Concrete is one of the sturdy building material that is
tough and versatile and so it can be used for a wide range of projects from
stabilizing structures to creating walkways and other constructions. Concrete
offers several advantages over other materials due to its durability and
uniform surface finish. But concrete in any form has a tendency to crack over
time as it’s constantly subjected to the elements.
Chipped, sunken or uneven, these visible damages are not only
eyesores, but they can also become a liability is neglected. Now that the
decision is made to remedy the damage, you have two possible choices: repair or replace.
But how do you determine when to replace or when to repair
the concrete surface? When deciding whether to repair or replace concrete that
has become damaged or cracked, you must consider whether or not the concrete is
worth fixing: how concrete degrades, as well as how your concrete surface might
deteriorate over time. In some cases, repairing is the most cost effective
while in some cases, total replacement makes more sense. For example, small
cracks and isolated damage is worth fixing rather than taking on the cost of
replacement but there are scenarios where the subgrade is at fault, replacement is always the best option. This
will help you to decide whether you require concrete replacement or repairs.
Exploring What Kinds of Concrete Services Suit Your Needs
Over time and faced with different weather elements, cracks
can gradually appear on concrete sidewalks and driveways or when the weight of
large vehicles or an improperly prepared subgrade can lead to cracks. Cracks do
not always lead to the need for replacement but nonetheless have it evaluated
Your concrete might sustain a variety of cracks, which may
result from shrinkage, settling, or structural imbalance. Your concrete may
need to have a touch-up, or undergo leveling to correct the issue and prevent
Additionally, if your concrete is severely damaged, it is
more advantageous to replace it. Sometimes the weight of large vehicles or an
improperly prepared subgrade can lead to deep cracks. If those cracks spread
all the way through concrete and are widespread across its surface, it will
need to be completely replaced. Leaving the cracks will allow moisture to enter
the concrete and create even greater damage as it freezes and thaws, thus
expanding and contracting. Similarly, if your concrete is crumbling or heavily
scaled, it is wiser to replace it than even attempt repair.
When the subgrade (the compacted level of soil underneath
the concrete) is not properly prepared, such as when loose dirt is used, and
the land begins to settle, you might notice unevenness in the slab. The
settlement will cause the concrete to sink along the cracks or the seams. Sunken
concrete sidewalks will continue to sink over time as each season the sunken
concrete sidewalks will collect more and more moisture, adding weight. The
moisture stays put as a result of soil erosion occurring beneath and between
concrete slabs. Because this problem starts with the subgrade, it requires a
If you suddenly notice that your concrete, whether a
horizontal driveway or a vertical wall, seems uneven and not as smooth as it was
originally, this may be a serious issue that requires immediate attention.
Uneven concrete may be attributed to weathering or shoddy foundation work, and
it will continue to break and crumble if ignored, possibly leading to injury
Uneven concrete sidewalks create a particularly difficult
situation as they pose immediate issues and safety hazards. They also create an
eyesore, doing great damage to visual appeal of your property.
In cold climate, the moisture in the ground is frozen solid
which thrusts the concrete upward. This phenomenon is known as frost heaving. Again,
because this damage occurs due to the subgrade, it requires removal and
replacement of the concrete with a new subgrade.
When concrete becomes pitted, flaked, or chipped, this is
referred to as spalling. While this might be only a cosmetic aberration, it can
also indicate structural damage. You should talk to a trusted commercial
concrete contractor to decide whether repair or replacement is advisable.
Similarly, if your concrete is crumbling or heavily scaled, it is wiser to
replace it than even attempt repair.
Water Pooling on
Concrete Driveways and Patios
When water collects and pools on your concrete structures
following rain, this may be a sign that your concrete is not allowing for
natural drainage. This is generally the first sign that will lead to worse wear
on your concrete if it is not addressed quickly. While your concrete structures
should have been finished with a waterproof coat upon installation, this is something
that can wear away due to weathering over time, so you may need to have areas
repaired, replaced and finally waterproofed again.
Has an Overall Aged
Over time, even the sound and sturdy structures begin to
age. It isn’t difficult to see aging in concrete – it may have a combination of
aforementioned signs and can also have dull or worn out look. If you have such
appearance of your concrete, it’s definitely time to replace your concrete
Calculating the cost
of concrete repair or replacement
Many factors can impact the cost, and only a qualified provider
can give a true estimate. Repair costs will vary significantly depending upon
repair technique used.
Who to call for
concrete repair and replacements
Once you have made the decision about repair or replacement
of the concrete, you are ready to make a call to a concrete provider. Sure, you
may have urges to run out to the local hardware or box store to pick up some
quick fix concrete to conduct these repairs yourself—this is not recommended. Hire
a professional to do the job and you can reap many benefits. Get several quotes
to ensure you are getting a fair price. Also make plans for alternate routes or
parking space because the area may be unusable for a period of time. Both
repairs and replacement usually require subgrade work, and this will make the
concrete usable for the duration of the project.
Whether you have been aware that your concrete is damaged
for a while, or you have just started to notice cracks, it is important for you
to take care of it ASAP.