While we wish we could say there are no possible problems, the truth is not every concrete lifting project goes 100% perfectly. Sometimes, it is possible for the concrete or surrounding area to be damaged during the work. There are a number of ways this can happen, and luckily most can be determined in advance and planned for.
How to Minimize Risk of Damage During a Concrete Lifting Project
As with any construction project, the single most important step is to hire a trustworthy, qualified contractor. A good concrete leveling contractor will be upfront about the possible damage that could occur during a lifting project and will make sure you understand the risks associated and possible outcomes. Jackcrete offers free inspections as well as some other local contractors, so get a few opinions so you fully know what to expect.
For interior and garage slabs, removing any carpet and emptying the room helps concrete leveling crews best understand the project and access the ideal points of entry to minimize likelihood of cracking.
What Makes Concrete Likely To Crack
Composition: Sometimes a contractor will pour a bad mix of concrete, causing problems ranging from spaulding (deterioration on the surface of concrete) to discoloration to a loss of structural integrity. Unfortunately, sometimes the concrete looks perfectly fine but is in fact very brittle, increasing the likelihood of cracking during what would otherwise be routine work.
This is relatively uncommon, perhaps being seen at 2% of projects. Unfortunately, when it does happen, it is very hard to detect and will likely involve a lot of cracking while work is performed.
Relief joints: If there are large slabs of concrete without relief cuts made in them, the chance of unsightly cracking raises significantly. While small slabs are unaffected and can be lifted with little problem, any slabs bigger than 10’x10’ should have relief joints to prevent cracking. For heavy-duty concrete that’s heavily reinforced for commercial/industrial applications, the size of the slab is largely unaffected and will not crack when polyurethane foam is applied in correct proportions.
Sticking/Pinning: For porches especially, a slab can sometimes sink and slide slightly underneath of the front door support. When this happens, the slab will be faced with the pressure of the polyurethane foam forcing it up while the slab over top of it pins it to the same location. Usually, this ends in the slab cracking unless the contractor realizes what is going on and halts work. While hard to detect, a keen inspector should be able to determine if your concrete is pinned and will not provide a quote for lifting.