What Causes Concrete to Settle?

What Causes Concrete to Settle?

Do you have cracks in your concrete floors or slabs? Have you noticed your floors sinking and separating from your walls? If you have, you may be experiencing concrete settling under the foundation of your building. Concrete settling is when the soil beneath the foundation changes and causes it to shift, sink or crack. Concrete foundations are essential for homes and buildings. They provide solid and stable support for the weight of the building. Without a solid foundation, your building could potentially collapse over time. Many factors cause concrete settlement, but some of the most common ones are:

  1. Soil with too much moisture- The most common reason your concrete slab is settling is water. Flooding or heavy rain can cause soil to become too soft, which can cause concrete to sink. Groundwater that freezes and thaws in the winter can also break down the soil beneath a concrete slab and weaken its ability to support it. Washouts can also cause concrete to settle. Water flowing too close to the foundation can wash out the subsurface, leaving voids in the ground that cause the concrete to settle. This is usually the result of downspouts running too close to the building, poor grading around your foundation, and heavy rain.
  1. Soil that is too dry- Periods of dry conditions like drought can cause soils to shrink. Dry conditions evaporate the water from the soil surrounding your foundation, causing it to pull away and create a gap that can shift your foundation. The soil beneath your concrete slab shrinks, and it creates a space for the concrete to settle into, causing cracks and unlevel concrete. Dried-out soil soaked with heavy rain can also lead to sinkage due to voids being filled with now moistened soil. Trees and shrub roots can also cause soil to dry out by absorbing all the moisture and causing the soil to sink. This can result in uneven sub-surfaces and voids, leading to sinking concrete.
  1. Poor soil compaction- Soil compaction is an essential part of the construction process because it provides a strong base for the foundation. Some soils compact better than others. Soils with high salt content, clay soils, low pH soils, and soils with high water don't compact as well. During construction, sometimes the soil isn't compacted well enough before pouring concrete slabs. If the soil is poorly compacted, the soil compresses and settles, creating a void under the concrete. It will crack, break, and settle into the void with nothing supporting the concrete.

Often, it can be difficult to tell if your concrete is settling. Common indicators include cracks in your floor or concrete slabs, cracks in your walls, unlevel floors or surfaces, or even sticking windows and doors. It's essential to identify potential issues so they can be fixed as soon as possible. If you notice that your concrete is settling, we have the perfect solution! Polyurethane foam injection!

Our polyurethane foam injection method uses polyurethane foam to raise your concrete back to its original level. The process is simple and noninvasive. We drill penny-sized holes through the concrete slab and inject the foam into the ground below. The foam expands within seconds, compressing loose soils and raising concrete slabs. The holes are then sealed when the work is completed. Polyurethane foam injection can also be used to fill voids under slabs where wash out or excessive settling has occurred. Polyurethane foam is water-resistant, making it perfect for soils with lots of water present. It is also environmentally friendly; it doesn't contain harsh chemicals that will seep into the soil over time. Polyurethane foam injection is a budget-friendly and durable solution to lifting settled concrete.

Many factors cause concrete to settle but not all concrete foundations settle for the same reasons. At Quattro Contracting Inc., we are experts in concrete levelling with polyurethane foam. We specialize in Polyurethane Injection for Slab Raising, Soil Stabilization and Water Leak Sealing. We have acquired thirty years of experience in the industry. We also have a reputation in southern Ontario for providing high-quality concrete levelling services to homeowners, municipalities and industrial clients. If you have a sinking foundation and need your concreted lifted and levelled, Quattro is the company for you! We provide free quotes for our concrete levelling services. Contact our concrete repair experts today, and we can get your concrete lifted.