Poly-Mor Canada - House getting their driveway lifted

Concrete Lifting – FAQ

Have you just bought a new home with a sidewalk or patio that could leave your guests tripping over an uneven surface? Maybe you have noticed that your driveway is cracking resulting in an unkempt and neglected appearance. Concrete lifting corrects these concrete defects and restores their appearance. While sidewalks and patios can be leveled, this article speaks primarily to driveway lifting. Sunken driveway repair is performed using the same principles as patio and concrete levelling, but driveways cover a larger surface area and are often visible to those passing by your home or business, so driveway repair is our most requested service.

What is driveway lifting and how does it work

Driveway lifting, also known as slab lifting, refers to the process required to bring broken or sunk concrete back to a level position. This minimizes tripping hazards, reinforces potential washout under the slab and improves its appearance.

Why might I need to lift my driveway?

At Poly-Mor Canada Inc., we serve customers in Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Edmonton. These cities contend with harsh weather conditions that can cause concrete problems due to the freeze-thaw cycle. When water gets between cracks in the concrete slab and freezes, it expands and further cracks the material. This can also occur in instances where the driveway has sustained damage like chipping or small cracks that go unfilled. Driveway crack filler should be used to close these imperfections and prevent water from entering the material.

If the soil that supports the concrete and gravel begins to erode, washout can occur. For this reason, soil should be well tamped before the application of gravel and concrete preparations are made. When soil and gravel are not sufficiently tamped down (packed), your driveway may sink over time as it settles. When this occurs, the stability under the slab is lost and you may see shifting and cracking as a result. This demonstrates the importance of proper site preparation before concrete pouring.

Trees that grow near the concrete, or that have shallow roots that extend widely, may cause problems for your driveway. Tree roots can cause driveways to heave (lift) and/or break under pressure.

Do you have a large commercial vehicle or oversized truck? If the weight of the vehicles that use your driveway is beyond the concrete’s capacity limit, it may cause cracking. Sometimes, the concrete can handle the weight but the prepared soil that supports it cannot. When heavy rains cause the soil under the driveway to become saturated it can begin to move and crack as a result.

Concrete that is positioned between or against other structures may be impacted in extreme heat that causes the concrete to expand. If it has nowhere to go as it heats up, it is likely to crack.

Choose the Right Contractor

If you are considering pouring a concrete sidewalk, patio or driveway, choosing the right concrete professional is critical.

Concrete is made by mixing concrete powder with aggregate and water and the ratios of each is critical to ensure its ability to handle the elements outdoors without cracking. Plastic shrinkage can happen when a contractor adds too much water to the mixing compound, causing the concrete to begin to crack as it dries. If you see evidence of this after pouring, contact your contractor right away.

Sometimes, the layer of concrete poured goes beyond the gravel layer resulting in thin concrete edges around the perimeter. This can lead to cracking and breaking when a vehicle drives on that area, or yard equipment, like a mower strikes it. The cracks at the edge of your concrete typically do not compromise the integrity and strength of the rest of the driveway, but it doesn’t have the clean and maintained look the homeowner was expecting. A professional can cut off the edges and frame the driveway with other materials, such as brick, to restore its curb appeal.

What are the benefits of lifting a driveway?

While repouring cement can be costly, lifting it is significantly less expensive and the repairs are not noticeable because it requires only a few holes in the driveway to pump in the material before it is closed and sealed with driveway crack filler. Instead of waiting days for your newly poured slab to set, you’ll be able to walk over this area right away.   

How long does it take to lift a driveway?

In general, driveway lifting using polyurethane foam takes under an hour to complete. Your results will be almost immediate, and it won’t turn your front yard into a messy construction site the way a new driveway pour might.

How much does it cost to lift a driveway?

The cost of concrete lifting varies from city to city, as well as by project. Your cost will factor in materials, labour and the size of the area being lifted.

For more information about concrete lifting, visit our website at  https://www.poly-mor.ca/

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