If you want to know how to fix a cracked and uneven concrete patio, you’re in the right place. Sometimes patios and pool decks sink into the soil below them because the dirt underneath isn’t strong enough to hold the weight of your concrete. This article will teach you everything you need to know, starting with how not to fix your cracked and uneven concrete patio.
How To Fix A Cracked & Uneven Concrete Patio: Bad Ideas
Before you start calling companies that state they can fix your concrete patio, make sure they don’t suggest these specific solutions.
Levelers or resurfacing – Do not pour a leveler or resurface your cracked and uneven concrete. This will temporarily fix the problem and add to the sinking. This will level concrete, but it won’t stop it from sinking again.
Replacing the patio – Replacing your concrete patio won’t solve the sinking issue either. Instead, you’ll be paying someone to rip out your old concrete, haul it away, pour a new slab, and wait for it to dry, only to sink all over again. This is only a temporary solution to fixing the wrong problem.
Mudjacking – Mudjacking is another common solution contractors use to fix cracked and uneven patios. However, the only companies that recommend this solution are mudjacking companies trying to deter you from hiring someone else who offers a better product, such as polyjacking. Mudjacking uses a mixture of sand and cement called a slurry to lift your uneven concrete patio. This is another temporary and weak solution.
How To Fix A Cracked & Uneven Concrete Patio: Good Ideas
If you call a concrete leveling professional and they recommend polyjacking, permeation grouting, or compaction grouting, that‘s a company you can trust.
Polyjacking – If there’s a void or pocket underneath your concrete patio, experts can use polyjacking to fill the opening with lightweight polyurethane foam. This process involves drilling dime-sized holes into your concrete and injecting the expanding foam until the void below is completely filled. Once the void is filled, your concrete patio will begin to lift back to its normal level.
Compaction grouting – Compaction grouting is similar to polyjacking because they both use fast-setting polyurethane foam. But instead of filling in a void between your soil and concrete patio, it fills pockets within the soil itself. The foam’s expansive forces, combined with the injection pressure from the pump, compact the soil and fills the voids adjacent to the foam.
Permeation grouting – Permeation grouting involves pumping a grout made of either Portland cement, microfine cement, sodium silicate, acrylate, or polyurethane. This process helps stiffen granular soil (gravel, sand, or silt), reduce the amount of water absorption, strengthen nearby structures, and support excavation. If your property has poor drainage, water could flow underneath your concrete patio, causing it to sink. Permeation grouting will help prevent that from happening.
What Causes Cracked & Uneven Concrete Patios?
There are several reasons why your concrete patio is cracked or uneven. If your concrete is only cracking, then it may be due to poorly made material. But if it’s cracking and uneven, it has to do with the soil below it.
Poor drainage or sewer breaks – If your property is sloped toward your concrete patio, water could drain underneath, causing the soil to wash away. This can also happen if a sewer line breaks under your concrete patio, releasing wastewater into your soil.
Poorly compacted soil – Before your concrete patio was poured, the soil below must be compacted together to decrease the space between dirt particles. If this process was done improperly, voids could open up inside the dirt, sinking your patio.
Poor soil quality – If the soil below your concrete patio contains mainly clay, it can expand and contract based on how much moisture it absorbs. When the soil is wet, it swells and lifts your concrete patio. When the soil dries, it shrinks and sinks your patio. This back-and-forth movement will crack your concrete.
Poor tree placement – If you have large trees growing near your patio, chances are their roots are crawling underneath, lifting your concrete. If the tree dies and the roots disintegrate, they can leave behind pockets that will sink your patio.
Poor pool construction – When contractors build a pool, they need to remove enough soil to make room for the concrete walls and floor. If the builders left empty pockets outside the pool walls, your concrete patio could sink.
Natural disasters – Earthquakes and sinkholes can cause the soil beneath your patio to sink or crack your concrete.
Who Can Help?
If your concrete patio is cracked and uneven, call Foundation Professionals Of Florida. We are based in Lake City, Florida but we serve all of the Southeast, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. We offer polyjacking, compaction grouting, permeation grouting, and more. Call today for your free inspection and estimate.