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Repairing vs. Replacing Concrete for Orlando Residents

Cracked and Uneven Concrete Sidewalk

Upon first noticing those unsightly cracks in your driveway or the uneven surface in your concrete pool deck, you might initially think that your concrete might need to be replaced. In addition to the decreased curb appeal caused by damaged concrete, safety concerns become a major issue when trip hazards form when slabs begin to settle into the ground.

Along with the concrete concerns within the property of their homes, Florida residents in cities like Orlando encounter further challenges when the sidewalks around their homes become damaged. It is at this point that damaged concrete ceases to be merely a personal safety concern and becomes one for the entire community.

What is often misunderstood is that damaged concrete doesn’t always require a full removal and replacement. In fact, more often than not, repairing concrete is the most optimal solution in terms of overall cost and time. 

Before we dive into whether repairing or replacing your concrete is the best option for you, let's cover some reasons why concrete becomes damaged in the first place.

What Causes Concrete Damage in the Greater Orlando Area?

Several key factors contribute to concrete damage in Orlando and understanding them is essential when determining whether to repair or replace your concrete.

  • Unstable Soil. When concrete settles into the ground and trip hazards form, it’s often due to the shifting of the soil underneath. Weak soil compaction from prior land development is almost certain to result in concrete sinking over time. Fill soils that were placed by builders before the concrete was poured tend to not be as strong as the native soils underneath, causing the concrete to sink when voids inevitably form.

    Additionally, heavy rainfall during Florida's stormy weather seasons in Orlando can cause soil to erode as water seeps beneath the concrete. As the concrete shifts along with the soil, additional surface cracking occurs, leading to further water infiltration.
  • Temperature Changes. As the seasons change and temperatures fluctuate in the Orlando area, concrete also shifts accordingly. During the cooler months of the year, concrete will contract, causing the control joints and any surface cracks to widen. At this time, debris of all types can collect in the joints and cracks. Once Orlando's hot summer months come along, the concrete will expand, and any debris present will exert pressure against the slabs, leading to additional cracking.

Should Orlando Residents Repair Their Concrete?

Now that we know why damage occurs, let's discuss when repairing concrete is your best option. 

Orlando concrete repair is often not only more affordable but also less of a hassle overall compared to a total replacement. Fortunately, most early signs of damage can be repaired quickly and with minimal inconvenience.

When Repairing Concrete is the Right Choice

Situations that would make repairing concrete the best option include:

  • Surface Cracks. More often than not, cracks along the surface of concrete slabs can be completely sealed, negating the need for a total replacement. However, not all solutions are equal, and most DIY methods won't offer a long-term fix.

    NexusPro offers a long-lasting, durable solution to seal the cracks and joints in your concrete, preventing debris build-up and water intrusion. Unlike temporary urethane caulk solutions, NexusPro is resilient to UV rays and temperature changes, preventing drying, cracking, and deterioration.

  • Unlevel Slabs. It may be a surprise to some to find out that their settling, uneven concrete can be repaired and leveled. Antiquated methods such as mudjacking had left most to believe there was no true long-lasting solution to save settling concrete.

    However, most concrete leveling repairs today utilize PolyLevel as an efficient long-term solution. This two-part polyurethane foam is injected directly underneath the concrete through discreet, pea-sized holes. The foam then quickly expands to fill voids and lift the concrete slabs back to their original position.

    Unlike mudjacking, PolyLevel is a lightweight and environmentally safe solution that stabilizes the surrounding soils without adding extra weight. The installation process is quick and convenient, with a curing time of less than half an hour and very little clean-up needed.

What About Concrete Replacement in Orlando?

Although repairing concrete should generally be preferred as the more affordable and convenient option, there are a few instances where an entire concrete replacement might be the right choice.

A complete concrete replacement can be a lengthy, costly, and inconvenient process, particularly when it involves replacing an entire driveway or pool deck.

The process of breaking down the existing concrete into smaller pieces and laying down new soil before pouring the new concrete will require the use of a lot of heavy equipment, labor, and time. 

Furthermore, new concrete takes days to properly dry and up to a month to completely cure, which presents a major inconvenience compared to the quick turnaround time of repairing concrete.

When You Should Replace Your Concrete

With all that being said, there are some cases where a complete concrete replacement may be warranted.

Sometimes the damage to concrete can be so severe that it can become irreparable, leaving no choice but to replace it. These can be obvious cases where there are missing portions of concrete, which would of course necessitate replacing.

Some not-so-obvious instances would be if the sub-base that the concrete was originally installed upon is too unstable to allow for any repairs to be permanent. 

If the concrete is too old to justify repairing, replacing the concrete could be a worthwhile investment to enhance the value of a property.

Sometimes the answer isn’t always so clear, which is why having a professional Orlando concrete repair contractor inspect your concrete can help determine whether a complete replacement is necessary.

What is the Best Choice For You?

Choosing between repairing and replacing concrete is not a decision to be taken lightly, as it can vary greatly in terms of cost, time, and convenience. Sometimes the decision can seem clear, while other times it may not be as straightforward.

Enlisting the help of expert concrete services in Orlando can provide you with the clear insight needed to help you make the right decision. LRE Foundation Repair can provide you with the knowledge and guidance you need to feel confident about your choices regarding your concrete repair needs.

Offering free inspections in the Orlando, Tampa, and Miami areas of Florida, reach out to LRE Foundation Repair today to discover the solutions available for you.

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