Concrete Repair Vs. Foundation Repair

By Josh Macy / Published on May 16, 2024 /

Concrete leveling for residential and commercial customers in Indiana

In the world of construction and home maintenance, two terms often pop up: concrete repair and foundation repair. While they might seem similar at first glance, they actually address different aspects of a building’s structure. Knowing these differences is important for homeowners and property managers to make informed decisions about maintenance and repairs.

Concrete Repair: Restoring Strength and Appearance

Concrete repair primarily focuses on fixing issues with concrete surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, patios, and floors. Concrete can crack, chip, or become uneven over time because of things like weather, water erosion, or bad installation. Concrete repair aims to restore the structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of these surfaces.

Large driveway crack
Large crack in concrete driveway

Three Common Concrete Issues:

  1. Cracks: Cracks in concrete can occur mostly because of settlement or freeze-thaw cycles here in Indiana. They not only compromise the appearance but also weaken the structure, potentially leading to further damage if left unaddressed.
  2. Spalling is when the concrete surface chips or flakes because of moisture or freeze-thaw damage. It not only looks unsightly but also exposes the underlying concrete to further deterioration.
  3. Uneven concrete surfaces, like sunken or raised areas, are unsafe and make a property look less attractive. These issues can arise because of soil erosion, poor compaction, or tree root intrusion.

Common Concrete Repair Solutions:

  • Sealing Cracks and Joints: Cleaning and filling cracks with specialized sealants to prevent water penetration and reinforce the structure.
  • Fix sunken concrete slabs by injecting material underneath them. This method, called mud jacking or slab jacking, helps lift and level the slabs.
  • Grinding smooths rough surfaces to make them safer, but it may not make them look better or prevent future issues.
  • Drainage Correction: Improving drainage around your home and concrete surfaces to mitigate water-related issues and prevent further damage.

Foundation Repair: Addressing Structural Stability

Foundation repair is about fixing issues with the base support system of a house or building, called the foundation. A strong and stable foundation is essential for maintaining the structural integrity of a property.

crack in bedroom wall foundation

Foundation problems may appear as cracks in walls or floors. Doors and windows may also become difficult to open. Additionally, floors may become uneven.

Three Common Foundation Issues:

  1. Cracks in foundation walls, whether they are horizontal or stair-step, indicate pressure from soil movement or hydrostatic pressure. This can weaken the structural stability of the foundation.
  2. Uneven settlement of the foundation can cause floors to slope, walls to crack, and doors to not close properly. This can occur because of soil shrinkage, poor compaction, or water-related issues.
  3. Foundation heaving happens when the foundation moves upward. Soil expanding, frost action, or tree roots growing into the foundation can cause this. This can result in cracked floors, walls, and other structural damage.

Common Foundation Repair Solutions:

  • Underpinning: Strengthening and stabilizing the foundation by installing additional support beneath existing footings or piers.
  • Piering and piling involve driving steel poles into the ground to lift and stabilize a sinking foundation.
  • Carbon Fiber Reinforcement: Installing carbon fiber straps or sheets to reinforce and stabilize bowed or cracked foundation walls.
  • Fixing grading and drainage issues to prevent water damage and improve drainage around the foundation to avoid future problems.

Making Informed Decisions

Concrete repair and foundation repair fix structural problems in buildings, but they target different areas. Concrete repair fixes the surface, while foundation repair ensures the stability of the whole structure. Homeowners and property managers can prevent costly repairs by recognizing signs of damage and understanding differences. Taking proactive steps helps maintain properties in good condition.

Our team can provide reliable solutions tailored to your needs for cracked driveways or sinking concrete.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you ‘levelup’ the strength and stability of your property!

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