When you have a sunken porch or steps in your home, you have a double problem on your hands. Often the result of settling, an unsightly sunken porch is often uneven, which can both cause a tripping hazard and lead to foundation damage. In many cases, concrete slab leveling can address appearance, prevent accidents, and save you from costly concrete replacement.
Perils of a Sunken Porch
Concrete porches and steps are built right next to the foundation on your home; this positioning makes them a convenient way to enter and exit your property. When settling occurs, the porch, landing, or steps pull away from the home or may sink on one side, which makes the slab tilt. This throws off the symmetry of your home and also affects the rise, so that anyone entering the house has to step higher or broader to get in.
When a slab pulls away, the result is a new way for water to penetrate the house. When the porch supports a column that also supports a roof, any misalignment can put stress on the roof and pull it away from the house and create more openings for water damage.
Why Porches Sink
There are several reasons why porches sink:
- Poor foundation. When the porch was installed, the land underneath was not properly prepared to create a stable bed for the concrete slab. When natural settling of the ground occurred over a number of years, the slab lacked support and as a result, sunk on one or both sides.
- Erosion. Gutters and downspouts can release water too close to the porch or steps, which can erode the foundation and expose it to excessive moisture.
- Poor grading. If the property slopes toward the house rather than away from it, excessive water can cause porch and foundation erosion.
Concrete Jacking Can Fix Sunken Porches
When the porch sinks, concrete jacking is one way to repair damage without replacing an old porch or set of steps that are cracked and crumbling. The process involves drilling small holes into the concrete and then pumping in a material that will replace soil that has settled or washed away and, as a result, lift up the concrete slab.
While there are some cases where a concrete jacking company will advise that you hire a structural engineer to determine if other measures are needed to level the sunken porch, many jobs are easily handled by firms that lift concrete. A crew of experienced workers can complete the process in a few hours and leave your porch ready to walk on in a half hour. The concrete raising process is quick and nonintrusive, while costing a fraction of replacing the porch.
If your home has a sunken porch or steps, call Lift Right Concrete for an assessment of the problem and a quick, economical, effective repair.