Are you having trouble maneuvering your car around your driveway? How about the last time you played basketball with your kids, did you see a lot of cracks in the concrete underfoot? These are common concrete problems homeowners like you around Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Lima have to contend with.
Your concrete driveway bears the brunt of what Mother Nature dishes out: heat, cold, snow, rain, and the like. So, it’s only natural for it to sustain various forms of damage including cracks, pitting, flaking, staining, unevenness, and more. The weather isn’t solely to blame for these issues, but it plays a big part in problems you might be noticing along your driveway. No matter how they started, it’s important to fix these problems before serious damage impacts your safety, your home’s safety, and your property’s appearance.
In this article, we will cover signs of damage to look out for, potential causes, and your repair options, including how your local concrete repair specialists at Ohio Basement Authority can help.
Common Concrete Driveway Problem Signs
Here are some forms of damage commonly sustained by concrete that are visible in your driveway:
- Cracks – More often than not, some of the first things you’ll spot in your driveway are various cracks. Cracking is common when concrete dries, but the cracks should not grow beyond that. From thin hairline cracks to deep, winding, growing fissures, these issues be dangerous.
- Pitting – Small holes or pits can form in your concrete driveway, mainly due to the freeze-thaw cycle of water inside the concrete. These holes can allow water and other substances to leak into or be absorbed by the concrete.
- Flaking – Small flakes of concrete can break off of a larger slab. This is also called “spalling.” Like pitting, flaking also leaves the concrete exposed and more vulnerable to additional damage.
- Staining – Concrete is a porous material, and it can absorb various liquids or chemicals that results in stains or discoloration.
- Sunken, Uneven Slabs – If your concrete driveway is not properly supported, the slabs can settle and sink into the ground. This leaves uneven slabs that are tripping hazards as well as dangers to your car.
What Causes Problems with Concrete Driveways?
Concrete is a strong material, but it is not completely unbreakable. As we’ve mentioned, exposure to the elements is a significant contributing factor to damage it sustains. Underlying or growing tree roots can cause the concrete slabs to crack and heave upwards. It’s also possible that the concrete was not properly mixed, prepared, poured, or cured. These and other possibilities could be a piece of the puzzle, but the biggest culprit is the soil underneath the concrete.
Central and Southern Ohio’s array of soil types, mostly with silt and clay properties, can be quite problematic. Soil can become unstable when it is oversaturated, dry, or poorly compacted. It can wash away and erode from underneath the concrete, as well as give way to the weight of the slabs. This can create voids between the soil and the concrete slabs, and the slabs can move and sink when they are left without proper support. This results in the visible problem signs mentioned above.
Driveway Repair Options: What Not to Do
Just as there are several kinds of concrete damage, there are many repair options available to you. The majority of them are DIY solutions you can order online or pick up at big box stores. They include:
- Asphalt/concrete patches
- Epoxy injection
These solutions mainly address the cosmetic nature of driveway cracks and other concrete problems. They do not address the root cause of the issues and are temporary, quick fixes at best. That means you would have to keep purchasing and applying them over time. The best solution is not a quick fix that can be applied after watching a video online, but one that will protect your concrete driveway for years to come.
Get Long-Lasting Repair and Protection with Innovative Concrete Lifting
Repairing your concrete driveway problems is greatly dependent on its condition and the extent of damage. If it is too far beyond repair, the only solution may be completely repouring a section or the entire driveway. The sooner you notice and seek assistance for concrete problems, the easier they will be to repair.
The best way to mend concrete cracks and unevenness is through concrete lifting with PolyRenewal™ polyurethane injections. This method is not new, as it follows the basic concept of mudjacking, but it is innovative in that it utilizes more durable, state-of-the-art materials.
The installation process involves drilling holes the size of a penny into the affected concrete and injecting polyurethane foam underneath the slabs. The foam will expand to fill any voids, and this allows for the precise lifting and stabilization of the slabs. The holes are sealed and smoothed, as are any cracks.
The polyurethane foam is lightweight but durable. The waterproof foam will not wash out from under the concrete, and it also helps strengthen the underlying soil. The foam is resistant to UV rays so it won’t bubble or crack in the sun and will even endure extreme weather conditions. The installation process is rather quick. The foam cures within 15 minutes, so you will be able to use your driveway the same day.
Ohio Basement Authority Can Get the Job Done
If you have cracks that need to be filled and other driveway damage needing repair, call the professionals who will be able to permanently solve this problem. Contact our team at Ohio Basement Authority today to schedule a free inspection at your Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, or Lima area home. One of our experts will inspect your driveway, determine the cause of the cracks and other damage, and recommend a suitable solution.