Concrete provides a durable and long-lasting surface for your home and property. Whether the concrete is on your home's basement foundation floor, exterior steps, or makes up the walkway, driveway, or patio in front of your home, when it becomes unlevel or damaged, you will want to repair it before it becomes a safety hazard. Here are some tips to help you to level out your concrete surface and repair it for an improved condition and performance.
Look For the Cause
Whenever you have noticed a concrete slab or patio steps have begun to sink, slope off to one side, or have a very uneven and cracked surface, there is an underlying problem that has caused this to happen. Concrete that has been built on a sturdy and well-draining foundation will last for many decades without the need for repairs, so when your concrete has begun to slant, you need to figure out what has caused this problem.
Sometimes concrete will shift on its foundation because it was not installed right, such as with poor-draining soil or soil that was not properly compacted. Or, your yard may have a large tree growing nearby that has roots that are pushing up into the underside of the concrete. Tree roots can crack and heave your concrete slab and can be quite destructive.
Repair and Improve
If your concrete surface has become cracked and shifted from tree roots or an improper foundation, you will need to remove the concrete slab and repair the underlying conditions. Removing the tree and its exposed roots is a good option. Just be sure you plant new trees away from your concrete slabs in the future. Apply a solid draining foundation of compacted gravel before you pour the new slab to prevent foundation heaving and settling.
Contact a concrete professional about recommendations for lifting and repairing an existing foundation slab or concrete steps and patio. They will be able to level and repair the concrete in some cases without removing and replacing the concrete.
Repair the Surface
Another option to repair your concrete slab is when surface damage has occurred but the underlying problem has been repaired. Concrete that has sustained surface spalling where it has begun to flake and crack, leaves a bumpy unlevel layer with exposed aggregate, for example. You can clean the surface of the concrete to remove oils and debris, then apply a self-leveling concrete filler. This mixture will smooth out any bumps, dents, and cracks on the surface of your concrete slab to restore and improve its condition. Contact a concrete leveling service for more information.