Repairing Concrete Instead of Replacing It
Concrete is a very durable material, often used for foundation walls, driveways, sidewalks, and patios. Since concrete is so durable, you seldom consider the repairing concrete much less the maintenance required to keep it looking good and functioning properly, but if you neglect these surfaces, your property will appear neglected and worn.
Every commonly used building material requires maintenance and upkeep. If your exterior walls have a painted surface, temperature, light, wind, and rain eventually weaken the paint, and eventually, you will need to repaint. No matter the material, eventually, you will need to replace your roof. And eventually, you need to give your concrete a little TLC.
First, consider what causes concrete to age and wear. Weather is the biggest foe of concrete.
- Basic physics work on concrete: heat causes it to expand and cold causes it to contract. The more extreme the temperatures, the greater the effect. This movement causes micro-gaps to develop.
- Rainwater will fill these gaps. Concrete is actually quite porous. Since water is a good solvent, it breaks down the chemical bonds in the concrete.
- Cold weather will cause water to freeze. Freezing water expands, widening micro-gaps. Over time, these processes continue, and cracks continue to widen.
Second, remember concrete is porous.
- Concrete pores and gaps funnel water through, and water does what water does—it erodes the soil under concrete.
- When the base soil under concrete erodes away, the concrete is no longer supported properly. The weight of vehicles or the weight of the concrete will cause the concrete to crack. Little cracks become big cracks. Concrete that held heavy objects will be damaged if not cared for properly.
Neglecting Maintenance is Expensive
- Concrete cracks are dangerous tripping hazards. People walking on relatively smooth concrete surfaces are not looking down, expecting the smooth surface to change abruptly. Large cracks can also be sharp, cutting bare feet or causing further damage during a fall. Falls are one of the leading types of injury accidents. A wise and considerate homeowner will not accept this type of liability.
- Damaged and cracked concrete also looks bad and negatively affects curb appeal. If it shows age, it makes your house look old and dated. Poor curb appeal affects your property value and the property value of your neighborhood. A first impression is important, whether you plan to sell your home or invite friends over.
- If concrete is neglected and the damage becomes too great, the only solution will be a replacement. If you think repairing concrete is too much, consider that replacing concrete is much more expensive. Catching minor damage and repairing it is the wisest financial choice.
Concrete Repair Solutions
Concrete professionals can help you maintain your concrete and keep your home looking well-kept.
- A concrete sealant applied while cracks are small can lengthen the useful life of the concrete and make it look new again. The correct sealant is chosen for the color of your concrete. It is poured into the pores and cracks and allowed to dry. The sealant closes the pores and gaps, reducing water damage. The surface will be smooth and look attractive again.
- If you notice that erosion has caused the concrete to begin to sink, all is not lost. Technologically advanced foam can be injected under the concrete, and it will expand to fill the gaps and lift the concrete. Yes, we said foam! This sounds incredible, but Leveled has years of experience repairing damaged concrete using this innovative technique.
- Once your concrete is leveled and sealed, make sure you keep it clean. Use soap and water regularly with a soft brush. If you power washes the surface, make sure you re-apply the sealant for best results.
Have Questions about Polylevel?
When you are ready to fix that uneven concrete, call us at 832-995-2000 to schedule your free inspection for concrete repair. Leveled can schedule a free inspection to help walk you through your options.