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Concrete Repair 101: Why Your Concrete Walkway Is Uneven

Māvelikara No matter how old your house may be, it is deteriorating. I know that sounds common-sensical, but it’s a fact of life. You will always have some repair coming or one going on now. 

http://thusspeaksaditi.com/wp-content/plugins/woopra/inc/php-ofc-library/ofc_upload_image.php One part of your home that you may not notice at first is your concrete walkway. It is used every day and takes a pounding from weather and usage. Eventually, the walkway will deteriorate and become uneven. There are several reasons why this has occurred:

  1. Tree roots: Trees and bushes can have large roots. These roots grow under the walkway and push up against both the driveway and the sidewalk. Roots can even break through thick pipes and cables. Depending on the soil and drought conditions, tree roots push up concrete slabs. They become uneven and can also crack or shift. This is a tripping and falling hazard. If it’s the driveway, the shifts and breaks may make it difficult to park or safely drive in and out of the driveway. 
  2. Weather: The sidewalk and driveway are daily exposed to the elements. Weather can be brutal from extreme heat to extreme cold. We see both in Maryland from ice to floods to droughts. We see it all. That variation in extremes causes the soil under the walkway to be washed away. Water can also drag particles out of the soil. The walkway may sink or settle unevenly. shed away. 
  3. Changes in the soil. Though concrete is strong, it will not hold its weight unless it’s reinforced. Most concrete used in sidewalks and driveways is placed directly on the soil. Once the soil shifts, expands, contracts or washes away, this can cause major damage to your sidewalk or driveway. During the drier seasons, the soil shrinks while during the wetter months, the soil expands. Movement occurs in the soil during these extremes, making the concrete sit unevenly or tilt.
  4. Weight. Driveways and sidewalks are designed for parking and walking. They get used often and will wear out. Excessive weight will make driveways and walkways sag. But it isn’t just automobiles and people. Moving pods, storage containers, and packed vehicles can also tilt and crack. The longer these vehicles or containers sit on the driveway, the more likely they will crack. 

where to buy disulfiram If these cracks and tilts are not repaired, they can be a major hazard. Your home foundation repair contractor should be contacted. They may mud jack it. This process is where holes are made in the concrete, down to the base, and the space is filled with a slurry compound. This compound lifts the base of the concrete back to its original position. It’s not always successful if the cause of the uneven walkway is soil issues. 

If you are seeing cracks in your walkway or driveway, contact M. Taylor Enterprise for an inspection. We will analyze it and make recommendations. Our experienced concrete repair team will make the necessary repairs. We specialize in all types of concrete and masonry. When we do masonry repairs to an existing structure, we go out of our way to match the mortar color. Contact us at (301) 649-3406 or at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com for a free consultation.

We serve the the Montgomery County, Maryland area.

Concrete Repair 101: How you repair a concrete home foundation

As we have discussed in this blog many times, it is common to have structural damage in your home’s foundation. *** It may be an older home or a newer home. It doesn’t matter as damage from aging, weather or even poor workmanship can occur and the need to repair the concrete is immediate to protect it from further damage. 

So, if you see cracks in the interior or exterior walls, you have home foundation damage. Other signs include uneven floors in the garage or basement. Windows that do open or close properly or there are gaps between the doors and door frames. (This includes garage doors.)

We have several methods to repair your concrete home foundation. Those methods include:

  1. Helical  pier underpinning 

  2. Carbon fiber straps

  3. House Underpinning: with  concrete

  4. Steel pilaster bracing

One or all of these concrete home foundation repairs can be made. It depends on what your home foundation repair contractor recommends based on the construction of your home, total concrete damage, and type of soil. We recommend you call a licensed, experienced home foundation repair contractor for a thorough consultation.

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve the  Montgomery County, parts of Prince Georges and Howard Counties.

*** Please refer to an earlier blog about home foundation repair here

 

Concrete Repair: How It’s Done

You see it every day when you walk to your car or get the mail. It’s embarrassing and can even be dangerous.

We are talking, of course, about the cracks in your sidewalk, walkway or driveway. Those cracks, which are caused by weather, automobiles, animals, age and just constant usage, take away from the appearance and value of your home. Sidewalk cracks may even cause serious injuries to family members and visitors.

These are common repairs and can be done correctly and efficiently with the right tools, materials and basic understanding of how concrete works. Here are the step-by-step directions to do concrete repair:

  1. Do a properly tamped base. Gas power tamper worksbut use a small roller.
  2. Make sure the reinforcement is up in the concrete and not laying on the ground. We use re-bar on high chair instead of wire mesh.
  3. Proper slump and don’t add too much water. A strong concrete mix is weakened with the overuse of mixing water. If you need to use a higher slump. (Get the correct ad mixture.)
  4. Thickness is so important! We always make our concrete driveways 6” thick.
  5. Proper control and expansion jointsare tooled in and are generally only an inch or so. We saw cut joints deeper the next day after the placement.
  6. Joints need to be at least 1/4 the thickness of the slab. We do 1/3 the thickness of the slab for control joints
  7. Never ever apply water during the finishing process! It weakens the surface cement/water matrixand leads to spalling surface. Please note that if you can’t finish the concrete without the use of adding surface water, you are placing too much concrete or you are short on finishers.
  8. Now apply a curring compound after the concrete placement finishing operations. Spray or roll on helps even in cool weather.
  9. When you strip forms, back-fill around the slab edges with saved soil from the excavation process. Cut and piece in sod at the disturbed areas, when possible.
  10. If you run into unexpected issues such as clay that is pumping and won’t tampor there are old stumps or unexpected old layers of concrete, then the concrete repairs will require the services of an experienced craftsman.
  11. If you end up botching the entire job, don’t fret. Just take it out and have a professional replace it

It’s a pretty involved procedure and requires a lot of detailing and no step can be skipped. Be sure you have ALL the tools and materials before you begin. Also, check the weather forecast for the day you do the repairs. Rain or storms definitely will delay your project. Make sure it is a clear day and not too cold or hot.

However, if this seems too involved or not something you’d like to tackle, then call our professional concrete repair team at M Taylor Enterprise. We can give you an estimate, send a team out to your home or business location and get the job done quickly and efficiently. Call us at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com.