Over time, older homes or buildings that have large concrete driveways can suffer from settling. The ground under the driveway may start to compact, making the concrete slab start to sink. In many cases, the sinking may only occur on one end, a corner, or a section of the slab. The solution does not always mean replacing the entire driveway. In fact, there is a better solution.
Lifting Your Sinking Driveway
If you don't want to have to replace the entire driveway, you may be able to have the concrete slab lifted back into place with a process called concrete jacking. The process lifts the concrete from under the slab and can level the driveway or pad with the surrounding concrete. This process can also be used on walkways, patios, and just about any concrete slab that is suffering from erosion, causing the slab to sink.
Why Is The Slab Sinking?
In most cases, the ground under your driveway, sidewalk, or patio may be eroding or settling. Water running under the slab, movement of the ground or low-quality fill can all contribute to the problem. If you have a water problem, you may need to install some drainage around the driveway to keep the soil from washing out further but if you're only dealing with compaction or settling, you don't need to do much prep work to stop the sinking.
How Does The Process Work?
When you hire a concrete contractor to jack the slabs back into place, they will look at the slab, and determine what needs to be done to raise it. There are two methods that are typically used. One uses a mortar to fill under the slab, the other uses a polyethylene foam as the medium to fill under the slab. Both methods require drilling a hole in the slab and pumping the material in under the slab through the hole. The fill material is pumped in until the slab is raised to the level required and then the hole is filled with a concrete mix. The new filler material will support the slab, filling the void under it and stabilizing the concrete above.
How Long Will This Fix Last?
Most contractors say that the process of jacking the concrete from underneath is the best solution and that it will last for many years. If the ground under the filler continues to sink, you may need to add more filler down the road but most of the time, the ground has impacted so much by the time you get it fixed that it is unlikely to sink more. Talk to a contractor like T. Luckey Sons, Inc. about how long they feel the repair will last and if they think this is the right repair for your driveway or other sinking concrete slab.