFS. 

Find your service area

Huntsville, AL

Huntsville, AL

As iconic as it may be, red soil is detrimental to the health of your foundation because of the clay content. Add high precipitation, and Huntsville homeowners have trouble.

Mobile, AL

Mobile, AL

Mobile, the rainiest city in the contiguous U.S., is bound to have some foundation flooding problems. AFS is here to help you identify and fix them!

Columbus, GA

Columbus, GA

Auburn, located in Alabama’s “Black Belt,” is known for its dark, clay soils. As earthy as they may be, these soils cause a lot of structural problems.

Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga, TN

Crawl space encapsulation, drain, and structural supports are effective solutions against Chattanooga’s problematic clay soil, as well as its high rain and humidity levels.

Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN

Springtime means storms in Nashville, TN, and Tennessee is one of the wettest states in the U.S. That can make waterproofing solutions and foundation repair vital.

Birmingham, AL

Birmingham, AL

Birmingham is at the heart of Dixie Alley where storms are frequent. With such severe weather disrupting the soil, foundation issues run rampant.

Knoxville, TN

Knoxville, TN

Yearly, the U.S. averages 38 inches of rain, while Knoxville gets 50 inches. This makes it easy for expansive clay soils to destroy your property.

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