The Common Causes of Parking Lot Cracking and Sinking

August 27, 2020 5:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A concrete parking lot is a significant investment for any commercial property owner. Therefore, it is important that you keep up to date with proper maintenance should you start to notice any issues with the concrete.

One of the most common problems people experience with concrete parking lots is sinking. Over an extended period of time, concrete can begin to settle lower than where it was initially installed, which can be particularly problematic in parking lots, where uneven surfaces can make it difficult to drive safely.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common causes of parking lot sinking in Jeffersonville, IN:

  • Soil washout: If you have large concrete slabs, there’s a possibility the problem could be soil washout. Water from erosion, large rainfalls, plumbing leaks or melting ice can get underneath concrete slabs anywhere, including in parking lots. As this water flows underneath, it can start to wash out the soil that is supposed to be supporting the concrete’s weight. Over time, this leaves less and less soil, and more room for the concrete to sink below its desired level. This is why it’s so important to take the proper steps to prevent water from getting beneath your pavement.
  • Changes to the soil: It’s not just washout that can alter your soil—there are other changes to the soil that can occur and result in sinking concrete. Soil can compact, shift, shrink or otherwise settle due to a wide range of environmental factors, most commonly the freezing and thawing cycles associated with the passage of the seasons. Keep in mind also that different types of soils will have their own unique load capacities, and if you exceed that capacity, the concrete can be expected to sink over time. This may happen over a number of years rather than all at once.
  • Poor compaction or construction: During the construction process, soil will be moved around to get the proper grade for the project. However, if the soil isn’t properly compacted before beginning the installation of concrete, then you’re more likely to have issues with settling. Loose soil will give way much more easily than compacted soil, which will result in empty areas under concrete slabs that are a prelude to buckling. This most frequently occurs at the corners and edges of large slabs, but can happen anywhere. In other circumstances, simple carelessness on the part of the construction crew may be to blame. Workers may have attempted to cut corners, and as a result made a weaker foundation.
  • Animals: In some circumstances, there are animals that will burrow underneath concrete slabs, and after they’ve displaced a certain amount of soil, it can result in the concrete settling or buckling. This is most likely to occur when you have problems with rodents.

For more information about some of the most common causes of parking lot sinking and for assistance in estimating the cost of parking lot leveling in Jeffersonville, IN to repair the problem, we encourage you to contact the team at Estes Excavating Inc. today.

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