Skip to Main Content

Sinking Concrete Slabs

Many homes in the Detroit area have problems with sinking concrete slabs. It's an issue to be resolved with the help of experts.

Get A Free Estimate

If you notice the concrete slabs around your home settling. It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a sign that you need to take action. 

If this is happening outside, there are safety concerns to take into account. Uneven concrete slabs are a tripping hazard and it’s best to fix them up before anyone trips and hurts themselves. This is especially true if it’s happening around a pool. It’s best to contact an expert at Foundation Systems of Michigan to assess the problem and suggest how to fix it. 

Signs of settling problems 

Uneven concrete slabs will become worse and more noticeable as the settling gets worse. It can cause injuries, especially if it’s in an area with a lot of use. The best thing you can do is to react as soon as you can. 

uneven slab

Wobbling  

Sometimes the slab won’t sink but there will be signs that the soil beneath it can’t withstand the weight. One of such signs is wobbling. The slab will feel flimsy and unsound. It’s important not to place any weight on the slab if it’s wobbly. That will make the soil even more prone to settling and increase the speed of the process. 

Cracks  

Cacks on the slab itself are also a sign of the settling problem.  This happens because the slab doesn’t have a sturdy foundation and it can’t withstand the pressure anymore. In most cases, the cracks will appear around the edges since that’s where the most settling will take place. 

Unevenness 

Unevenness is the most common sign of the soil settling beneath the slab. The settling happens over time and it’s a slow process. Most homeowners don’t even notice the problem until it becomes serious enough that it needs to be addressed.  

Pooling Water 

It’s easier to notice that the slab has started to settle, after rain. Water begins to puddle on the slab and it serves as a sign of trouble with the concrete and the soil beneath it. Pooling water can also cause problems of its own. They cause drainage issues since the water in the concrete will soak the soil and put pressure on the home. 

Void Under the Slab 

It’s important to inspect the edge of the slab where the concrete meets the soil. That’s a good indicator of settling since you’ll be able to feel the void between the slab and the soil when there’s a problem with settling. An exposure between the two is common and that’s because the soil has washed away. It happens with the topsoil first, so this is an easy test to undertake. 

How To Fix Concrete Settling 

The best solution for sinking concrete is a polyurethane foam injection. Here at FSM we use PolyRenewal Injections. That’s a revolutionary method for fixing sunken concrete and one that was proven to work better than any other. 

It’s done by drilling small penny-sized holes in the concrete slab. The foam is then injected into the holes and expands. That’s what will fill in the gaps and lift the concrete in the process. Our crew monitors the amount of foam used so that the concrete is raised only as much as it needs to be. The process takes about 30 minutes, including the time it takes for the foam to harden. 

The process for doing this is rather simple. The machines used to inject the foam are small and easy to handle which means they are a perfect fit for the difficult places to reach within your household. The holes that need to be drilled are rather small and they are easy to fill in without damaging the concrete. 

However, the most important feature of a PolyRenewal injection isn’t about how convenient it is, even though that’s important. The best feature it offers is in the fact that it fixed the cause of the problem. The cause is in the soil and PolyRenewal lifts up and feels up the soil and not just the concrete beneath it. It also creates a barrier that will prevent the water from damaging it further. 

Since PolyRenewal foam is rather light, it doesn’t put any additional pressure on the soil. There’s no need for mixing it with cement which is rather heavy and sturdy and can further damage the soil. All of this combined makes it the best solution for dealing with sinking concrete slabs. 

Sinking Concrete Slabs

FAQs

There’s always something that you can do and fix up around the house. Therefore, many homeowners decide to wait before fixing sinking concrete. That’s understandable but it isn’t always wise. It’s best not to wait too long before addressing the concrete issue since it will get worse over time. It can also be a sign of an additional problem or a cause of it as is the case when the water pools in the concrete that’s sinking further down. 

How Concrete Settling Can Be Dangerous  

A concrete slab that keeps settling is a safety hazard. That’s one of the reasons it causes the home to lose its value. It’s rather easy to slip and fall over an uneven concrete slab. 

This is especially an issue for kids and the elderly who have issues with balance. It’s best to address the problem as soon as you can so that you don’t put your loved ones in danger any longer than you have to. 

Concrete slabs are more likely to break as they begin to settle. Concrete is often seen as a reliable and sturdy material and it is just that. However, even though it’s not losing volume under pressure, it still doesn’t have the strength and can crack while settling. 

Why It Breaks 

What’s known as tensile strength refers to the ability of concrete to handle pressure. It measures the amount of tension a structure will take before it breaks. When the pressure is evenly dispersed throughout the slab it will have a harder time breaking and it can handle more weight pressing on it. When the slab settles the pressure is no longer distributed evenly and it cracks. 

This happens more often with outdoor slabs that often need to support more weight. The most common example is the driveway since the cars moving on top of it cause the slab to sink in after it was driven back and forth countless times. The same thing happens with a patio that carries the weight of the furniture and those who use it. 

How to prevent the concrete from breaking? 

The bigger the cracks are, the more difficult it is to repair. Replacing the whole slab can be expensive and complicated. The best course of action is to prevent the slab from breaking as much as you can. That means that you should react quickly and address the problem as soon as you notice signs of sinking. 

The concrete can start to flake off and that’s usually a sign that there’s something wrong with the concrete itself. However, there are different types of flaking and you should try to figure out what kind of flaking you’re dealing with.  The two main types to have in mind are known as pitting and flaking. They are similar in appearance but they have different causes. Inspect the concrete before you proceed with a solution. 

Concrete Pitting  

Pitting is caused by problems with the way the concrete is produced or poured. It only shows after a while, when the concrete is no longer curing. The structural problem with the concrete itself is something that you can’t fix. Such concrete is weak and it breaks easily. You should be careful about the signs of the slab settling. 

Pitting is easily spotted by small craters that form on the surface of the concrete slab. The craters are only visible on the surface but they are still enough to break the slab open and when they do, it’s easy to notice that the crater was running deep.  These craters can appear sporadically or they can be grouped together so that it appears that a part has broken off. 

Concrete Flaking  

Concrete flaking seems like a similar problem to pitting but it isn’t one since it’s caused by an external force. One of the most common causes of this damage is the freeze-thaw damage that creates micro craters on the surface of the slab. When these become too much, the slab flakes off. It doesn’t indicate a problem with the way the slab was constructed or poured. If a big chunk of the slab flakes off you won’t see any crater inside, meaning that the damage is surface level. 

Flaking affects settling as well even though it’s a surface problem. When the surface of the slab becomes weaker and more porous the water has an easier time getting to the soil and thus causing the slab to sink in the process. A flaking slab will also lose its structure over time and it’s more likely to break. 

Call Us When you have a problem with a Sinking Slab 

When you notice that your concrete slabs are sinking you should call our experts and have as figure out the cause and the next course of action 

Our team will also provide an option of lifting the concrete up using PolyRenewal Injections. We have experience in the field and the proper tools to do the job. Call us and get a free estimate on what to do next. 

The inspection and estimate will be completed within a day and we’ll provide you with a written quote without any obligation to use our service. Our crew use award winning tools and processes to make sure your home repairs are done at the expert level. 

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

FSM Map 2

Proudly Serving Northern, Central and Southeastern Michigan & Northern Ohio

Grand Rapids Office

5985 Clay Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Livonia Headquarters

32985 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150

Traverse City Office

3805 Elmers Industrial Drive
Traverse City, MI 49685