Most homeowners think that the only way to remedy damaged concrete is to replace it, which can be an expensive and time-consuming project. While in some cases replacement may be your only option, it’s not always the right answer. As a contractor for patio construction in Kansas City, MO, we find that residential concrete can often be repaired, saving the homeowner hundreds if not thousands of dollars. The question is, how do you know if concrete repair is the right option for you?
First, let’s take a look at what causes concrete damage in the first place:
- Poor installation: From using an inferior grade of concrete to not prepping the surface properly prior to installation, there are a variety of reasons why the current damage to your concrete may be the result of poor installation.
- Freeze-thaw disintegration: Concrete expands when it freezes and contracts when it thaws. Over time, this freeze-thaw cycle can cause cracks, spalling and even crumbling.
- Foundation shift: If the ground underneath the concrete shifts or settles, it can cause the concrete to crack or sink.
While there are other culprits that may have caused the damage to your concrete, we find that these are the most common. Now that you understand what can cause concrete damage, let’s take a closer look to determine if repair is an option for you:
- Sunken concrete: If you notice that your concrete is sinking or uneven, this is most likely due to poor installation. If the ground was not prepped properly prior to laying the concrete, the concrete will sink or shift as the ground underneath it settles. Unfortunately, if this is the case, replacement is your only option, because this is an issue with the foundation and not with the concrete itself.
- Spalling and surface cracks: Spalling—when the surface of your concrete seems to be flaking away—and surface cracks are often due to freeze-thaw disintegration. Because this damage is usually only to the surface of the concrete, repair is your best option. The loosened concrete is removed, large cracks are patched and then the surface can be prepped and resurfaced.
- Deep or lengthy cracks: If the crack in your concrete is deep (typically deeper than two inches) or stretches across the entire surface of your concrete, this is usually due to a foundation problem. Patching a deep crack will usually only cover up the defect without solving the problem, costing you more money further down the road. Your best option in this instance is to replace.
A good rule of thumb when deciding whether to repair or replace is to determine if the issue is a surface problem or a foundation problem. Surface damage can typically be repaired, but foundation issues require replacement. Either way, it’s always smart to call in the experts rather than risk additional problems and cost down the line. If you’re looking to repair or replace your concrete patio, call MSE Hardscapes LLC, your local experts for patio construction in Kansas City, MO!