In practical terms, concrete can not be lowered. In fact, in more cases than not, solutions to concrete problems do not involve needing to lower slabs. Most concrete trip hazards and misalignment problems develop slowly over time and are the result of concrete settling. However, you might see a problem involving an area of concrete that appears to be “raised”. Take another look. In most cases, areas appearing to be raised haven’t. They are simply alongside a slab or multiple slabs that have actually settled.
This does not mean that concrete doesn’t sometimes get pushed up, because there are cases where this does happen. Environmental extremes such as freezing and drought can wreak havoc on concrete; causing individual slabs to move and become out of alignment with one another. Tree root growth, however, is probably one of the greatest factors when it comes to forcing slabs upwards. Sometimes when concrete is severely raised due to tree roots, the only practical solution is concrete removal so that the roots can be cut away.
Then are also situations where slabs have been raised by smaller, slow growing trees that can benefit from raising surrounding slabs in order to correct trip hazards. As a general rule of thumb, we do not suggest raising slabs higher than their original construction. However, it is sometimes simpler and more economically practical to raise a slab that may not have settled in order to eliminate a trip hazard caused by another slab raised slightly by a tree root.
In the example above, the sidewalk can be lifted to eliminate the trip hazard caused by the sidewalk that has been raised by a tree root. Just remember, the tree root can continue to grow and cause another trip hazard in the future. At some point, the only solution may be to remove the root.
Based in Lake in the Hills, IL we specialize in providing modern concrete raising services for residential and commercial customers across Chicago’s suburbs. Please contact us today if you have a problem with settled concrete or if you would like to schedule a free estimate.