When cracks appear in concrete, it’s a sign that your concrete
may need some repair work. Cracks in your driveway can be due to the fact that
soil beneath the concrete slabs are expanding and contracting thanks to periods
of drought followed by rainy spells. This type of natural phenomena adversely
affects concrete works. Your concrete may need to have a touch-up, or undergo
leveling to correct the issue and prevent further damage.
Additionally, if your concrete is severely damaged, it is
more advantageous to replace it. If your concrete is so cracked, it looks
shattered, there is little that can be done to repair it. Similarly, if your
concrete is crumbling or heavily scaled, it is wiser to replace it than even
Cracks do not always lead to the need for replacement,
but you should have a professional
examine them nonetheless. Your concrete might sustain a variety of cracks,
which may result from shrinkage, settling, or structural imbalance. If your
concrete contractor can help you figure out what has caused the cracks, the
contracting team may be able to circumvent more damage. If the cracks are
widespread or very deep, you will probably need to have your concrete replaced.
If the cracking is minimal, repairing the material could be the best solution.
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
When you have a sunken concrete sidewalk, you can simply
have the concrete leveled instead of digging up and replacing altogether.
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
Even the most sound and sturdy structures are destined to
age. With concrete, this isn’t typically difficult to decipher. It may have a
combination of the signs listed above – there are cracks, its uneven (and may
have potholes), and water is pooling. There usually is also an overall dowdy
look about it, so to speak. The coloring is darkened and shabby, and may have
rust streaks. When this is the appearance of your concrete, it is definitely
time to call the experts, to make sure your concrete undergoes a professional
Calculating the cost
of concrete repair or replacement
While many factors can impact the cost, and only a qualified
provider can give a true estimate, the cost for a newly installed standard
concrete driveway will run between $6 and $9 a square foot. So for a
14 x 50 foot driveway, you will spend between $3,500 to $5600 for a newly installed, plain concrete
driveway. Repair costs will vary significantly depending upon repair technique
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.
Trusting in and hiring professionals to repair or replace your concrete
sidewalks provides a number of benefits. It is estimated by many within the
industry that you can save as much as 50% in cost when hiring a professional
over carrying out the project yourself.
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. However, you may have been putting it off because you
are not sure whether it needs to be repaired or replaced, and therefore, how
much it’s going to cost you.