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Concrete Lifting

The concrete structures on your property are subject to wear and tear, damage, and failure. Learn more about how you can protect these areas in and around your home.

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Does your driveway, sidewalk, or patio appear to be sinking into the surrounding soil? Do your concrete slabs look uneven? Does your concrete have unsightly cracks running through it? If so, then your concrete may need to be repaired or lifted. Concrete lifting and stabilization are necessary – especially if you live in an area where there is frequent rainfall and loose soils. At Foundation Systems of Michigan, we use innovative technologies – such as PolyRenewal™ – to easily lift and stabilize your sunken concrete.  

We use PolyRenewal™, which involves lifting the concrete with polyurethane foam. This foam fills cracks and voids in your concrete, eliminating the cracks and lifting the concrete. PolyRenewal™ foam is lightweight as well as fast-acting. It also serves as a permanent solution that will stay lifted as the foam consistently expands to fill any open crevices. Also safe for the environment, PolyRenewal™ is a more effective solution than mudjacking, an outdated technique that involves pumping a slurry of concrete under concrete slabs, lifting them as pressure is created.  


Causes of Concrete Problems

There are several different causes involved that can directly damage your concrete.

Just as your home needs a sturdy foundation, so do the other concrete structures around your property like your concrete driveway, sidewalk, steps, patio, and pool deck. The underlying soil is responsible for the support or lack thereof for your concrete. If it was not properly compacted during construction or if it is too loose and washes away or erodes, damage in the form of voids, gaps, cracks, sinking, and unevenness can result. These problems also present safety and aesthetic hazards.

Concrete is a strong material, but it is not immune to damage. This is especially true if the concrete slabs for structures like your sidewalk, driveway, pool deck, steps, or patio were not constructed properly. If a mistake was made when the concrete was poured, such as too much or too little water used in the mix or an uneven pour, your concrete can fall victim to various problems. It can crack, weaken, sink, and become uneven, which not only makes your property look bad but also creates safety hazards for your family.

Depending on the type and their location, the trees on your property could end up damaging your concrete slabs. As trees mature and grow, so do their roots in search of water and nutrients. Some trees have intricate, invasive root systems that can move the soil underneath the concrete to leave voids the slabs can settle into. Roots also can get too close to the concrete slabs themselves and break through and crack them.

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Is Concrete Lifting the Right Solution for Me? 

Cracked, uneven concrete is not just unsightly, it can also be dangerous. It can cause people to trip and fall, resulting in minor to major injuries. Sunken concrete can cause the stairs connected to your concrete sidewalk or patio to sag. This can potentially lead to missteps. Damage to your concrete also lessens the value of your property. No one wants to purchase a home with cracked, uneven concrete. For this reason, it is important to make sure your concrete looks its best, especially if you plan on reselling your home in the near future. 

You can rest assured knowing that our concrete repair experts are equipped with the knowledge and resources to tackle your concrete problems. Keeping your concrete in excellent shape is imperative. After all, the majority of your home’s foundation is made of concrete. If you’re unsure if your concrete needs repair, FSM provides FREE, no-obligation inspections.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! 

FAQS

Many homeowners believe that concrete is indestructible. Although used for virtually every building, driveway, and sidewalk, concrete is still a porous material. This means that it has thousands of tiny pores within it that water can easily flow through and cause damage. When water sits on top of concrete for a prolonged period it can cause it to crack and become uneven. The same goes for your home’s foundation. When water sits around your foundation, whether in the soil or around the base, it can cause severe structural damage. 

In the majority of cases, there’s not much that a homeowner can do to fix concrete cracks, sinking slabs, and uneven concrete surfaces.  

Why Concrete Lifting is a Specialist Job 

When working with professionals, rest assured the tools and products needed to lift the concrete were selected by licensed professionals after years of experience on the job. Even smaller and cosmetic changes will require a specialist to use the proper process, tools, and techniques. It’s not an easy task or something homeowners would want to worry about.   

Most concrete-related issues faced by homeowners in Michigan are a product of the local weather conditions and local professionals operate with this in mind. Michigan gets 38 inches of rainfall at the most. Southern parts of the state are the wettest and the northeast is the driest. June is usually the month with the most rainfall. These weather conditions are caused by proximity to the Great Lakes and they are enough to cause the soil to erode. That in turn causes concrete slabs to sink, shift, and crack.  

Save Yourself Time and Money 

A lot of the time the homeowners want to fix their own properties in order to save money. This is reasonable and it often works since repairs are expensive. However, this isn’t one of those cases. The damage that the amateur can cause can often be more expensive than the repair done by the experts. Trying to fix the sinking foundation yourself will actually cost you more than calling a professional right away. 

The same goes for the time spent. A lot of time and effort is needed to diagnose the problem in the first place. Doing so means that you can’t start the repairs until you’ve figured out what’s caused the damage. It’s a waste of time therefore and you would have been better off letting the free inspection find the source of the problem and provide you with ideas on how to solve it. This shouldn’t be an issue of pride but of efficiency and choosing what’s best for your home. 

There are cases in which the only way to go is to replace the damaged concrete. But that’s a rare occasion. If there are other options such as lifting and repairing the concrete, you should consider that instead of replacing it. 

Replacing Concrete May Be Expensive 

Replacing the concrete altogether is one of the most expensive repairs you can do. This sort of repair will disturb your home life and cause a mess in your home and yard for at least a while. It’s also important to note that simply replacing the concrete won’t fix the underlying issue that has caused the slab to crack in the first place.  

When you compare the costs of replacing the concrete with that of fixing it, you’ll see why no one wants to do it unless they absolutely have to. Contact the professionals and let them provide you with a range of other options. Don’t hesitate to try them out before replacing the concrete. 

The Underlying Issues Need to be Addressed 

It’s important to note that the cracks and chips in the concrete are just a symptom and it’s not enough to fix them unless you fix the cause of the problem. That’s also the case when you remove and replace the whole concrete slab. That underlying issue is often about the soil and climate surrounding your home. 

When the cause of the cracked concrete problems is found in the soil you’ll need to put in place measures that will help you fix the underlying issue first. Sometimes that means that you’ll have unplanned expenses to cover as well, but that’s the price of having a long-term solution.  An expert will help you plan for those expenses and take you through the repair process step by step.

A lot of the time homeowners wait too long and don’t fix the issues with their concrete cracks right away. That’s sometimes because it seems it’s a minor problem and sometimes because the repairs seem to be too expensive or too tiresome. It’s a mistake to wait too long since that will only make the problem worse and the solution more expensive. 

Waiting Is A Bad Idea 

The mistake in waiting to start the repairs is in the fact that it isn’t a guarantee that things won’t become worse. It could get worse, and the concrete won’t be salvageable at all. If that happens, there’s no way to fix it but to replace it altogether. This is a much more expansive solution and one that’s more intrusive and more of a burden on your home life, once it’s underway. 

The Benefits of Acting Quickly 

There are numerous benefits, however, in not waiting too long, but acting quickly as soon as you notice that the cracks are something to worry about. The most obvious advantage is in the fact that the repair will be faster and less expensive. Acting quickly also means that you don’t have to go into difficult repairs such as replacing the whole concrete. 

On top of that, the problems with the structure of your home can also cause the foundation itself to be damaged. If you do not act quickly this can happen and you’ll end up having to repair the foundation itself rather than just the concrete on top of it. It’s much more expensive and difficult and you would do best to avoid it by acting right away.

No homeowner likes to dig around their home and pouring chemicals into the ground doesn’t sound too fun either. However, it’s usually the best way to get the job done, and the tools used to do it have changed greatly. PolyRenewal is the tool we at the Foundation Systems of Michigan use and it’s the best one we got both in terms of efficiency and its effect on the soil. 

Environmentally Friendly 

Polyurethane is the main component of the PolyRenewal foam and it’s non-toxic enough to be a standard part of any construction project. The solution was tested and proven to be safe without any negative effects on the environment in which it’s used. The substance is also durable and easy to mold based on the needs of a particular job site. 

It’s a safe substance to use around the soil since it won’t affect it in any way. Sometimes it can get in touch with the water supply but it won’t affect it either. Humans or animals are equally safe around the substance and it won’t react with the soil that makes up the garden of your home. The foam shouldn’t get into your eyes and you shouldn’t eat it, but that’s why it’s installed by professionals with the proper safety equipment in place.

If you cannot decide between replacing your concrete and repairing the damage, here are several perks of concrete lifting you should know about. 

It Is a Money Saver 

As you probably know, replacing concrete doesn’t come cheap. It is estimated that concrete repair is 33% of the cost of concrete replacement. Now that gives you something to think about! 

In addition, concrete lifting is an eco-friendly option. It is a renewable method since less cement is needed. Furthermore, your landscaping will remain intact. In other words, your lawn and your plants won’t have to be replaced after the project is complete. 

It’s Durable 

With concrete lifting, you will be able to be at ease knowing that you have invested in a durable solution. Not only that you won’t have to worry about concrete settlement again, but your repaired concrete will actually be much stronger than it originally was. 

Also, the whole process is much quicker than replacement. To replace your old concrete you will first have to remove all the pieces. With concrete lifting, contractors will inject the polyurethane foam which cures very quickly. Afterward, you will be able to use your concrete surface like nothing happened.

Why Concrete Lifting is Needed

key in door

Increases Property Value

Like a lot of homeowners, you may eventually decide to sell your home. Cracked, uneven concrete is not very appealing to prospective buyers. If you would like to increase your home’s value on the market, then you should definitely look into long-lasting solutions to repair your home’s concrete before you try to sell your property. Because damaged concrete can lead to accidents and falls, it is extremely important that you repair your concrete. Concrete remediation can be what sets your home apart from others listed on the market. Repairing your concrete will increase your home’s property value, ensuring you get a larger check when you sell.

cracked uneven concrete sidewalk

Limits Injuries

As previously mentioned, damaged concrete can lead to accidents, like tripping on uneven concrete or slipping on water let in from cracks in your concrete. If someone does trip and fall due to your concrete’s damaged state, then you – as the homeowner – can be held liable for any injuries that may occur. You and your family are also susceptible to injuries, which can vary from minor to severe. Concrete damage can make your sidewalk uneven, causing any structures around it – such as stairs – to crack and sag. Sagging steps can lead to missteps, and cracked concrete can cause injuries by allowing water to come through voids in the concrete.

water damage in basement

Prevents Water Leaks and Damage

Because your concrete rests on the soil around your home, cracks and voids can cause water from the soil to seep through. This can lead to puddles of standing water. This water can not only damage your personal belongings, but it can also lead to mold growth, which can be damaging to your health. Much of the weather in Michigan is wet, with large snowmelts in cities like Grand Rapids and year-round rainfall in cities like Kalamazoo. Because Michigan has such a wet environment, the soil is frequently permeated with water. Cracked concrete is one of the main sources of water in or around your home. 

Common Concrete Lifting Tips & Mistakes  

Tips on Concrete Lifting

  • As part of your home’s annual maintenance, you should be checking for signs of damage to your concrete. Cracks, uneven slabs, and sunken concrete are all signs that your sidewalk, patio, or driveway should be repaired.  
  • Most of the time, leaks and standing water can be attributed to cracks in your home’s concrete.  If you see standing water, always check for any cracks or voids it may have come through. It’s important to catch water leaks before water damage can occur and mold can flourish. 
  • Always do your research before proceeding with lifting and stabilizing your concrete. It is best for you to hire someone with experience rather than attempt to repair the concrete on your own. 

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid outdated concrete repair solutions such as mudjacking. We now advise the use of polyurethane foam – also called PolyRenewal™ — to lift and stabilize your home’s sunken, uneven, and cracked concrete.
  • Concrete lifting and stabilization is not A DIY job that you can tackle over a weekend, so please do not attempt to fix the problems yourself. Contact us at FSM. We’ll make sure your problem is fixed with skill and precision. 
  • Do not ignore standing water or puddles. Water seeps in through cracks and voids in your concrete. If the source of the leak is not repaired or patched up, then you are putting your home and property at risk for water damage. 

Find your service area

Alpena

Alpena

Contact DryMich today for your basement waterproofing, crawl space, foundation repair, and water management in Alpena!

Jackson

Jackson

Contact DryMich today for your basement waterproofing, crawl space, foundation repair, and water management in Jackson!

Newberry

Newberry

Contact DryMich today for your basement waterproofing, crawl space, foundation repair, and water management in Newberry!

Detroit

Detroit

Detroit’s humid climate spells trouble for homeowners due to soil expansion and shrinkage. This can cause old and new houses alike to suffer from many foundation problems, such as settling, leaking, wall cracks, and warped window frames.

Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is a city that’s no stranger to humidity, which is why many of its homeowners suffer from foundation problems. Concrete settling, mold, bowing walls, and flooded basements can all be linked to soil.

Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo

The constant presence of rain in Kalamazoo can alter the structural integrity of basements, crawl spaces, and foundations, with leakage and damage soon to follow. FSM provides various solutions, making structural problems and water damage a thing of the past.

Lansing

Lansing

Year-round rain can interfere with your home in Lansing, resulting in damages that are problematic and dangerous. FSM offers numerous solutions to homeowners, so you can live comfortably and safely.

Saginaw

Saginaw

Saginaw, MI, often faces plenty of moisture issues from heavy rains and snows. How can FSM protect your home from moisture damage?

Sault Ste. Marie-St. Ignace

Sault Ste. Marie-St. Ignace

Like most parts of Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie sees a consistent amount of rainfall throughout the entire year. Foundation and crawl space problems, as well as basement flooding, are all problems caused by water and soil.

Toledo

Toledo

Given how hot and humid Toledo’s summers are and how rainy it gets during the fall, chances are, you’re struggling with some sort of basement or foundation issue. The conditions of the lower part of your home have a profound effect on the entire structure.

Traverse City

Traverse City

Since most of the houses in Traverse City are 19 years older than the United States’ average, it’s safe to say that many homeowners in this region are experiencing issues with their old, weathered structures.

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