For centuries, concrete has been a popular choice for all types of pavements. Today, most homes rest on concrete foundations, and concrete remains the leading choice for public sidewalks. Concrete is also widely used to construct parking lots, residential driveways, patios, and garage floors. Ideally, concrete can last more than half a century before it begins to show signs of failure, and some concrete more than twice that age is still going strong. If your Houston concrete displays signs that it is failing, there could be a single reason, but the failure could also be due to a combination of causes.
What Are Some Signs That My Houston Concrete Is Failing?
Signs of concrete failure can include cracking, spalling, subsidence, lateral movement, and uplifted slabs. Concrete failure can also manifest inside your home or commercial building. You might find cracks in your interior walls, especially around the doors or windows. The floors may crack, or they may no longer be completely level, sloping down at the corners. Doors and windows may become increasingly difficult to open and close. A severely compromised foundation can even cause problems with your roof.
What Can Cause Houston Concrete to Fail?
All experienced Houston concrete contractors know that every pavement will fail eventually. Although concrete is remarkably strong and resilient, it cannot last forever. One clue to the cause of a premature failure is the time it took for signs to appear after a Houston concrete company installed the foundation or pavement. If the signs appear soon after a concrete company in Houston completes the job, it is possible that the residential or commercial concrete contractor made an error. Later failures can be caused by natural forces, or they could result from something the property owner has or has not done.
What Are Some Errors That a Houston Concrete Company Could Make During an Installation?
It is important to note that some errors are honest miscalculations, especially if the property owner does not provide a commercial concrete contractor with the correct information on expected loading. However, there are also unscrupulous Houston concrete contractors who will cut corners to increase their profits. That said, here are some possible errors that could have been made when your Houston concrete company performed your installation.
1. The ground was not properly prepared. Because concrete is a slurry when it is poured, it can conform to irregularities in the ground beneath it. However, although this can be perfectly fine for a backyard patio or other pavement that needs to support little weight, it is not an ideal practice for commercial concrete pavements or structural foundations. The concrete will vary in thickness, resulting in a weaker pavement. Structural foundations and commercial concrete in Houston should be installed on level, compacted ground.
2. Your Houston concrete company did not use the correct mix. Houston concrete contractors can choose from several types of concrete mixes. Although the basic ingredients, which are water, cement, and aggregates, do not vary, they are not always identically proportionate, and the size and type of aggregate can be different. An inexperienced contractor might inadvertently choose the wrong mix, but an unscrupulous contractor might consciously decide to use a less expensive mix with full knowledge that it will fail prematurely.
3. Houston concrete companies must consider the weather conditions before and after an installation. A heavy rain immediately before an installation can leave the ground too saturated to compact properly. It can also cause soil with a high clay content to swell temporarily, leading to subsidence when it dries out. Rain that falls on concrete before it has had time to set can increase the concrete’s water content, which affects its integrity, but it can also affect the concrete’s aesthetics. Houston concrete companies must also consider the temperature. The ideal temperature range for pouring concrete is between 60 degrees and 80 degrees. If temperatures are much below or above that range, Houston concrete contractors typically need to take additional steps to ensure high-quality results.
What Are Some Other Reasons Why Houston Concrete Might Fail?
As previously noted, some concrete failures are the result of natural forces, but they can also have a human source. Sometimes, nature and humans contribute equally to the failure.
1. The ground in some parts of the Houston area is notoriously unstable. The water table rises and falls, potentially eroding the ground beneath the concrete. Some types of soil are more susceptible to shifting or subsiding. Whether it is horizontal or vertical, ground movement can affect the concrete above it.
2. Commercial concrete in Houston typically supports a high volume of heavy vehicles. However, some commercial concrete pavements are designed to be used only by passenger vehicles. Changes to how the pavement is used can lead to concrete damage. For example, allowing tractor-trailers access to a pavement that a concrete company in Houston constructed as an employee parking lot can result in substantial damage.
3. When planting trees or large shrubs near a concrete pavement, careful consideration must be given to the plant’s root system. Some trees have roots that spread over an impressive area, and if they reach the pavement, they could exert relentless pressure on the concrete that can eventually crack or lift it.
4. Gutters and downspouts should not be positioned so that they drain directly onto a concrete pavement. Although gushing water can eventually damage concrete, the biggest danger is that the water will work its way under the edges of the pavement and erode the ground beneath it.
If you are worried that your Houston concrete is showing signs that it is failing, reach out to the experts at Marathon Solutions Group. We offer concrete repairs as well as the installation of commercial concrete parking lots, ramps, sidewalks, ADA features, and curbs. We also offer a full range of asphalt services, including paving, sealcoating, resurfacing, milling, crack repairs, and patching. In addition, we offer parking lot striping, bollard installations, thermoplastic markings, parking lot signs, marking removal, and complete parking lot maintenance plans. We are known for the high quality of our work, our remarkable customer service, and our exemplary professionalism. You can request a free quote by filling out our form online, calling 800-879-1147, or emailing Sales@Marathon-Solutions.com.