How Water Runoff From A Heavy Rainy Season Left Your Concrete Surfaces Sinking and Settling

Jul 13, 2021 | Concrete Leveling

The rainy season is officially over but the aftermath of those heavy downpours is just now beginning to be revealed. There is erosion from water runoff that wasn’t addressed early on as preemptive maintenance and now your concrete surface might look a little more like an abandoned parking lot than a front driveway.

Don’t fret and look no further than Greenstar to level your sinking or settling concrete surfaces with a professional and expertly executed concrete leveling service. Ground soil foundation and its inevitable deterioration may not be at the forefront of your annual or even more longstanding home improvement “to do” list, but putting off a simple concrete sinking or settling another season may end up costing you as the property owner thousands of dollars more. 

Not recognizing the, although subtle yet abundantly clear, message that sinking and settling has occurred isn’t the right move this year! Above average rainfall and sporadic flash flooding has ravaged drainage systems and property values.

Soil Erosions From Flash Flooding And Water Runoff Just Happens

Even the sunniest of environments can get hit with downpours from time to time. There isn’t anything wrong with a little rain though, right? It keeps life moving and the ecosystem a much more appealing green rather than a dead looking brown or yellow. Heavy or consistant rains, however, are likely to cause untold damage to structures and buildings in the long run. 

  • Consistent rain over long runs of time will soak deep into the ground and cause saturation of the soil. This soaked soil will allow for the stability of the foundational dirt supporting concrete slabs resting on top of it to sink into the wet ground. When heavy objects or additional constant pressure is applied, this process will be accelerated even faster.
  • Heavy rain and flash flooding like that seen in much of May this year can and has caused significant soil erosion to many parts of Shreveport and the Bossier City area.

What You Can Do About It For Next Rainy Season

  1. Divert Water Underground. A swale, or shallow trench, can be used to redirect water away from areas of the yard where damage from high volume fast moving water can cause erosion.
  2. Improve Yard Grade. This might be labor intensive but making sure your grades don’t allow for valleys to collect standing water is important in making sure your concrete surfaces remain intact throughout the year, no matter what kind of weather comes your way.
  3. Clear Water From Flooded Concrete Surfaces. If you do happen to have areas where standing water becomes an issue then either pumping out that water or even sweeping in to other areas can be enough to save surfaces and add years to the lifespan of your driveways, patios, walkways or pool decks.
  4. Consider A Dry Well. These simple man made solutions are simply a hole in the ground with the sole purpose of collecting water when it’s needed to keep that water away from areas you don’t want it collecting. This will guarantee that you aren’t left with large areas of standing water.
  5. Get A Sump Pump. If you have areas of the yard that are likely to be collecting water and you just don’t want to hire someone to dig a dry well or swale, buying a sump pump is a great, easy, fast way to get that standing water off your concrete surfaces.
  6. Create A Rain Garden. Gardens with specific types of plants can allow for easier absorption of water and decrease the volume and speed of moving water so that flash flooding can cause as much erosion while being collected in the rain garden areas.

Heat Drying Out The Accumulated Groundwater From Recent Months Will Likely Cause Voids Underneath Your Concrete

You may be having someone out soon to inspect the damage done to your property dealt by heavy rains and flash floods but it’s likely that water still saturating the ground hasn’t yet fully evaporated. That means that the volume of the dirt underground is still relatively swollen and will continue to shrink in the hot days and dry weeks to follow. The Louisiana dry season is not upon us and if you live in Shreveport or Bossier City it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t be betting on receiving much precipitation for the next few months. That means that the Louisiana dirt is going to start shriveling up and the sinking and settling of concrete slabs is going to occur. 

After an already rough rainy season for your concrete slabs, that erosion and those voids formed from excess water are only going to get worse when the drying out occurs and shrinking is imminent. As the process continues to take place and those conditions move from bad to worse, you can bet on worse conditions for the life of the sturdy concrete slabs making up driveways, walkways, patios and pool decks.

What You Can Do About It Now

Void Fill

You have two main options when it comes to filling voids right now:

1. Mudjacking. A concrete repair technique for lifting concrete slabs that have settled over time by injecting a mortar-based mix beneath them.

The issue with the first option is that it is a short term solution and can inevitably lead to long term costs.

2. Polyjacking. With Polyjacking, the polyurethane foam used in the process is eco-friendly and highly stable. That means your soil stability will last for much much longer!

liked dried out soil, concrete can also crack from excess dry heat
Dried soil cracking from volume contraction due to dry conditions

Hot Temperatures Alone Can Also Break Apart Your Concrete

When it comes to blistering hot temperatures, many people would probably agree that the comfort of a cool ACed indoor escape is far preferred. Those above average temperatures can also negatively affect structures and other man made objects. Things, specifically made of concrete, are very susceptible to the onslaught of extremely hot temperatures. When concrete gets very hot, the structure will actually expand. Once things cool off in the evening, that expansion goes back to normal so the constant stress of expansion and contraction of any concrete structures are likely to take a beating over this long dry hot season in Louisiana’s near future.

The barrage of heat waves that are sweeping through a large part of the country this summer don’t seem to be letting up much. Those extreme temperatures may not bode well for many types of exterior surfaces taking the brunt of all that heat and radiation. Make sure you’re prepared to keep your concrete surfaces at their best for years to come. Protect and maintain your driveways, sidewalks, pool deck and patios this summer season!

Treatments To Help Outlast Sun Exposure And Other Natural Factors

Concrete may be one of the most stable pavement options out there, but that’s not to say it doesn’t take a beating from the environment and other factors. It may seem like overkill but if you’re really looking to keep your concrete looking its best then additional care may be a good move.

  1. DIY Concrete Resurfacing – This could be done professionally but is a good DIY project if you’re looking to save a little money and learn a few new things about your concrete surfaces this summer. Start with a deep clean of your concrete and surroundings. This is best done with a power washer. Next you’ll make those minor adjustments and repairs. This includes filling cracks and fixing crumbling edges
  2. Concrete Cures – Curing or desensifying your concrete can be a bit of a labor intensive task. It’s important to understand that it is incredibly important to control the moisture in the concrete, however, if you want it to stick around. This process can also harden concrete surfaces as well.
  3. Concrete Sealers & Guards – This is usually the next step to curing your concrete. It isn’t necessary to do afterward but will give those surfaces increased durability and abrasion resistance. These treated concrete surfaces will also be more stain resistant and can better handle a year-in year-out freeze/thaw cycle.
  4. Concrete Coatings & Stains – These would be considered the finishing touches on your surfaces. This isn’t a common practice for sidewalks but if you want your driveways, patios and decks to pop this summer, enhance the look with a new coating or stain.

Why Releveling Your Concrete Early Is the Best Option

Obviously, as we’ve mentioned a few times now, it is in your best interest to get issues with the erosion of soil beneath concrete surfaces dealt with early on so that moving forward, more serious issues don’t arise. Give your concrete driveways, sidewalks, patios and pool decks a check today and see if you notice any sinking or settling slab issues. If you suspect anything, give Greenstar Insulation a call today! We’ll come out to your property and give you the full inspection and quote combo to get you started on preserving or restoring your concrete surfaces.

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