A concrete patio can be like an extension of your home, providing a place to relax and entertain outdoors. Damage to the surface is unsightly at best, so repairing the patio often takes priority.
Uneven settling can be a major issue on both new and older concrete patio pads. New patios settle unevenly due to improper compaction of the ground and base materials. Older pads may begin to settle unevenly if the base is beginning to fail, allowing moisture to wash out beneath it, or if earth movements have shifted the ground drastically.
Both issues can be repairable. Mud jacking is one method used. In this method, compacted mud is pumped beneath the concrete pad in order to level it. This can be done with both undamaged and cracked pads in order to level them out. If the pad is in good condition, it can sometimes be lifted out and the base can be reconstructed. The best leveling option must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Cracks and Expansion Joints
Cracks can be especially frustrating on concrete since it is not as simple to repair as asphalt. Cracks can form because of uneven settling, which must be addressed first, or due to external damage to the paving. Salt damage, such as from fertilizer salts or ice melt, can weaken concrete so it cracks. Cracks may also form due to freeze-thaw expansion cycles, particularly if moisture has made its way into the concrete.
One way to repair straight cracks attractively is to cut the edges of the crack to make them smooth. An expansion joint is then installed in the opening. This looks nice and it prevents future cracking. Cracks can also be repaired with a flexible epoxy mix that is made to match the concrete, but keep in mind the repair will not be invisible.
Sometimes the best repair is to simply install a new surface. Pitting is one reason to consider this option. Pits can form from salt exposure or impact damage. You may also want to resurface if there are a lot of small cracks or if the crack repairs are especially unsightly.
Your paving contractor will grind down the very surface of the concrete. This creates a rough surface that the newly poured concrete can adhere to better. A thin layer, usually around 1 inch thick, of fresh concrete is then poured and cured in place so that the patio looks like new again.
Contact a residential paving contractor if you need more help with renewing your concrete patio.
To learn more, reach out to a company like Arrow Black Top & Masonry Inc.