Concrete is a durable and long-lasting material that is commonly used for building foundations, driveways, sidewalks, and other structures. However, over time, concrete can begin to sink and settle, which can lead to a variety of problems. In this article, we will explore the reasons why concrete sinks and settles, and what can be done to prevent or fix these issues.
One of the main reasons why concrete sinks and settles is due to soil movement. The soil beneath the concrete can shift and settle, which can cause the concrete to sink and crack. This is particularly common in areas with clay soils, which are known for their ability to expand and contract with changes in moisture. Additionally, poor compaction of the soil beneath the concrete can also contribute to sinking and settling.
Another common cause of concrete sinking and settling is poor drainage. When water accumulates around the base of the concrete, it can cause the soil to become saturated and shift. This can lead to concrete sinking and settling, and can also cause cracking and other damage. Proper drainage is essential to preventing this type of damage.
Another reason why concrete sinks and settles is due to poor construction techniques. If the concrete is not poured properly, or if the rebar or other reinforcing materials are not used correctly, the concrete can be more likely to sink and settle. Additionally, if the concrete is not cured properly, it can be more prone to cracking and other types of damage.
To prevent concrete from sinking and settling, proper preparation of the soil and proper compaction of the soil is essential. Additionally, proper drainage should be installed around the base of the concrete to prevent water from accumulating. Furthermore, proper construction techniques should be used, including proper pouring and curing of the concrete, as well as the use of appropriate reinforcing materials.
If concrete has already begun to sink and settle, it can be repaired by using a process known as foam jacking. Foam Jacking involves injecting a two-part polyurethane underneath the existing concrete to raise it back to its original position. This process can be used to repair driveways, sidewalks, and other concrete structures.
In conclusion, concrete sinking and settling can be caused by a variety of factors, including soil movement, poor drainage, and poor construction techniques. To prevent these issues, proper preparation of the soil and proper construction techniques should be used. Additionally, proper drainage should be installed around the base of the concrete. If concrete has already begun to sink and settle, it can be repaired through the process of Foam jacking. It is important to address these issues as soon as possible to avoid further damage and costly repairs.