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Common Problems with Concrete Around Your Home

Your concrete can suffer from increasingly challenging conditions over time. What kind of damage should you be on the lookout for?

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The concrete you have in place around your home isn’t immune to damage. Over the years, it can start to take on signs of wear that may look superficial but that are far more concerning. Damaged concrete does more than just make your patio or basement floor less pleasant to look at. These cracks can be a sign of the kind of structural decay that could put the overall integrity and stability of your home at risk. 

concrete crack

Addressing Short-Term Concrete Problems 

Some of the common problems you can run into with concrete reveal themselves early. These sorts of problems can be dealt with before they evolve into something more severe. As a new homeowner without the measures in place to protect your concrete, you may find yourself contending with: 

Damage from Early Cutting 

Concrete during its curing phase is more sensitive than it may seem. If concrete cures too quickly, it can become brittle upon hardening and dissolve with greater ease. Alternatively, if a construction team cuts concrete before it’s had the opportunity to completely dry, the cut edges may be more prone to damage. 

In most cases, this damage is superficial. However, you’ll want to get a handle on it before larger chunks of your pour start to break off from your select structures. 

Cracks 

Concrete that isn’t protected from the effects of rain and standing water can also begin to crack shortly after your initial pour. While not all cracks are dangerous, even superficial cracks can put your family’s safety at risk. The longer you leave these cracks, the more likely it is that they’ll expand and become more dangerous or allow additional moisture into the compromised structure, not to mention the ground around your home. 

Mistakes During Construction 

Sometimes, the team who poured your concrete accessories makes mistakes. For example, a team may unevenly pour your concrete out. In these cases, it’s in your best interest to invest in a repour. Uneven concrete tends to sink over time, and it presents an immediate threat to the safety of your family. 

Contending with Long-Term Concrete Problems 

While short-term concrete problems are straightforward to deal with, they can also be easy to miss or ignore. Unfortunately, failing to take care of these smaller problems can be costly in the long run. For example, homeowners five to 10 years into homeownership can start to see some of the following common concrete problems across their property: 

Concrete Crawl 

The term “concrete crawl” refers to the process through which concrete expands and contracts. Concrete that heats up and cools down too quickly can outgrow its originally poured confines and it can begin to push the structural supports you have surrounding your home out of their original positions. This kind of growth compromises the integrity of your concrete as well as the rest of your home. To combat this kind of damage, you may need to repour the damaged concrete and either shore up or replace the structural supports that have moved out of place. 

Erosion 

Concrete is far more porous than its smooth surface might suggest. Concrete that’s suffered from long-term exposure to moisture can begin to erode. You may notice your porch or driveway crumbling around the edges after several years of heavy snow and rain. Alternatively, you may notice your patio picking in the middle. Fixing this kind of damage can involve repouring your concrete. To explore all your potential avenues for repairs you’ll want to reach out to the professional contractors in your area. 

Why Is Your Concrete Damaged? 

While there are a few different forces—soil, tree roots, and pests, for example—that can cause your concrete to start showing signs of wear, hydrostatic pressure is the biggest offender in the world of damaged concrete. 

Hydrostatic pressure builds up around your home’s concrete structures when water starts to pool in the area, be it underground or on the concrete’s surface. That water can cause your concrete to shrink and expand on a molecular level. If your concrete changes size too rapidly, as it does in the case of concrete crawl, it can find itself under a significant amount of stress. If that stress grows to the point where it outweighs the forces keeping your concrete together, your structures can crack and otherwise begin to take on damage. 

Repairing Damaged Concrete Around Your Home 

You are under no obligation to try and fix the damaged concrete around your home without professional guidance. Attempting DIY concrete repair may do more harm to your home than good. You can, however, reach out to the professional contractors serving Grand Rapids, MI

The expert team at FSM can look over your home’s various concrete accessories with you and determine whether or not they are in good health. If you’re in need of repairs or if you want to explore the protective measures that may help you limit the kind of damage you see in the future, these pros can help you find the means to begin. To get started, you can request a free inspection and repair quote

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