Sinking Concrete: How Dry Weather Causes Concrete to Sink

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Many different factors can cause sinking concrete around your pavement, sidewalk, or driveway. Some of these reasons are environmental, such as weather, soil composition, or even changes in the atmosphere. If you’ve noticed that the concrete slabs around your property have sunk, consider whether your area has recently had dry weather, as it may be the primary culprit.

Issues with Dry Weather

  • Evaporation – One of the chief ways dry weather leads to sinking concrete is through water evaporation. Concrete requires water to remain sturdy. Dry weather causes the water to evaporate, weakening the concrete, causing it to crack, and becoming unstable. Some cracked areas of the slab begin to sink into the soil.
  • Shrinkage –Another issue with dry weather causing sinking concrete is that the water evaporates from the soil as the dryness persists. The earth begins to shrink and is no longer as dense as before. This is highly likely in areas with much clay in their soil. Without the support underneath, the weight of the concrete slab causes it to sink. This will lead to a “slab-on-grade foundation.” If your pavement, driveway, or sidewalk is made of concrete slabs, these cracked or damaged slabs can fall into the void created beneath that has now lost its support.
  • Erosion – During dry seasons, the soil and concrete lose moisture, compromising structural integrity. But when summer showers come, sudden rainfall and liquid coming into the dried ground cause it to erode. The soil is overwhelmed by the water and moves, becoming displaced, leading to the sinking concrete or slabs going out of position.

All these issues will damage and displace the concrete slabs, leading to sinking concrete and the pavement becoming a significant health and safety risk. People are more likely to trip, slip, or fall over. It’s best to carefully assess the state of your concrete pavement during a dry spell and take swift action to resolve it when possible.

Boss Mudjacking has helped property owners throughout Kansas City to ensure the stability and maintenance of their concrete slabs following the dry season. Visit BossMudjacking.com to find options.