Over time, you may find that concrete floors on your property, particularly in your garage, begin to settle, sink, and become uneven. There are a number of things that cause this, but mostly it is the result of years of wear, traffic, and weight. Consider how much the vehicle or vehicles parked in your garage weigh: at least 2,500 pounds, and up to 4,000, while the average prehensile resistance of a concrete floor is 3,000 pounds per square inch. It is, of course, possible to restore a level floor by building up the sinking areas, but this is temporary and doesn’t tend to the issues of support beneath the concrete. Among the best and most effective ways to raise the garage floor is a process known variously as “slab jacking,” “foam jacking,” “mud jacking,” “concrete leveling,” or, simply, “concrete raising.” In short, slab jacking reinforces the problem areas beneath the surface that are yielding to the pressure from the concrete and the activity upon it. Read on to learn more about what causes concrete floors to sink, slab jacking to raise the garage floor, and what slab jacking is in detail.
What Causes Concrete Floors to Sink
A number of things may cause the slab concrete to sink. Frequently, minor miscalculations or poor preparation when the floor was installed can cause recesses and sinking: foundation materials need to be compacted and reinforced before concrete slab floors are laid. Other reasons can include soil beneath the slab settling improperly or in unanticipated ways. Improper drainage or changes in grades around a property can also impact the soil underneath and on the periphery of concrete floors by exposing them to water and erosion. Without solving for these underlying – pun perhaps intended – problems, efforts to raise the garage floor will be a temporary solution that will require repeating.
Why It’s Urgent to Repair a Sinking Garage Floor
Settling and sinking garage floors can crack, present tripping hazards, and even alter the grade of the structure. Mechanical elements that depend on even surfaces, such as garage and entry doors and windows, can fail or sustain damage. This can present a security issue, lead to further damage or both. Exposed egresses in an attached garage can cause noticeable increases in energy costs as well.
What is Slab Jacking?
Slab jacking stabilizes the soil beneath a concrete floor. In slab jacking, a slurry of water, cement, and sometimes polyurethane or foam is piped into voids or hollows in the soil under the concrete floor. This mixture is designed to bind to the soil and dry. Slab jacking is a great deal less expensive and less invasive than replacing a concrete floor. You can use the space as normal almost immediately after you raise the garage floor. It is a highly effective and convenient technique that has been used to raise concrete floors for a hundred years in a wide range of applications, from garage floors to driveways to walkways and beyond. It is quick, cost-effective, and permanent.