How to Fix a Cracked Uneven Concrete Patio

Over time, the concrete that makes up your patio walkway may begin to settle or crack. It may also slope at an angle, creating a dangerous trip hazard as well as an unsightly look. Learn how to fix cracked, uneven concrete patio and restore the surface to its original condition.

What Causes Cracked Concrete?

A cracked. uneven concrete patio can be due to a number of reasons. One main cause is due to the soil beneath. The Dallas Fort Worth area is known for clay-based soil, which is highly expansive. The soil expands and contracts as it absorbs moisture. In turn, this causes the concrete to settle in various sections and often unevenly. This leads to sloping and eventually cracks.

What’s the Solution?

While DIY solutions are available, they require extensive knowledge of concrete repair. You will also have to rent expensive commercial equipment. An uneven concrete patio is better left to a technician to diagnose and repair.

Several options are at your disposal. An inspector will make a recommendation based on the type and degree of damage. Usually, the methods come down to the ones listed below.

Mudjacking

This method is also known as slabjacking. With this procedure, a small hole is drilled into the concrete. The hole serves as an entry point for pumping a mortar-based mixture into the soil beneath. The mixture hardens and fills in the gaps in the soil that caused the sloping and settling. Similar solutions include using a polyurethane mixture for filling in the gaps in the soil.

Concrete Resurfacing

This is an inexpensive and non-invasive process of removing surface-level cracks in the concrete. Many homeowners find this solution to be a quick-fix. In many cases, however, resurfacing only masks the real underlying problem. While it may conceal the cracks, it does not address the settling soil beneath.

Replacing the Concrete

You can completely replace the cracked concrete. Since this is usually the most expensive solution, a technician may only recommend it if the concrete has settled or sloped to a degree that is irreparable by mudjacking or another method.

We Repair Settling Patio Concrete

Settling concrete in the patio walkway is not only an eyesore but also a safety hazard. Call Align Foundation Repair for an inspection. A technician will determine the cause and recommend a solution that ensures long-lasting results.

What to Do with a Sinking Concrete Patio?

Your patio or walkway may have a concrete slab or two that’s sinking or sloping at an uneven angle. What do you do? Do you just leave it as it is? That’s definitely an option, but it’s certainly an eyesore, not to mention a trip hazard. What are your options for a sinking concrete patio?

Mudjacking

The most common solution is mudjacking, also known as concrete raising. This fast and affordable solution can be completed in a single day. With this noninvasive procedure, a hole about one and a half inches in diameter is drilled into the concrete. This serves as an entry point for a slurry mixture. The mixture fills in the gap and air pockets in the soil. It compresses the soil, pushing the concrete back in place and eliminating future occurrences of the concrete resettling to the bottom or sloping. Concrete raising is a common repair method in the Dallas Fort Worth area because soil conditions often warrant such a procedure.

Some of the more recent breakthroughs in mudjacking include injecting a polymer foam that cures in a matter of minutes. It also restores the slab to its full and original weight-bearing capacity.

Slab Replacement

If the crack and/or sinking is extensive, then it may be beyond what mudjacking can restore. In this instance, a technician may recommend a complete slab replacement. The existing slab will need to be broken up and removed to make room for the new one.

Since replacement is more expensive, it is usually the last-resort. A replacement is usually necessary once the slab has incurred cracking and separation into many pieces.

We Restore a Sinking Concrete Patio

We don’t advise just letting a sinking concrete be as it is. It’s a visual distraction and also a safety hazard. Call Align Foundation Repair for sinking concrete patio repair; upon inspection, a technician will suggest a solution designed for long-term concrete stability.

How Do I Keep a Concrete Patio From Sinking and Cracking?

With age, concrete eventually cracks and splits. Is this inevitable, or is there anything homeowners can do on their end to prevent concrete from cracking and sinking? Find out why concrete sinks and what you can do on your end to minimize the odds of damage occurring.

What Causes Concrete to Sink?

Before we talk about prevention, it helps to understand why concrete sinks and slopes in the first place. The cause has to do more with the base the slab was built on rather than the concrete itself. The soil beneath the slab may not have been compacted properly during installation.

Another possibility is that the edges that the slab sits on weren’t properly backfilled or were filled with soft soil and loose aggregates. Over time, this will allow moisture to seep in, leading to soil contraction and expansion.

How to Prevent Concrete from Cracking

The methods below reinforce concrete strength. We recommend professional implementation unless you have a knowledgeable background in slab repair.

One simple method homeowners can do on their end is to make sure their downspouts point at least five feet away from all concrete. Puddling water is bad for concrete. Proper drainage that directs water away is vital, especially during rainy periods.

Prevention methods best left to a professional include sealing gaps between slabs. This is done using a backer rod with silicone caulk or polyurethane as the sealer. If an inspector suspects poor soil compaction, then he may suggest digging out the slab or utilize slab jacking to fill and compact the soil. Tightly compressed soil ensures a stable base, as it eliminates small pockets of air that allows moisture to accumulate. The soil should be compacted at a depth of four to six inches for long-term results.

To summarize, prevention comes down to these three keys: drainage, soil compaction, and sealing. For maximum protection, be sure all three elements are in place. It’s not enough to just implement one or two out of the three and hope for the best.

We Ensure a Solid Concrete Base

Our remediations include slabjacking or mudjacking. We also perform prevention measures. We prevent concrete from sinking by fortifying the base. The Dallas Fort Worth area is known for sandy and loose soil, making prevention all the more necessary. We advise residents to consider prevention to offset a more costly repair or replacement down the road.

How to Fix The Cause of Hairline Cracks in a Concrete Patio

Concrete is ultra-durable, which is why it’s a mainstay in patio walkways. However, it is still vulnerable to damage, which may manifest on the surface in the form of cracks and splits.

Hairline cracks are normal with concrete patios. Find out below how to fix them, and why calling in a professional is always advisable.

What Caused the Crack?

The solution is dependent on the cause of the fracture. With patio concrete, the cause is usually attributed to loose and shifting soil underneath, which causes the concrete to constantly move and eventually settle or slope at an uneven angle. Often, during installation, the concrete is poured on uncompacted soil that is improperly backfilled. Loose soil is especially commonplace in the Dallas Fort Worth area, which is known for clay soil conditions.

Other causes include slab installation without proper expansion joint placement. Drainage issues are another cause. Downspouts may release water directly on the concrete, where it reaches the soil and causes it to expand and contract. When concrete consistently moves, hairline cracks may begin to form, which may expand and cause the slab to completely split apart.

So, what are the repair methods for hairline cracks?

Concrete Raising

Concrete patio raising for hairline cracks is the most viable solution in most instances. Remember, the crack appeared in the first place due to the shifting soil beneath. With concrete raising, filler is pumped into the soil beneath to eliminate gaps and pockets of air. This compacts the soil and prevents future damage. As for existing hairline cracks, they can be resurfaced, restoring the concrete to its original position.

Caulk Sealing

Urethane caulk is a sturdy substance used to patch existing cracks. Even when the caulk dries and hardens, it remains flexible enough to allow the crack to move without causing further damage.

We must point out, though, that this solution only masks the bigger underlying problem; that is, the loose soil beneath. Without concrete raising, caulk sealing is merely a band-aid and a temporary fix. This method should always be a part of a bigger procedure that includes concrete raising.

Epoxy Injection

With this method, the crack is cleaned before epoxy is applied to restore the surface. However, like caulk sealing, this method does not address the soil issue. Even if the surface is repaired, the soil beneath will continue to cause the concrete to shift. More cracks will follow.

We Restore Concrete

Leave it to Align Foundation Repair to repair the cause of hairline cracks in concrete patio. A surface crack is often a sign of a more serious problem and may eventually lead to the concrete settling or sloping. Give us a call if you notice even a seemingly negligible crack forming.