Be on the Watch for Concrete Cracks this Summer
The Birmingham forecast for the next few days shows increased temperatures and chances of rain. As temperatures rise this summer, homeowners have several things to worry about. What if your yard or plants wilt or dry up? What if summer storms cause damage to your home? What if there is a problem with your air conditioner? What if humidity causes moisture-related issues in your home? The last thing homeowners want is to have one more thing to worry about this summer.
Unfortunately, there is another part of your home that may be affected by the warmer weather–your foundation. Concrete slab foundations may develop cracks due to dry and hot summer days as well as the upcoming summer rains. Any other concrete slabs on your property – driveways, sidewalks, patios, etc. – could also suffer damage from extreme heat or excess water. Foundation cracks and other issues can lead to major structural damage to the rest of your home, and should not be left to worsen. Uneven concrete slabs are also dangerous, as they are a major cause of trips and falls. Contact Affordable Foundation and Home Repair today to ensure that you, your home, and your family stay safe – our expert concrete repair contractors can help.
Prevent Summer Concrete Problems in Your Alabama Home
You can help to prevent concrete slab issues this summer by taking some of the following steps:
- Water around your concrete foundation during summer droughts to prevent shrinkage and keep the water level consistent throughout the year.
- Protect against excess moisture in the foundation with proper waterproofing, such as French drains and sump pumps.
- Ensure that your landscaping does not endanger your concrete by keeping large plants from growing too close and ensuring the yard is properly sloped to allow water to drain away from the foundation or slab.
- Have concrete patios or sidewalks sealed to keep water from being absorbed into the concrete and weakening it.
Try these tips to keep your concrete in good condition. If you already have concrete problems in your Alabama home, contact Affordable for a free repair estimate.
Summer Concrete Problems in Alabama
Some concrete problems may not be preventable. That is why it is important to examine your home for signs of an issue and call a professional if you have concerns. The most common concrete problems to appear during the summertime are cracks and shifting of the concrete. Read below for more details on why these problems might occur and what to look for during the warmer months of the year:
There are a variety of ways that concrete cracks may develop in your foundation or concrete slab this summer. If the weather is particularly dry and hot, it may cause the soil under the concrete to shrink. This causes the foundation to shift, and uneven pressure on various portions of the concrete may lead to cracks. Build up of hydrostatic pressure in the ground due to excessive amounts of rain can also cause cracks. The added pressure applied to the concrete from the surrounding soil can cause it to crack or shift. Excess water might also collect around the foundation or slab, soaking into the concrete and weakening it, making it more likely to develop cracks. While fine concrete cracks may be a sign of normal home aging, cracks 1/8 inch or wider, cracks accompanied by uneven settlement, or vertical foundation cracks should be repaired by a professional as soon as possible. Affordable’s concrete repair contractors are known as The Crack Guys and can handle any cracks in your concrete.
Your concrete might start to shift if the soil underneath it shifts, or if something puts added pressure on it. In many cases, concrete shifting in the summer is due to hydrostatic pressure. When it rains, the soil will soak in water and expand, putting added pressure on the concrete and causing the slab to shift. If there are trees, shrubs, or other large plants growing near the foundation, the roots may push on the concrete and cause it to shift.If your foundation is shifting, it may cause walls to bow or lean, and gaps may form between the walls and floor or the walls and ceiling. Shifting in concrete slabs may create an uneven surface and lead to tripping hazards.
In addition to causing concrete cracks or shifting, hydrostatic pressure or soil shrinkage can cause the foundation to settle or heave. Foundation settlement can also be caused by poor soil compaction. If the soil that the concrete rests on was not properly packed down before the concrete was poured, it may start to compact settle unevenly, taking the above concrete slab down with it. Erosion might also be a cause of slab settlement. If sudden, heavy rains wash away soil under the concrete, voids and empty spaces will form. Since these voids cannot support the above concrete, the slab will settle unevenly, creating a dangerous or sloped surface above.
Repair Options from Our Professional Concrete Repair Contractors
Known as The Crack Guys, the concrete contractors at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair provide several solutions to fix all sorts of concrete issues that may arise this summer, whether they are caused by heat or summer rains:
- Steel Piers: Underpinning the foundation with steel push piers or push piers can help lift sagging concrete and restore strength back to the concrete slab.
- Plate Anchors/Tiebacks: Plate anchors and helical tiebacks are solutions used to straighten and secure shifted concrete foundations.
- Polyjacking: If your slab has sunk and cracked, it may be fixed with polyjacking, which involves injecting an expansive foam under the slab to lift and steady it.
If you find an issue with any concrete slabs in your home or on your property, contact Affordable Foundation and Home Repair for concrete repair solutions.