What Causes Concrete Driveways to Sink?

Over the years, the concrete in your driveway may begin to crack, settle, or slope unevenly. It is without a doubt a major eyesore, not to mention a trip hazard. What causes a sinking concrete driveway and is there anything a homeowner can do to remedy the situation? In nearly every case, the cause has to do with the soil directly beneath.

Soil Washout

The Dallas Fort Worth area is no stranger to occasional torrential rainfall. During rain or when water pools over the concrete, some of it may make its way into the soil. It’s also possible that a leaky plumbing pipe can lead to water intrusion. The water washes away and erodes the soil that supports the concrete’s weight. As the soil diminishes over time from repeated cycles of water intrusion, it begins to loosen. In turn, the concrete slab settles or slopes as its support structure loses its integrity.

Poor Soil Compaction

The soil quality during the concrete’s initial installation matters a great deal. The installer typically fills the soil to ensure proper compaction before pouring in the cement. However, the installer may fail to properly fill the soil. New concrete poured over soil that’s loose to begin with will result in concrete settlement in just a few short years.

Burrowing Pests

The Dallas-Fort Worth region is home to various native wildlife. Many are considered pests; one way they cause damage to property is by burrowing holes around residential zones. The tunnels they create may lead directly to the soil beneath the driveway. This displaces the soil, leaving less to support the concrete. The tunnels may also create just enough of an opening for water to seep in.

Weather Changes

The shifting dry and wet cycles affect soil conditions. The Dallas region is known for heavily clay-based soil. When clay gets wet, it holds the water and expands. When the water dries out, it shrinks. The constant contraction and expansion cause the slab to shift around. The subtle movement is enough to cause cracks to form over time.

Leave Concrete Repairs to Us

As we have pointed out, problems with underlying soil are the most likely causes of a sinking concrete driveway. Merely restoring the concrete slab and sealing cracks is a band-aid solution. For a permanent fix, call Align Foundation Repair. We can examine the source of concrete settlement and implement concrete leveling to restore the soil’s integrity.

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