A lot of factors go into calculating the lifespan of concrete. From the initial mixture and installation, all the way to how much activity it sees daily can be used to measure how long your concrete will last. For example, in those areas that see more use and harsher weather conditions, like your driveway or patio, you will more likely need to replace your concrete sooner than you would for an attached garage or shed. Generally speaking, if your concrete is properly cared for, it can last up to 100 years and for those higher trafficked areas like driveways, you are looking at a lifespan closer to 50 years.
Time for Foundation Repair? Inspect Your Home to Find Out.
There are a lot of different places around your home you might be using concrete, driveway, shed foundation, patio, sidewalk, but one of the most important places is your home’s foundation.
A concrete foundation can endure a lot of stress over the span of its lifetime, so it’s important to know what to look for when it’s time for a concrete repair or replacement. It’s important to walk your property once a month to inspect the integrity of all your concrete.
To complete an inspection by yourself, these are the steps to follow:
- Walk the exterior perimeter of your home
When examining the exterior of your home, look for bulging or a lean; this can indicate an overload of weight that a cracking foundation can cause. Your home’s walls and the foundation walls should be flush and entirely in line with one another.
- Walk the interior of your home
Like with the exterior, look for bulging walls as a sign of a weak foundation. On top of that, keep an eye out for buckling on the floor. The floor can even shift, creating a sloping angle; this is caused by the movement of sediment underneath the concrete slab and can also be dangerous if left untreated.
- Check windows, walls and doors
All doors and windows should open smoothly and evenly. This is usually the first sign before the wall is affected because if left untreated, you will begin to notice cracks appear on and within the walls of your home.
These are just the major areas to inspect around your home. If you have a basement, that would be another place that you should check for cracks or water damage. As your home shifts and settles, there’s a chance that cracks might arrive.
Obviously you should check the other places in or around your home that use concrete for needed repairs or replacement, but typically these ar much easier to spot and much less dangerous if left unrepaired. For example, your driveway or patio might start cracking in places, this is typically a sign that a concrete repair is needed however, this is something that can usually be left untreated for a few months without consequence unlike your foundation.
Signs Concrete Repair is Needed
Even though concrete is durable and can withstand a lot of forces, constant wear on concrete can weaken the appeal or integrity. Weather and erosion are the biggest things that will lead to the need for repair or resurfacing. These are the four major signs that it might be time for a repair.
- Visible Cracks
Although it might start, small cracks can tear your concrete apart. Once these cracks expand, it’s a good sign that you might need to repair the surface.
- Uneven Surfaces
Suppose you start noticing that your concrete slab is uneven, then it’s time for a repair. This is common in garages as well as driveways that experience a lot of weight. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait too long before getting it repaired. If left for too long, you could be looking at a full-blown replacement.
- Pooling Water
Water can break down concrete over a period of time if not assessed. If the water is left and it keeps on pooling, then it might be time for a repair.
- Aged Appearance
Let’s face it concrete can last for a long time, but the appearance might change as it becomes stained. If you want to revamp your concrete’s appeal, you can easily resurface to get back that new fresh look.
Steps to Repair Concrete
If it’s a simple tiny crack, you might be able to repair it on your own; here are the proper steps to take to fix your little problem.
- Make the Crack Wider at the Bottom than the Top
- This is done by using a chisel and a hammer to precisely knock away concrete.
- This is to anchor a patch.
- Clean out Debris
- This is done with a stiff brush.
- If leftover pieces of concrete are left in the patch, it will weaken the concrete.
- Fill the Crack with Patching Mix
- This is also known as Vinyl Concrete, and it covers cracks up to ½ in wide.
- Dampen around the crack, then trowel the mix
- Address Any Pop-Outs
- Make sure the concrete runs smoothly and no holes are left.
- Apply Concrete Bonding Agent
- Wet the surface and apply a bonding agent.
- Anchor Cement into the Hole
- Pack a small amount of mix to anchor the whole.
The integrity of your concrete is essential, and once it gets compromised, the problem can and will continue to grow. If you are looking at a much bigger crack or break then you will want to call in professionals to make sure the damage is repaired properly to ensure the integrity of the concrete isn’t compromised.
Contact KC Concrete Today
Your safety and home’s appeal shouldn’t wait. Let’s start the process today. We proudly provide the greater Kansas City area with the best and most affordable concrete repair options. Don’t hesitate to contact us, and we can get your concrete repair process underway.