Concrete Levelling for Driveways
When it comes to first impressions regarding residential properties driveways are generally at the top of the list. Whether you are driving home, shovelling snow, putting your car into your garage or concerned about water drainage, driveways play a huge part of your day to day life.
“What causes driveways to settle” is one of the more common questions Eco Concrete Levelling receives. There are generally two main reasons depending on what section of the driveway is settling. One reason is that the utilities (water and septic lines) are usually beneath the driveway. These utilities are generally between 7 and 10 feet below the driveway and are often then backfilled with the same dirt that was excavated for the placement of them. In most cases one half of the driveway is placed on “undisturbed” soil while the other half is placed over the utility lines which by there placement is now “disturbed” soil. Rarely is the soil ever compacted back to the original density when the lines are backfilled. If the soil was wet or frozen when it was backfilled the “chunks” of soil would be much larger than if the home was backfilled with sand or dry dirt. In wetter years these “chunks” may not break down but in dryer years trees and vegetation can dry out the “chunks” causing settling. Once this occurs the soil settles and voids are created below the concrete reducing the slabs support. If these voids are not detected early enough the concrete slab will begin to crack and eventually break causing the slab to fall until there is sufficient support to hold the weight of the driveway and vehicles.
The second reason is very similar to the first which is when the driveway is adjacent to the foundation of the house. The backfill that is against the foundation wall begins to settle and often the only thing holding the driveway up is the metal dowels that are drilled into the foundation wall. Once the void becomes to large for the dowels to support the weight or the dowels simply fail (normally due to rust) the slab begins to settle and eventually cracks and falls. Once this occurs your homes foundation can be at risk due to water getting beneath the slab. If this water freezes the expansion of the water can put a great amount of pressure against the foundation wall. Also this settling can channel an unusual mount of water towards your foundation. One of the biggest functions a driveway performs is to keep water away from your home.
Last but not least driveways always act as a walkway. When these cracks occur they are not only unsightly but can produce a trip hazard. Also when covered by snow they can be exceptionally hard on the person removing the snow or the equipment they are using. If you want to maintain the value of your home driveway levelling is at the top of the list. Remember first impressions make a huge difference in the minds of any home buyer.