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Tuesday
Apr082014

Driveway Disrepair

We get a fair number of calls from customers with driveway problems. The normal problems are from tree roots lifting the concrete and expansion joints rotting and allowing water to penetrate the base. In both cases the soil below the concrete is the problem. Normal slight cracking in concrete over time is to be expected. However, if the movement in the concrete has opened a crack wide enough to allow water to the base, the problem will only get worse.

So what is the remedy? 

  1. Remove the existing concrete and replace it.
  2. Route out the cracks and fill with a joint filler. This can be done when there is no variation in levelness. 
  3. In some cases if the concrete has sunk uniformly it can be lifted with mud jacking or urethane injection.

Should the concrete be replaced?

It is important all roots are cut back. Concrete people understand concrete. While we may like trees, they offer us a shady spot during the hot summer months, we generally don't love them. It's wise to get an expert to look at your trees and give advice on cutting your tree's roots back. At the direction of an expert we provide these service to you during the repair or replacement of your slab. After breakup and haul away your soil should also be compacted with a vibratory plate. This is necassary to prevent shifting and problems occuring in the future.  

It is our opinion that your concrete should be a minimum of 5 inches thick, reinforced with #3 rebar (3/8 diameter reinforced bar, about the size of your little finger) at 16" on-center. The concrete mix is to be a minimum of 5 sacks per yard and 3500 psi. The main reason to thicken your slab is because we don't want you to be back in the same situation you are in now just a couple of years down the road. 

Expansion joints should be placed in no more than 200 square foot blocks for residential and 1,600 square blocks for commercial concrete. Depending on the size of the replacement the new concrete can be pumped, power buggied, or wheel barralled; no way would you allow a concrete truck to back into your good concrete. Common sense is always the rule of the day!

If you believe that you have a driveway problem due to root or water damage call us today at 713-692-2291 or shoot us a quick email for your FREE no obligation quote. We'll be happy to discuss with you your option for repair or replacement.

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