Common Causes for Cracked or Broken Concrete in Michigan

Poor Installation Conditions

One cause of cracked concrete is improper conditions for the initial installation.  Temperature and weather both play a role in how concrete cures (dries and strengthens).

Concrete poured at higher temperatures gains strength more quickly than concrete kept at a lower temperature. Pouring concrete during freezing temperatures can affect its strength over time.

Poor Ground Support

External forces that can cause sunken or uneven concrete  include ground swelling and improper or inadequate reinforcements (rebar, forms, etc.).  Heavy rainfall coupled with poor drainage can wash out soil underneath poured concrete, causing settlement and cracking alike.  Additionally, the soil itself that supports concrete can expand and contract unevenly.

Sometimes the weight of vehicles can also cause cracking and settlement.  Homeowners sometimes have heavy items delivered (mulch, rock, etc.), allowing heavy vehicles with heavy loads to drive on their concrete.  This can cause immediate problems, often on corners or joints.

Common Causes for Cracked or Broken Concrete

Soil Erosion And Other Reasons

  1. Improper Sub Grade – Concrete was installed on improper sub grade that may not have been properly compacted or the material will wash away. As a result, eventually the slab will start to settle and become uneven.
  2. Soil erosion – Drainage, runoff from roof water or improper downspout placement can wash away soil beneath your concrete and thus contribute to uneven slab settlement.
  3. Natural Soil Settlement – If the slab is 5 to 7 years old, it could experience natural movement. As the concrete starts to sink, it can cause trip hazards, harmful water runoff, or foundation issues.
  4. Critter Invasion – Small rodents, woodchucks, chipmunks can potentially burrow under slabs removing sub grade and allowing slabs to sink.

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