Should I Repair or Replace My Damaged Concrete?

One of the most common questions any concrete contractor receives from potential customers is whether they should repair or replace concrete on their property.

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the problem with the concrete and the extent of that problem. For example, concrete might break, crack, fall apart, lift or sag.

Cracks are the most common problem, and can occur for a wide variety of reasons. The soil might either expand or contract as moisture levels and temperatures change with the seasons. This can cause gaps under the concrete or erosion of the soil below, resulting in settling or uneven slabs that are more prone to cracking. The ground beneath the concrete might not be cable of supporting the concrete, causing sagging and cracking. In some cases, rodents or other animals might burrow under the concrete, which can also result in structural weakness.

So, should you repair or replace your concrete? Here’s some information to consider.

When to repair concrete

If the damage is not extensive, you may be able to repair the concrete. When the issue is sagging or unlevel concrete, this will often be done by drilling holes in the concrete and injecting more support material underneath the slab. If the concrete hasn’t sunk too far, this could be sufficient to repair the concrete.

In other cases, simply patching up a crack might be sufficient, without needing to raise the level of the concrete. This is usually an option for cracks that are small, either in terms of length or width. It will help prevent moisture from getting beneath the concrete and causing further problems.

When this is possible, it is beneficial for a variety of reasons. First, it’s much cheaper than having to replace a full slab. It doesn’t require digging or excavation, and can be accomplished relatively quickly.

When to replace concrete

In some cases, the damage may simply be too severe for any type of repair or raising to sufficiently resolve the problem. In this case, it will be necessary to replace the slab. You should have a contractor come out and analyze the area to determine how best to go about the project.

You will need to consider the number and size of the cracks in the concrete that need repair or replacement. Cracks that are particularly wide, or numerous cracks throughout the concrete, will likely be tougher to repair. It will probably be more cost-effective to replace rather than having to keep going back and making those repairs, as you inevitably will have to do with concrete that’s in poor condition.

When the issue is concrete settling, check to see the depth to which it has settled. If it’s less than eight inches, you may still be able to raise the concrete. But if it’s more, you will almost certainly have to replace the concrete.

For more tips about whether you should repair or replace your concrete, we encourage you to contact the team at Maddox Concrete, LLC to schedule a consultation.