Patios and walkways are exterior expanses of your home that are meant to welcome and host family, friends, and guests to your home. These areas are often gathering spaces and entry ways that invite people to enjoy the outdoors. However, if these concrete areas are sinking and unlevel, they can provide an unsafe place for walking, pulling up a chair, or gathering to enjoy time together. Not only does slab settlement lead to unlevel concrete surfaces, but it can lead to further damage of your home.
The most common culprit for slab settlement is soil changes beneath the concrete slab. The main causes of this settlement are:
- Poorly compacted fill soil
- Soil washout under the concrete slab
- Soil moisture content changes
During new home construction, soil is spread out to achieve a desired grade level. If the soil is poorly compacted, it will lead to the ground becoming sloped, sagging, and unlevel. When the soil beneath a laid concrete slab is improperly compacted, it will begin to settle and pull away from the concrete. This will leave the concrete slab without the necessary foundation beneath it, causing it to sag and slope as the ground beneath it sags and slopes.
The same occurrences happen with soil washout under a concrete slab. Water issues caused by erosion, large rains, and plumbing leaks can find their way underneath concrete slabs. As water moves below concrete slabs, it can cause soil washout – removing the support of the weight of the concrete. Over time, soil washout will diminish the concrete’s support, and the concrete slab will begin to sink.
A common occurrence in Georgia is the drastic changes in soil moisture content. When our infamous red clay gets wet, it holds onto water and expands. Yet, when the red clay dries out it begins to shrink. With Georgia’s hot, humid, and often dry conditions, concrete slabs are vulnerable to being affected by soil moisture content changes, which result in uneven and cracked concrete.
Your home is a major investment. If sinking concrete slabs are an issue, they can detract from the value of your property. Contact Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs today. We have been Atlanta’s trusted source for concrete repair since 1930.
Posted on behalf of John Anglin, Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs