Looking for information about concrete driveway repair? If so, don’t hit that back button because that’s what this article is about. We’ll review why concrete driveways become uneven, how to level a concrete driveway in just a few hours, repairing uneven concrete vs. replacement, and more.
Why Do Concrete Driveways Become Uneven?
Concrete driveways can become uneven over time due to various reasons, including the following:
- Improper site preparation – If soil supporting the concrete isn’t adequately compacted before pouring the driveway, it can cause the slab to settle into the ground and become uneven.
- Erosion under the driveway – Poor drainage under the slab can slowly erode the soil underneath, causing the concrete to sink and become uneven.
- Expansive soil – Expansive soil contains a lot of clay, and because of this, it expands when it soaks up water and shrinks when it dries out. This creates movement under the driveway and can eventually cause it to become uneven.
- Invasive tree roots – Tree roots can also cause damage to concrete driveways. We’ve all seen examples of roots pushing upwards on sidewalks, driveways, etc., and causing cracks and unevenness.
How To Level An Uneven Concrete Driveway In Just a Few Hours
The good news is there’s a way to quickly level an uneven concrete driveway in just a few hours: polyjacking. This quick, cost-effective, innovative technique has revolutionized the industry, allowing homeowners to restore their driveways in just a few hours in most cases.
Polyjacking involves using a specialized foam that expands to fill voids and lift and level uneven concrete slabs. The foam is injected through small holes drilled into the affected areas of the driveway, and its expansion creates a powerful lifting force that effectively levels the driveway. The foam is also waterproof, so it won’t wash away.
The polyurethane foam used in polyjacking is environmentally friendly, as the foam is non-toxic and won’t leach harmful chemicals into the soil. Leveling an uneven concrete driveway using polyjacking is also a long-lasting solution because the foam can withstand wear and tear over time.
The concrete driveway repair procedure is as follows:
- Small, dime-sized holes are drilled into the affected area of the driveway.
- The polyurethane foam is injected under the slab via the holes. The foam immediately expands, fills any voids, and raises the slab.
- The holes are patched with a compound closely matching the concrete, and the repair is complete.
- You can begin using the driveway again about 15 minutes later.
Leveling an Uneven Concrete Driveways vs. Replacement
While some uneven concrete driveways may require replacement because they’re badly damaged, most can be leveled using polyjacking. This is less expensive and much quicker (no downtime while you wait for fresh concrete to dry and harden) than tearing up an uneven slab and pouring new concrete.
What About DIY Concrete Leveling?
We don’t recommend property owners try to level an uneven driveway by themselves because it can lead to disastrous consequences if attempted without the proper training, experience, and equipment.
Leveling a concrete driveway requires the specialized training and experience only professional contractors possess. They know how to analyze the unique characteristics of the driveway, identify the cause of the unevenness, and create a plan to fix the problem. Because professional contractors know what they’re doing, they can provide an effective, lasting solution. A homeowner might overlook the cause of the unevenness – drainage issues or settlement – and because of this, the driveway will become uneven again after a short while.
A contractor experienced in concrete leveling also has access to the necessary equipment, which isn’t available for rent.
Tips on How to Prevent a Driveway From Becoming Uneven
Fortunately, homeowners can take several preventative measures to help avoid an uneven concrete driveway. These include the following:
- Proper site preparation – First and foremost, it’s essential to ensure that the ground beneath the concrete is prepared correctly before pouring. The soil should be debris-free, compacted, and properly graded to promote good drainage.
- Good drainage – Good drainage can go a long way toward preventing an uneven driveway. Whether you have expansive or erosion-prone soil under the driveway, a good drainage system will help keep your driveway even.
- Proper usage and maintenance – Monitor the driveway’s condition regularly to identify any signs of damage early. Cracks should be repaired immediately to prevent them from spreading and causing more significant issues. Homeowners should also avoid parking heavy or oversized vehicles on the driveway for extended periods or driving over the edges of the concrete, as this can cause the surface to become uneven over time.
We also recommend regularly cleaning and sealing the driveway to protect against damage from chemicals such as oil and road salt. During winter, using non-corrosive de-icing products can help avoid pitting and cracking.
If your Chicagoland home needs concrete driveway repair, contact The Real Seal today to schedule an evaluation and receive a repair estimate.