For many people, buying a home represents the biggest financial investment in their life. You want to protect that investment, and maintain it. You might know what to do if you have electrical or plumbing problems, or who to call if you need a new roof. But if you have an issue with a concrete area on your property, do you know what to do? An uneven sidewalk or tilted patio can be an eyesore as well as a safety hazard. When it comes to fixing an issue with a concrete surface, you have two main options: leveling or replacement. Which one is right for you? Today on the blog, we explore that topic.
The difference between leveling and replacement
Before we proceed, we need to make sure to explain these two procedures. Concrete leveling entails lifting the slab of concrete back into its original position. At Top Notch Raising, we complete this process by injecting a polyurethane foam. Replacement removes the existing concrete slab and then pours a new slab.
Leveling or replacement: which one is right?
There are some situations where replacement is the only option.
These scenarios include:
- If the concrete has multiple breaks that are less than a square foot in size;
- The concrete is showing signs of deterioration or crumbling; or
- The concrete is sliding down a slope or hill.
- The pros: There’s nothing like a new, freshly poured concrete space. You can also seal your new concrete slab once poured, helping to protect it from additional damage. Newly poured concrete also won’t contain any cracks or breaks. You can also plan every aspect of the new pour, such as its location, its slope and where it’s going to drain. When these flaws do appear, you can caulk them and alleviate additional wear. A new pour of concrete also can be customized to better suit your wants and needs. Replacement also is the best solution if it’s part of a large project, such as adding a drain or rerouting a system of pipes.
- The cons: Replacement has a higher cost. While the price of each job varies individually, replacement could cost up to 70% more than leveling. Replacement also takes more time. A driveway project takes up to three days to pour and two more days to cure. It takes another four weeks for the concrete to cure to the point it avoids damage. The larger the area, the longer it takes to pour and to cure. New concrete also will wrestle as the ground compacts under the weight of the slab; this might create new problems and cracks within as little as five years, leading you back to the leveling or replacement dilemma yet again.
- The pros: As mentioned, there are situations that leveling cannot solve but leveling has multiple benefits. First and foremost, because the foam is injected directly into the space, there is no demolition. Replacement requires total removal of the existing slab first, which causes a huge mess and warrants significant cleanup. Leveling also takes less time–sometimes the job can be completed in a few hours, rather than a few days. It’s less expensive, because the process takes less material, doesn’t use heavy equipment, and can be completed more quickly.
- The cons: We can’t fight gravity. If a slab is descending down a hill or slope, leveling isn’t going to help. The holes that are drilled before the foam is placed are not going to be an exact match to the concrete, although a skilled company can blend the holes into the existing slab to make them appear as inconspicuous as possible. A lift also won’t do anything to alter the current appearance of your concrete, if you’re displeased with the look of the surface or any existing cracks.
Concrete leveling in Kingsport, Johnson City and Bristol in Tennessee
If you have a concrete area that is problematic at your home, you want to have it repaired. Leveling could be the best solution. To fully answer the question of whether leveling or replacement is right for you, you should consult a concrete professional for a consultation – a professional like the experts at Top Notch Raising. To find out more, call (423) 482-8383 to schedule your consultation today.