Many homeowners and contractors use concrete slabs to construct driveways, patios, and foundations of buildings. This preference is occasioned by the fact that concrete is structurally strong and stable.
For all their strengths, though, concrete slabs are also susceptible to slacking and cracking. These can weaken the structure of your home endangering the occupants. In this guide, learn how you can remedy common concrete slabs and save your treasured home. This article was made in conjuction with a garage floor coating company in San Jose CA.
Common Issues with Concrete Slabs
Fissures in concrete slabs often occur when excess water is used in the mixing stage. Cracks can also be caused by insufficient steel, rapid drying, and making the slab too thin.
Cracks allow moisture and soil gases to seep through into the house endangering the lives of the occupants. Moisture can also damage items such as furniture and carpets.
Just like with cracks, poor mixing can cause the concrete slabs to sink in and become weaker. Besides poor mixing, a slab can easily drift away if the base it’s placed on isn’t stable.
How to Repair Common Concrete Slab Problems
Depending on the size of the crack, you can decide to fill in the cracks or, alternatively, replace whole slabs to remedy the situation.
The preliminary steps to sealing cracks entail cleaning the region around the crack. This makes it easy for the cement to form a strong bond with the filler. Using a cleaning agent makes it easier to clean off elements such as us grease and oils that are often hard to get rid of.
Once the area is free of dirt and oils, chisel out any hanging chunks of the slab. The chiseling makes it easy to access the inner part of the crack during the refilling stage.
Clean off the debris and dirt. This step doesn’t only make it easy for the patching to stick but also ensures you only use a minimal amount of the filler material.
Proceed to apply the mortar to the cracks till they are filled. Use a pointing trowel to spread and smooth out the filler. Allow it to cure for a few days and then apply a sealant to complete the process.
How to prevent concrete slabs from sinking
The first step is to fill any gaps where runoff water may pass through and reach the underside of the concrete slab. Keeping off water ensures the soil underneath the slabs remains compact.
Re-adjust any downspouts that are discharging runoff water too close to the slab. Any runoff water should be dispensed a minimum of six feet away from the slab.
If the concrete slab has already sunk in, it’d help to call in a contractor to assess and recommend the best approach to fix the issue. As contractors have the necessary expertise and required tools, they can easily fix the slabs without breakages.
Best Practices When Repairing Concrete Slab Problems
Seek the opinion of a professional
The appearance of cracks on concrete slabs can be a warning of a potentially bigger problem. It’s important to enlist the opinion of a professional especially if the cracks appear on slabs that form part of your home’s foundation.
Do not skimp on quality
Repairing cracks might be just a small DIY project. Regardless, you should follow all the instructions for preparing the concrete that you will use to patch the cracks. This includes mixing the different components in the right ratios and allowing the patch sufficient time to dry.
It’s imperative to monitor the repaired area closely. If you observe more cracks, you can call in a contractor to assess the situation early enough before the weakness affects your houses’ foundation.
Fixing cracks appearing on your driveway or patio shouldn’t be costly. By following the above tips, you can restore the space while just using basic tools. Don’t shy to seek the help of an experienced hand if the cracks are hard to repair or keep reoccurring.