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Your Leaning Chimney May Spell Trouble

Photo of a leaning chimney attached to the right side of a roof against a blue sky.

Call Airlift Concrete Experts today with any questions.

It’s a beautiful summer day, and you’re outside doing yard work when you spot it: the chimney. You said you’d get to it all year long, but it never happened. It started with just a small tilt or a few missing bricks so many months ago, but now it has a definite lean and looks a little precarious. Luckily, Airlift Concrete Experts knows exactly how to help with that overlooked leaning chimney.

A leaning chimney could be a sign that there is a problem with the foundation supporting it. This does not only affect the area of the chimney, but it could extend to the entire foundation. Issues with the foundation should be addressed immediately because they compromise the safety and integrity of your home’s structure. Make sure to call right away especially if your chimney is tilting and there is space between the chimney and siding, uneven mortar joints, or cracks in the chimney.

What causes these issues?

If your chimney is tilted or there is space between the chimney and siding, this has to do with a settling foundation, poor soil compaction before the initial construction, or an issue with the footings in the foundation. While there is initially some ‘give’ in materials because a building is expected to settle, there is a problem when there is a major shift or sink and the chimney settles as well into an unnatural and unsafe position. Settling can also lead to other issues like uneven floors and cracks in the walls.

How can Airlift Concrete Experts fix the issue?

There are two main options to fix a leaning chimney, and each will help not only your chimney but your foundation’s general integrity. The first option is to fix the foundation issue that is causing the leaning. The concrete below the chimney and house needs to be supported to resolve the settlement issues. This could be a fairly simple process depending on how serious the settlement is, and it would involve lifting and balancing the concrete until it is stable and solid.

The second option is to to use polyjacking. Polyjacking is when polyurethane foam is placed into voids, or empty spaces, to balance out the settling process. This process will provide a less invasive way than mudjacking to correct settlement issues. By filling in these spaces, polyjacking provides a solid base for the concrete and creates a safe foundation environment.

If you see your chimney leaning, don’t ignore it! Call Airlift Concrete Experts today for a free consultation!

All You Need To Know About Polyurethane Injections

Why the Need for Polyurethane?

Since the dawn of civilization, soil stabilization has been a concern for those involved in building structures, roads, and bridges.  Even with all the technology we have today, unpredictable weather conditions can produce snow, rain, and severe temperature shifts which can create deep underground expanses such as voids, water pockets, and fissures. Polyurethane injections can help with many of the problems caused by these influences.
 
Other causes of unstable soil conditions can be attributed to improper soil compaction, soil erosion, and plumbing leaks. These expanses destabilize the structures and foundations which result visibly in cracks, potholes, sinkholes, and damage that can take its toll on private property like homes and structures and public assets like pipelines, roads, sewers, bridges and other structures.

How to Deal with Unstable Soil Conditions

Most work crews attempt to deal with the symptoms by sealing the cracks, filling the potholes, rebuilding the damaged structures, or laying down new asphalt. However, these attempts only mask the underlying problem and the issues will reoccur, requiring the same type of maintenance and repair after each season of extreme weather. The answer is to deal with the issues that are causing the problem: unstable soil conditions.
 
At Airlift Concrete Experts, LLC we always attempt to deal with the issues that are causing the damage versus only dealing with the symptoms.  Our goal is to provide our customers with quality solutions that solve soil issues directly at their source. We do this primarily by using a polyurethane foam that is injected deep into unstable soils. This process offers our customers the most affordable and cost-effective solutions to their structural problems. Alternatives to this method are expensive excavations and removing and replacing the concrete.

Soil Stabilization with Polyurethane Foam

Many people wonder how the process of polyurethane repair works. First, penny size holes are strategically drilled in the affected area based on the location, area, and scope of the repair. Then a two-part polyurethane mixture is mechanically injected through the hole utilizing carefully calibrated injection equipment. Underneath the concrete, a chemical reaction occurs where the two elements mix to create an expanding foam. The foam fills all voids in the surrounding soil and stabilizes loose and non-compacted soil while expanding to create the lift. Enough material is injected into the troubled areas until the desired height is achieved and the concrete has returned to its original place. The holes are then filled with a high-density cement type grout and finished to match the existing concrete. You won’t even know that there was a repair to the concrete.

The Benefits of Polyurethane Foam Injections

  • Polyurethane Deep InjectionThey are strong, lightweight and dense
  • Hole repair is completely concealed and unnoticeable
  • Completely ready for service within 15 minutes of completion
  • Smaller and fewer holes are needed to complete the job
  • The foam will retain its strength and structure, reducing the possibility of new gaps or settlement
  • Once injected into the soil, the foam will find a path to fill in all gaps and voided areas under the concrete created by underground water displacement
  • The foam is not weakened by moisture or chemicals found in soil
  • The foam seeks out weak soils and voids during expansion, creating a strong and denser base
  • Polyurethane foam is environmentally friendly. It is an inert material that is self-contained and does not seep.

Choose Airlift Concrete Experts in Arkansas

Airlift Concrete Experts is your concrete slab lifting and leveling expert in Little Rock, Arkansas and surrounding areas. We repair concrete slabs that are cracked, uneven, crumbled, or that have settled over time. If you need concrete repair for your driveway, walkway, patio, garage floor, or porch steps, we can help!

Driveway Repair: Fix Your Driveway Problems in Arkansas

Cracked and uneven driveways in Arkansas are fairly common, especially among older properties. Fixing driveway cracks may not seem like a high priority item, but perhaps you are ready to revamp the look of your home and stop worrying about the tripping hazards your guests face when they come to visit. If you are trying to sell your home in Arkansas, fixing your driveway problems will not only increase your curb appeal but will also increase the overall real estate value of your property. Driveway repair is much easier and quicker than it was in the past

Concrete Driveway Problems Solved

Driveway Crack Arkansas

Having an entirely new driveway installed may not be in your budget. So what are your options? Here at Airlift Concrete Experts in Arkansas, we have affordable driveway repair solutions so that you don’t have to repave or replace your concrete driveway.

Here are some common driveway problems that Arkansas homeowners come to us with:

  • Sunken driveways
  • Driveway cracks
  • Driveway split and dropped
  • Erosion under driveway
  • Driveway settlement
  • Unlevel driveway
  • Driveway issues allowing water into the garage
  • Tripping hazards
  • Major drainage issues due to cracks

How We Repair Driveway Problems

Driveway Repair Arkansas

Airlift Concrete Experts uses an affordable and effective concrete repair solution called polyjacking to fix cracked or sunken driveways in Arkansas.

Polyjacking is a concrete leveling method where a polyurethane foam solution is injected into the damaged concrete. Once injected, this foam expands and hydraulically lifts the concrete back into place. This method seals cracks and voids in your concrete and raises it all to the same level. The polyurethane solution is also waterproof, so it will prevent water from seeping into your garage or creating erosion underneath your driveway.

To learn more about the benefits of polyjacking, click here.

Choose Airlift Concrete Experts for Driveway Repair

If you are looking for driveway repair solutions in Little Rock, Arkansas, and surrounding areas, give Airlift Concrete Experts a call today. We serve Alexander, North Little Rock, Conway, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs, and other cities in the area. We would be happy to provide you with a free quote and consultation.

Selling A House With Foundation Problems vs. Repairing Them First

Selling A House With Foundation Problems

So you’re thinking about selling your house, but there’s only one problem. You’ve been putting off repairing your cracked or sinking foundation for years, and now you’re afraid prospective buyers will be turned off by your foundation problems.

What should you do? Fix the foundation first or sell the house “as-is”?

You’ve got to make a big decision quickly that could potentially cost you a lot of money. Here are a few things to consider.

Signs of Foundation Problems You Should Take Seriously

should i fix my foundation before i sell my house?

Whether you are buying or selling a home in Arkansas, it is important to know how serious your foundation problems are. Following are a few signs that any good real estate agent would tell you to take seriously:

  • Doors and windows that aren’t aligned
  • Doors that stick or don’t latch shut
  • Windows that are difficult to open or have cracks in the glass
  • Sloping floors or staircases
  • Cracks in the walls or ceilings
  • Gaps between the walls or the walls and ceiling
  • Large cracks in the basement or foundation
  • Water in the basement, crawl spaces or house perimeter

These issues usually determine serious structural issues and may be a major turnoff to potential buyers since they can be expensive to fix. You will be required to disclose any problems with your foundation, and interested buyers may require you to have them repaired before they purchase your property.

Should I Hire a Structural Engineer?

If you have signs of serious foundation issues, you might want to consider hiring a structural engineer to determine the full extent of the damages and how much it would cost to repair your foundation. Hiring a structural engineer typically costs anywhere from $500 to $1,000, but it’s worth the cost if you are thinking about moving forward with the repairs.

Even if you decide not to repair the foundation before you sell, it will help you negotiate a fair price with potential buyers. If a buyer loves the house, they are less likely to walk away from the deal if they know the cost of repairing the foundation.

Repair the Problems or Sell the House “As Is”?

selling a house with foundation problems

Whatever you decide to do, it is important to be honest with potential buyers that your house has a foundation problem.

Reasons to leave it

Many realtors would advise you not to fix your home before you list it because whatever repairs you do become part of the public record. The reason that is a problem is that many potential buyers would immediately cross your home off the list because it has foundation problems. If they don’t even show up to see your home, you won’t have a chance to explain that you’ve fixed the problem.

Reasons to fix it first

There are always two sides to every issue. Some realtors suggest that you fix the foundation first. Many buyers would prefer to buy a home without significant problems because their funds are already strapped, and they won’t want to pour additional money literally “into the pit”. Also, the reputation of the contractor and warranty should be a strong selling point for a potential buyer.

How Should I Promote My House With a Foundation Problem?

Believe it or not, you can promote a foundation problem as a good thing. Once you adjust the price, let the buyers know that they can “add new amenities to the property while they are repairing it”. Many buyers in Arkansas like the idea of adding a personal touch to their homes, and your house will attract buyers with that kind of Arkansas “can do” attitude.

Some realtors even encourage people to buy homes with foundation issues because the discount is usually 20% to 25% while the cost to fix it is usually only around 10%.

Get a Free Foundation Consultation in Arkansas

If you need to contact a foundation repair expert in Arkansas, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Airlift Concrete Experts. We offer foundation repair inspections and free consultations to a 60-mile radius around Alexander, Arkansas, which includes the cities of Little Rock, Conway, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs, Benton, and Jacksonville.

 

How To Fix Foundation Cracks

Many homeowners with foundation cracks look for quick DIY solutions to get the damage repaired as quickly and easily as possible. However, quick solutions such as caulking and sealing cracks will only provide a temporary cosmetic solution if you have serious foundation damage.

Sometimes, foundation cracks indicate more than what meets the eye: an underlying structural issue. In this case, simply sealing cracks will not prevent your foundation from continuing to settle into the ground. So how do you know if your foundation cracks are serious enough for structural repair?

Do My Foundation Cracks Need Structural Repair?

Vertical and diagonal cracks in your home’s foundation are most often a sign of natural settlement and not necessarily a sign of structural damage in your home. If the crack seems even when you run your finger across it, that probably isn’t a sign of a major problem, and you should be able to do the minor cosmetic repair yourself.

horizontal crack foundation, structural cracks in houses

Horizontal cracks can be signs of a serious foundation problem.

Larger cracks that aren’t serious enough to indicate foundation failure may be repaired by you or a contractor. A homeowner can fix simple foundation cracks that don’t involve drilling holes in the foundation walls or using high-pressure injection systems. Cracks that leak should be fixed by Airlift Concrete Experts because we have the tools, products, and know-how to repair them.

Cracks larger than 1/4” in width, particularly horizontal cracks and ones that leak, are a different matter, and you should consult Airlift Concrete Experts to determine whether further repairs should be implemented in order to avoid serious foundation problems or even foundation failure.

Foundation Crack Repair Methods

Following are various methods used by homeowners and professionals to repair foundation cracks. Some methods are more reliable and longer-lasting than others.

Caulk Crack Repair

Often homeowners may try to patch a leaking crack with caulk. This repair lasts only 6 months to a year because water will continue to fill the crack behind the patch. Eventually, efflorescence, a white mineral salt in the groundwater, will break the seal and allow water to seep in again.

Hydraulic Cement Crack Fillings

Sometimes homeowners or contractors will try to repair the crack by chiseling out an inverted V-groove and filling it with hydraulic cement. While the cement will fill the hole, it doesn’t bond with the cement. Usually, within a couple of years, the concrete wall will fluctuate with changes in temperature and moisture and cause the plug to leak again.

cracked wall cracked slabEpoxy Crack Injections

Epoxy crack injection is an effective method designed to fix cracks in poured concrete foundations. Airlift Concrete Experts is highly experienced and knowledgeable about this type of repair.

This type of repair is applied from the inside of your basement, so there is no need for excavation on the outside. Once the epoxy is applied, it usually takes about 5 hours to cure. Epoxy injections will permanently seal cracks and provide structural integrity as the epoxy is stronger than the concrete itself. Call Airlift Concrete Experts today to learn more and find out if an epoxy injection is the right solution for you!

Excavation

Sometimes, foundation cracks will continue to form because of serious water issues affecting the foundation. In this case, excavation is required. All structures, sidewalks, gardens, and landscaping are removed during excavation. Then multiple layers of synthetic waterproof material are installed to prevent further movement of the wall and prevent water from affecting the foundation.

After the waterproofing is installed, everything is returned. It is important to keep in mind that the excavated soil will settle during the first year, so you will need to regrade it the following year.

Polyurethane Polymer Injection

The best method to repair a foundation crack that is leaking is to inject into it a high-viscosity polyurethane polymer. Unlike other fillers, polyurethane bonds well to both wet and dry concrete, and its high viscosity allows it to fill even the smallest hairline cracks.

Polyurethane polymer can be developed to expand up to 20 times its volume, if needed. As a result, the seal will not fail as the wall continues to move and shift. Also, it is much less expensive than other exterior methods because it requires no labor-intensive excavation and can be completed within a few hours.

 

 

Contact Airlift Concrete Experts for Foundation Cracks

If you’re not sure how to repair a crack or whether or not repairing a foundation crack is an adequate solution to your problem, contact Airlift Concrete Experts today. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation and quote!

Polyjacking vs. Mudjacking

If you have concrete on your property that is sunken, uneven, or full of voids and spaces, you may be wondering what the best solution is. Sometimes, damaged concrete appears like it should be completely replaced, but several repair options can make your concrete as good as new. Polyjacking and mudjacking are both popular and effective methods for repairing your concrete, but which one should you choose? Here we will look at both solutions and help to steer you in the right direction.

Mudjacking

Mudjacking is a process in which holes are drilled into the affected area of your concrete, and filled with a mixture of cement, water, and grout. This mixture, called slurry, will fill the voids beneath your concrete and, through hydraulic pressure, lift it back to its original level. Once this is complete, the holes can then be filled and the site is cleaned up. Mudjacking is a cost-effective process and can be applied to a variety of areas such as driveways, sidewalks, porch steps, and more. Although the slurry mixture gives strength to the concrete, it is also extremely heavy, adding weight to the sub-base. If the soil is already having trouble supporting the slab, it’s going to continue to compress when you add hundreds of pounds of slurry.

Polyjacking

Like mudjacking, polyjacking also requires drilled holes and injections. This time, polyurethane foam is injected into the concrete, but through much smaller-sized and a fewer number of holes. This foam will expand an incredible amount and travel through the concrete, filling every void that is present. It can accurately lift your concrete even to 10/1000th of an inch! The polyurethane foam is much more lightweight than the slurry that is used in mudjacking, which may not provide as much tensile strength, but it allows for the soil around it to be compacted. This prevents future foundation failure and keeps the concrete stable for years to come. Unlike mudjacking, polyjacking is a quick process and the concrete can be used about 15 minutes after it is fixed. Polyjacking can also be applied to various places including your garage floor, walkways, patio, and more.

Here at Airlift Concrete Experts, we recommend polyjacking for all concrete raising, leveling, and stabilization applications. Polyjacking is a quick, cost-effective, and efficient method that has proven to last for years to come. To learn more about the benefits of polyjacking, click here. If you have more questions about polyjacking and mudjacking in Little Rock and surrounding areas, be sure to call Airlift Concrete Experts at (501) 744-8274. We are here to help!

Polyjacking experts vs mudjacking experts

Types of Foundation Cracks and How to Fix Them

Diagnosing Cracks in Your Foundation

Cracks in your foundation come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It is not unusual for foundation cracks to form within the first year of new construction, often near windows, corners of the walls or floors or in the longer sections of your foundation. Most are due to foundation settling and are usually not a cause for concern. If cracks become bigger or allow water to seep through, call an expert right away or fill out the form to the right before the damage becomes worse.

Is This Foundation Crack Normal or Dangerous?

If you are unsure about your foundation cracks, monitor them to see if they are increasing in size. Simply use a pencil to mark off and date the ends of each crack. Within a period of time, you will be able to tell if the crack is due to natural settling or if it indicates a more serious problem. Tracking them will also help foundation repair experts determine how they were formed and the best way to fix them.

Take a look at the types of foundation cracks below to determine if your foundation crack is a cause for concern.

Vertical and Diagonal Foundation Cracks

vertical foundation crack, normal foundation crack, vertical cracks in block foundation, vertical crack in garage foundation

Usually, a diagonal or vertical crack in the foundation wall is the result of settling in the concrete foundation and is quite common in new construction. Because concrete shrinks while it cures, these cracks are called shrinkage cracks. They usually run vertically or diagonally, are often located in the middle section of walls and are less than 1/8 in wide.

Frequently you will find vertical cracks in block foundations. If the crack is located closer to a corner and is wider than 1/8 in, it is probably not due to shrinkage but indicates a more serious foundation issue. If your vertical foundation crack is wider than 1/8 of an inch, call a professional to get it inspected as it may be a cause for concern.

Horizontal Foundation Cracks

horizontal crack foundation, structural cracks in houses, foundation cracksHorizontal cracks often indicate a more serious problem. They are caused by hydrostatic (water) pressure from the outside of the walls and can lead to a failure in the foundation. Most foundations are designed to handle the pressure of water and soil.  Additional pressure due to heavy rains or flooding can create serious horizontal cracks that need to be repaired as soon as possible.

You must contact us as soon as possible if you have a horizontal crack.

When is a Foundation Beyond Repair?

Fortunately, most foundation issues can be repaired with underpinning solutions and hydraulic lifting. A foundation may be considered beyond repair if the investment that it takes to restore it does not add enough value to the home. Although very uncommon, this sometimes occurs when a foundation has completely collapsed and the damage to the home is irreversible.

Listed below are some of the most serious signs of foundation problems that we have seen that should be addressed immediately before your foundation collapses and fails:

  • Cracks that change direction
  • Bulging walls due to water pressure
  • Sloping and weak floors above the foundation
  • Vertical foundation cracks wider at the top than the bottom
  • Fitting a dime through a foundation crack

If you have any of these signs around your Arkansas property, contact a professional contractor as soon as possible. If walls are bulging after heavy rains or flooding, your foundation may be in danger of an imminent collapse. Contact Airlift Concrete Experts immediately.

Repairing Vertical or Diagonal Cracks

Vertical and diagonal cracks in your home’s foundation are most often a sign of foundation settlement and not necessarily a sign of structural damage. If the crack seems even when you run your finger across it, it probably isn’t a sign of a major problem.

Sometimes unknowing homeowners and lazy contractors will try to repair the crack by chiseling out an inverted V-groove into the crack and then fill it with hydraulic cement. While the new cement will fill the hole, it doesn’t bond with the original cement. Usually, within a couple of years, the concrete wall will fluctuate with changes in temperature and moisture and cause the plug to leak again.

Airlift Concrete Experts has professional solutions to fix your vertical foundation cracks once and for all. If you have small cracks and/or water seepage, we can use epoxy injections to repair a diagonal or vertical crack. Once a crack is large enough to insert a dime, you may have a foundation problem and you will need to invest in structural repairs.

horizontal and vertical cracks

Repairing Horizontal Cracks

Horizontal cracks on foundation walls often indicate serious problems that may eventually lead to complete foundation wall failure. If the soil around your home is not properly graded and drained, water will eventually saturate the ground around the foundation walls and increase the hydrostatic (water) pressure which may exceed the weight-bearing capacity of the walls and cause them to crack or bow. Properties with clay soils that expand and contract significantly are particularly vulnerable to lateral pressure on their walls.

One of the best methods used for crack repair is epoxy injections.  Epoxy injection is a system that welds the crack back together.  It restores the original strength and loading of the original concrete.  Epoxy injections also restore the design and structural quality and make the concrete seem as good as new.  The epoxy seal makes the foundation impervious seal to air, water, chemicals, debris, and other contaminants.

Go Crack-Free Forever With Professional Foundation Repair

Sometimes filling horizontal cracks and repairing other cosmetic problems simply isn’t enough.  They won’t solve the underlying issues of a failing foundation.  So what should you do?  If you want to benefit from long-lasting results, contact the team at Airlift Concrete Experts. We have the foundation repair solutions that you need to keep your home strong, stable, and crack-free for years to come.

Chipping Concrete Repair with Polyjacking

Do you have cracked or sunken concrete on your property? Like many Arkansas homeowners, you may have noticed chipping concrete on your porch steps, or a sloping driveway or walkway. Concrete problems like these are not uncommon, especially on Arkansas soils.

What Causes Concrete Damage?

One of the main causes of concrete chipping or cracking is soil expansion. When the soil beneath your home becomes heavily saturated with water (due to weather, drainage leaks, or excessive watering), it will create hydraulic (hydrostatic) pressure against your concrete. When the pressure is great enough, your concrete will chip, crack, settle, or heave.

You may be ignoring concrete repair because it seems like a large (and expensive) undertaking. However, damaged concrete is unsightly, lowers the value of your home, and presents a tripping hazard for you and to guests. Airlift Concrete Experts cares about the quality of Arkansas homes and the safety of you and your family – which is why we offer free quotes for all of your concrete repair needs. We also offer a method that is quick and affordable and requires no demolition or disturbance to your property.

Our Solution for Cracked and Chipping Concrete

chipping concretePolyjacking is a concrete repair method that consists of raising, filling, and leveling your concrete slab with polyurethane foam. We drill a small hole into your concrete and inject the foam, which then expands underneath the ground and fills every crack and void. Your concrete will be raised and leveled back to its original state. Some of the benefits of polyjacking include:

  • Affordable method
  • Can be completed within hours
  • No disturbance to property
  • Leaves concrete permanently resistant to water
  • Fills voids and holes of any size underneath the concrete
  • Can be used on big or small projects
  • Permanent solution
  • Eco-friendly

Call Airlift Concrete Experts in Little Rock, AR and surrounding areas for a free quote on polyjacking today (or fill out the form to the right). Let us help you restore your concrete and give your home or business a fresh new look. We can repair cracked driveways, sloping sidewalks, settled garage floors, crumbling foundations, chipping concrete, porch steps pulled away from your home, and more. We are a reputable company in Arkansas that is known for our quality work, honesty in pricing, and integrity.

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