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Don’t Let Your Concrete Sink!

Let’s talk about concrete and cracked and sinking concrete! We’ve all seen cracked and sinking driveways and sidewalks, but how do we stop it? Concrete comes with two guarantees.

1) It’s going to get hard

2) It’s going to crack

However, several variables can have a dramatic effect on it too! Water, unstable soil, and landscaping.

When water flows towards your concrete slabs, it can and most likely will wash out the soil from under them, creating voids. These voids can be as small as 1/4 of an inch and as big as several feet. Building up these areas is ideal, whether it be landscaping pavers or sloping water away, by adding additional soil to help prevent washout.

When slabs are poured, there are times when the soil is not adequately tamped. Poor tamped soil can be unavoidable unless you are present when the slab is poured.

Lastly, trees and shrubs have root systems that can extend far and wide. When root systems grow under slabs, they can create “heave.” This is when your slabs are pushed up due to the root system. A common thing homeowners do is remove trees or shrubs. However, what about the roots? When the roots decay, that creates voids and is a perfect channel for water. Therefore, it is crucial to remove the root system as much as possible and build up the soil beside the slab to prevent water from flowing under it. You should not have any trees within 10 feet of your slabs and 5 feet of shrubs.

In closing, I hope this helps give some insight and solutions to any slab issues you have.

Andrew E. Howard

Carolina Foundation Solutions

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