How can we fix our concrete?


The people who built this house LOVED CONCRETE. As in seriously loved concrete. He even built his own super sized septic tank out of the stuff. The place is a fortress. It does present unique challenges though. One of the attributes of the house (other than walls a minimum of 6 inches think-I kid you not-my window sills are to die for) is a concrete 'apron' all the way around the house. Now this place was built in the 1970's. Lots of rain has come and gone. We've got washing, eroding, and whatnot going on, and it needs attention. Water is getting into the basement now.

How do you fix this? Break it up and redo it? Cry a lot? What kind of money, effort, and doctor bills are we talking about?

Also have sections where gravel is showing and is butt ugly. Need to renovate that as well. Tried to upload picture but web site won't take it.

q how can we fix our concrete

Shifting slab that is allowing rainwater in next to foundation.

q how can we fix our concrete

slab that has dropped about 5 inches and is allowing rainwater to flow to house instead of directing away as intended.

  7 answers
  • Oliva Oliva on Mar 31, 2019

    Why not try redirecting the water, first? Swales or French drains (with a minimum slope to both the trench and the piping of at least 3-5%),

    wider gutters (if you receive torrential downfalls, you need faster dispersal of large quantities of water),

    gutter helmet (precludes gutters damming and need to clean out twice a year or more)

    wiith extended downspouts to divert water a minimum of 10' from the foundation (underground extensions avoid potential tripping or having to mow around an above ground version) ,

    sloping ground away from your foundation,

    and a basement dehumidifier set to run at max of 40% humidity are all places to start.

    You may also want to consider applying some type of water repellent to your concrete apron.

  • Oliva Oliva on Mar 31, 2019

    Hi, Ellen,

    Can you post smaller photos? The size of the roofline, foundation, degree of erosion will affect costs.

    A French drain can be done by a homeowner, renting the trencher, but you will have additional costs for perforated piping, fabric to properly line trench, 2B gravel, piping fabric cover, etc., plus cost of re-seeding. You'll need a place to have the gravel dumped, hopefully near your work area, as the gravel's weight can be daunting.

    Careful research of the project requirements is mandatory, whether or not you do it or someone is hired, to insure you know proper procedures.

    Your erosion may require lifting some concrete, back filling with gravel, then re setting concrete. Hopefully, your replacement of concreted areas would be minimal, but it's difficult to ascertain, without photos of all areas of concern.

  • You have the right attitude! I was giggling when I read your post. I am so sorry. But this can be remedied. I agree with the previously suggested methods. You might also consider a consult with a landscape architect or soils expert. If you decide to hire any portion out, here is how to hire a contractor - any contractor, you may ever need.

  • Schalk Schalk on Apr 01, 2019

    Hi for the joints in the first picture,i will suggest you clean all joints properly.Buy Dura grout,mix according to directions om packet and pour into joints and cracks.Allow to dry.With the sackking one must investigate on site to make an informed decision

    Hope this will help

  • Mary Mary on Apr 01, 2019

    hire a slab jacker. They can raise up portions of fallen concrete slabs

  • Rymea Rymea on Apr 01, 2019

    I can't tell how big the slabs are. If they are small enough for you to pry up with a very long crow bar or similar metal bar, then you can shovel gravel under them to level. Otherwise you need mudjacking.

  • Jmary Jmary on Apr 01, 2019

    You get a professional cement lifter. They drill a couple holes in the cement and power blow a filling under the slab that lifts it to match height. We had that done on our apron of our garage slab cement and it worked perfect.