Discount Concrete Leveling: A Hard Truth

Repair, restore & maintain driveways, sidewalks, patios at a fraction of their replacement cost

By Brad Meyer

Concrete is hard, heavy and durable – seemingly unbreakable and impervious to the elements. But the effects of time, gravity, erosion and insects can lead to a broken, cracked mess.

Sure, that new driveway, sidewalk or patio you paid to have installed looks great when it’s new, but time and nature can take a toll on the ground below the slab. Natural soil movement, water movement, critter activity or other problems can cause settling or slab movement, resulting in an uneven, unsightly and possibly hazardous surface at your home or office. Unless you do something to prevent continued movement, it’s going to get worse ? a lot worse.

“Erosion is a big problem in the greater Houston area because the ground has so much sand and clay that can cause drainage issues,” said Brett Weary, owner of Discount Concrete Leveling. “If the foundation isn’t properly compacted, tree roots grow under the slab or water begins to seep under a section of concrete. It’s only a matter of time before problems will become noticeable.”

Over time, drainage, pest infestations or other unseen problems can create empty pockets or voids under the concrete sections that make up a driveway, sidewalk or patio. As these voids become larger, the ground is unable to support the full weight of the concrete and what’s above it – like a car or truck. Eventually, one side begins to lower, often forcing the other end higher, resulting in an uneven and unsightly surface. Or the concrete simply collapses into the void.

“It can be even worse if the concrete section is located on a sloping or slanted surface,” said Weary. “Concrete is heavy and gravity will eventually start pulling the entire section downhill.”

It’s a situation that won’t fix itself and will only get worse in time. One solution is tearing out the problem areas and pouring a new concrete slab. A new driveway, however, can easily cost $8,000 or more ? and there are no guarantees the same problem won’t occur a few years down the line.

There is a better solution.

Discount Concrete Leveling specializes in repairing and restoring broken, uneven driveways, sidewalks, patios and other freestanding concrete areas. The process is efficient and effective, often completed in a single day and at a fraction of what it would cost to replace the problem areas.

“We start by evaluating the site location and determining the cause of the problem,” said Weary. “The problem is rarely the concrete itself; it’s the ground below that’s the culprit.”

The process begins by drilling small holes in the concrete surface to locate the voids beneath the slab that are causing movement. Weary and his team of experienced professionals use high pressure technology to inject a proprietary slurry of soil, cement and water beneath the surface of the concrete. Once the void is filled, the pressurized slurry can actually push the concrete section back in place to its original position. The treated area is much stronger than the eroding soil it replaces.

“The slurry will harden in 24-48 hours into an impenetrable barrier to stabilize the area and prevent more erosion,” noted Weary. “It’s quick, efficient and highly effective.”

It’s a solution that works on a wide range of flat surfaces around residential or commercial buildings, but is not intended for structural, foundational or load-bearing problems.

In addition to fixing damaged concrete, Discount Concrete Leveling also offers a superior preventative maintenance service that prevents common problems and extends the life of driveways, sidewalks and patios.

“Concrete installers pouring fresh concrete create gaps or frame slabs with cheap redwood, for expansion joints in large concrete projects to help them deal with hot and cold weather,” said Weary. “Unfortunately, the material originally installed to protect those gaps eventually deteriorates or rots away, leaving space for water and critters to impact the soil underneath the slab.”

Discount Concrete Leveling can clean out concrete expansion joints and seal them with a multi-stage restoration process that includes water-resistant foam and a tough self-leveling polyurethane sealant that keeps water and other potential problems at bay.

“Culverts that allow water to move under driveways can be a problem over time,” said Weary. “Heavy storms can lead to a wash out of material under the concrete. It’s out of sight, so many folks don’t know they have a problem until cracks appear, or the driveway actually collapses over an ever-widening void.”

In addition to free evaluations and estimates, Discount Concrete Leveling offers a two-year warranty on all work. And unlike other repair options, leveling and restoring concrete requires no building permits or municipal inspections.

“Our work is covered under repairs and maintenance,” explained Weary. “That’s one reason we can usually get the work done in a single day. If you have a problem with broken, uneven or misaligned concrete at your home or office, give us a call,” said Weary. “We can stop the problem, put the concrete back in place and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Discount Concrete Leveling provides cost effective repair services for driveways, sidewalks, patios and other residential and commercial properties throughout Montgomery County and the greater Houston area. For information, visit www.DiscountConcreteLeveling.com or call 713-568-9456.