Fixing Concrete Voids Before They Cause Massive Damage

raise the garage floor

Perhaps you are looking to raise the garage floor. Or maybe you just suspect that there is trouble around the corner with your concrete driveway. Regardless what type of concrete raising or concrete service you are looking to perform, it is important to know how to recognize when you have a potential void in your concrete that would require filling.

What is a Concrete Void?

The first thing to understand is that voids in concrete are not visible. Unlike traditional crack repair (which is very visible), a void in the concrete can build up over time, eventually causing massive damage to the surface of the concrete, requiring large repairs. One of the reasons voids are not detectable by surface damage at first is that concrete is very strong. Average concrete can withstand about 3000 psi (pounds per square inch), and some concrete has a strength of over 20,000 psi. Because of this, the concrete will withstand enormous amounts of pressure and stress, until eventually the entire slab just cracks. When it does crack, the crack is usually massive.

The most high-tech solution is to use a GPR, or ground penetrating radar. GPRs are used by contractors to detect voids or holes under a concrete slab. If you are looking to raise the garage floor, it could be because you have a void in your concrete. Garage floor voids are difficult to detect without a GPR. Without a GPR, you might be able to detect a void by driving into your garage and listening to see if you can hear a shallow or hollow sound as you drive over the concrete. Sometimes there will also be tiny cracks throughout the concrete, or sometimes you will be able to detect a shift or tremor in the concrete. All of these are signs that you should look to raise the garage floor and fill the void.

How to Fill Concrete Voids

Filling concrete voids can be tricky. Because the void typically isn’t accessible through a visible crack (yet), there are only a couple of options. For small slabs, such as a sidewalk, it is possible to pack under the slab with gravel or some other material to keep the void from damaging the concrete. For larger slabs, such as a patio or garage, this isn’t usually an option.

One of the best methods for large slabs is to use some sort of expanding polymer substance, such as Polyurethane. Polyurethane can travel several feet through openings on the side of your slab to find and fill the voids underneath. This can sometimes be enough to prevent any further damage to the slab, even if you are looking to raise the garage floor.

When to Hire a Professional

Concrete can be expensive, and so is fixing it. Sometimes, because of the nature of a slab (especially in a garage), it can be difficult to access places where you can easily fill a void using Polyurethane or another expanding substance. Even if you want to raise the garage floor, you will need to fill the voids underneath in order to ensure good concrete strength and durability. There are plenty of options for slab jacking and soil cement stabilization that can be done professionally to ensure that your concrete is secure and solid for years to come.

Heaved concrete

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Some of the communities we serve have an abundance of concrete that is heaved, primarily by roots.

What can be done?

There are really just two approaches to this problem other than ignoring and accepting liability.

-We can raise adjacent slabs to create a transition up and over the root, in effect a ramp. This is the easiest and least costly but may need to be redone as the root continues to grow.

-We can remove that section of concrete, cut out the root and replace the concrete. While more costly this will generally be a permanent solution. If this is the method you choose we advise contacting an arborist about the potential consequences of removing the root.

-There is one other option that preserves the root and may give years of trouble-free growth. We will remove the concrete and place half a pipe or other material over the root then pour new concrete on top of the pipe. This allows some room for growth, typically a decade or so before heaving resumes.

Thinking outside the box is something we do, let’s solve your concrete problems, call today,

1-855-752-2522

www.SlabjackGeotechnical.com

Superior technology, Superior polymers, Superior results.

 

Quality concrete

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Much of the concrete we are asked to raise was not poured on properly prepared soil nor was any internal structural support used, what do we mean?

Most  concrete is simply poured on whatever type of soil is there with little quality control other than trying to make the finish look good. “Skin deep” quality.

First, it is important to consider what the concrete will be poured on. If it will be clay then as the soil gains and then looses moisture the movement of the slab will cause cracking. Clay can expand as much as ten percent. If it is soil with organic material then as the material breaks down settling will occur.

The solution to much of the settling is properly prepared soil. Compaction along with a barrier material, 4-6″ of gravel, preserves the concrete to a large degree.

Further, reinforcing the concrete with a grid of re-bar or wire mesh protects the slab against excessive movement even if it does fracture.

Demand quality from your concrete contractor and avoid problems later.

If your concrete is settling call us today,

1-855-752-2522

www.SlabjackGeotechnical.com

Superior technology, Superior polymers, Superior results.

 

 

Does Slabjack Geotechnical do concrete replacement?

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“do you do concrete replacement”?

1-855-752-2522 prides itself as the most trusted and experienced concrete raising company in Eastern and Central Washington.

While we generally refer concrete replacement to other qualified contractors there are circumstances where we will replace a small slab in order to facilitate the larger concrete raising job.

Occasionally an area will be in good shape other than some settling, but one section of a slab is pitched by a tree root or damaged beyond being able to lifted. Rather than replacing the entire patio, for example we will replace a small section, typically less than twenty square feet.

If larger sections than this need to be replaced we will refer you to one of the many quality concrete contractors in your area.

If you are dealing with the effects of settled concrete, but have a section that you feel is beyond repair call the concrete raising professionals today, we may be able help.

1-855-752-2522
www.SlabjackGeotechnical.com

Superior technology, Superior polymers, Superior results.

How thick should concrete be?

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Most settled concrete, with a number of cracks in it, has a couple of things in common; it doesn’t have any steel in it (rebar or wire mesh) and it is four inches thick or less.

Concrete has incredible compressive strength making it able to hold tremendous weight but does not have good tensile strength (it doesn’t like to flex) Slabjacking, or concrete lifting, places concrete in a vulnerable position because of its inherent weakness to crack when placed under a dynamic load.

Overcoming this weakness is best accomplished two ways; First, concrete slabs five to six inches thick have a much greater chance of staying in tact when placed under tensile load than do slabs three or even four inches thick. Since concrete is inexpensive, adding two more inches is a very cost-effective way to strengthen its ability to withstand flexing. Second, using an internal structure such as wire mesh, rebar or post tension cables, supports concrete as it flexes limiting movement, and, if a crack develops, limits any vertical differential between the two sides of the crack.

If you are dealing with sunken and settled concrete call the concrete raising professionals today.

1-855-752-2522
www.SlabjackGeotechnical.com

Superior technology, Superior polymers, Superior results

The cost of concrete replacement

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Concrete is one of the most durable materials in existence. Concrete was used as a building material as long as two thousand years ago and has incredible compressive strength. The only real drawback with concrete is its tensile strength, in other words it doesn’t like uneven support which results in cracks and settling.

The vast majority of concrete we are asked to raise was simply poured on unprepared soil with little or no compaction, no gravel base, no rebar or wire mesh and sometimes only three inches thick. Why?

Simply put, cost. It costs to compact, it costs to used crushed rock as a base and compact it, it costs to purchase and install rebar or wire mesh. Doing concrete as cheaply as possible verses doing it properly can reduce the price nearly in half.

The product, concrete, is inexpensive, about $120 a yard. For a ten by ten patio you only need about a yard and a half of concrete. Crushed rock and re-bar can add another $100 so total materials for a ten by ten patio are roughly $300-$400 The cost on concrete work is primarily labor. For the cheap, dump it on dirt installation? $5 a foot. A quality installation with compaction, gravel, rebar/mesh? As much as $10 a foot which puts that ten by ten patio in the range of $800 for a low-budget job to $1400 for a quality job that will resist settling and look good for decades.

If you are in the market for new concrete hire a concrete contractor that is committed to providing a quality product through and through not just a pretty finish.

For settled concrete call the concrete raising professionals, 1-855-752-2522.

1-855-752-2522

www.SlabjackGeotechnical.com

Superior technology, Superior polymers, Superior results.

Should I replace or raise my settled concrete?

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The number one thing 1-855-752-2522 does to determine if your concrete is a candidate for raising, is to do a detailed evaluation of  the condition of your slab.  How badly is it cracked?  Is the top peeling off?  What is the condition of adjoining slabs?  These and other factors go into providing a quality estimate.

There is a point where replacement is a better option and we are up front with our clients if this is the case.  Better to retain a friend than have a dissatisfied client. If there are numerous cracks, if the top is deteriorating (spalling) and has effected the structural integrity of the slab it is likely time for replacement.

Now, the advantages of Slabjacking; raising settled concrete allows you to retain a consistent look, you won’t have new, light colored slabs, clashing with older darker slabs.  Concrete raising is quick, typically an hour or two to complete a job verses several days with replacement.  Concrete raising is much less costly, typically 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of replacement or less, finally concrete raising is much less disruptive to your landscaping than replacement, the operation is simple; drill, inject, patch. No heavy equipment, no mud or mixers, just a hose extended from our state of the art trailer through which we inject a patented, hydrophobic, (waterproof) geo-polymer that fills voids, compresses loose soils and gently expands raising your settled concrete back to original grade.

At 1-855-752-2522 our goal is to make it as easy as possible to do business with us. We provide no cost, no pressure estimates, professionally prepared with pictures and explanations so you will know exactly what to expect when we arrive on site. From Spokane  and northern Idaho to the Cascades, from Yakima to the Tri-Cities, call today for a no cost, no obligation quote to have your settled concrete raised back to original grade.

www.SlabjackGeotechnical.com
1-855-752-2522

Superior technology, Superior polymers, Superior results.