Concrete Movement at your Driveway

 

Colorado Springs has a variety of soils, the Briargate area has lots of sand while other areas have lots of clay.  Sand allows rain water to peculate or drain easily while clay does not and some clays are expansive or swells when wet.  In my Home Inspections it is not unusual to to find concrete drives that have a elevation difference of an inch or more and is considered a trip hazard.  This elevation difference is usually because water has found its way under the concrete or in some cases due to improper compaction when the house was built.  For the sake of this article we will say because of water intrusion.  When the house is built there is a joint between the garage floor slab and the drive slab, typically an expansion joint material, which is a fibrous material is placed between the concrete for a separation.  The problem is over time this fibrous material will deteriorate which will allow water under the concrete slab and if the soil is expansive then you get movement of the slabs.

In Commercial projects these joints are caulked with a polyurethane two part caulk which remains flexible when cured, you have no doubt seen these joints while walking into the malls or doctors office.  The same type caulk is available to home owners in a one part which can be purchased from your home improvement centers.  The caulk is available which will fit into a standard caulk gun and it comes in many colors but concrete Gray is the most common for this use.  By caulking the joints you can extend the life of your concrete by many years.  The photos below from a recent Home Inspection shows a condition in which most of the fibrous material has deteriorated and will lead to concrete movement.  If you are not handy with caulking of this type (it is tricky) call a caulking professional it will save you money in the long run.

Tom Camp

 

This joint is not as deteriorated, but needs to be replaced.Deterioration found during home inspection in Briargate