It's a scene that many homeowners dread: glancing out the window one day to discover large sunken areas in your once-smooth concrete driveway. These uneven sagging sections seem to appear out of nowhere, but in reality, are the result of a very common problem.
Understanding Sunken Slabs
Sunken concrete slabs occur when the ground underneath the driveway begins to settle or wash away. The weight of vehicles driving over the same area day after day also contributes to gradual sinking. As the support below the concrete erodes, sections of the driveway start to dip and crack. Water can then seep underneath and cause further erosion, leading to more pronounced sinking.
If left unaddressed, these sunken concrete slabs will only continue to deteriorate. The uneven surface also creates hazardous conditions for both vehicles and pedestrians. Tires, mufflers, and undercarriages get damaged from scraping against the raised edges of the sunk sections. Anyone walking across the driveway risks twisting an ankle or tripping.
How It Affects Your Driveway
In addition to safety concerns, sunken concrete slabs negatively impact your home's curb appeal. The uneven sunken appearance looks unkempt and diminishes the value of the property. The problem will likely only worsen over time without proper repairs.
Identifying the Problem
Homeowners will first notice sunken concrete slabs when large dips or cracks appear in the driveway surface. There may be audible clunks as vehicles pass over the uneven sections. Pitting, crumbling edges and pooling water are other telltale signs of sinking.
The issue can originate in small areas and spread or may occur simultaneously across large sections. Careful inspection when dry can help determine how much of the concrete is affected. Addressing sinking slabs as soon as the problem is spotted will provide the best repair results. Ignoring sunken concrete driveway slabs risks further deterioration and safety hazards.