Concrete Dilemma: Repair or Replace? Our Expert Advice to Help You Decide

Concrete Dilemma: Leveling vs. Replacement, Our Expert Advice to Help You Decide

Are you a homeowner who takes pride in the appearance of your property? If so, you’ve likely invested in concrete for your driveways and walkways. Concrete is a popular choice for a good reason—it’s strong, durable, and low maintenance. However, like all materials, it will eventually show signs of wear and tear. As concrete ages, it may develop unsightly cracks and holes that can detract from the curb appeal of your home.

Many homeowners assume that the only solution is to replace their entire concrete slab, but this isn’t always necessary. In fact, concrete repair or leveling can be a cost-effective way to restore your concrete’s appearance and function. The question is, “How do you know when to repair versus replace your concrete?” Let’s explore this topic in more detail.

 Concrete Leveling
  • For concrete surfaces like steps, patios, driveways, sidewalks, and porches that have settled or sunk over time, concrete leveling is a technique for filling the voids beneath the surfaces and eliminating hazards. The procedure entails drilling holes in the concrete and injecting a slurry through them and beneath the slab. This compound strengthens weak soil and raises the sunken slab to its ideal height.
  • The benefits of this include improved safety, enhanced curb appeal, and longer-lasting concrete surfaces, all at a fraction of the cost of complete concrete replacement.
  Concrete Replacement
  • It is the process of completely removing an old concrete slab and replacing it with a new one. It’s typically done when the existing concrete is severely damaged, cracked, or structurally compromised, making it unsafe or impractical to repair. 
  • While it may seem like a drastic and expensive solution, it is sometimes necessary. Severely fractured concrete may need to be replaced. The techniques offer a variety of customization options, including color, texture, and patterns.

Leveling or Replacement? Factors to Consider

Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace concrete:

  1. Age and condition of the concrete
  2. If the concrete is relatively new and in good condition except for minor cracks, repair may be the better option. However, if the concrete is old and severely damaged, with numerous cracks, surface damage, and holes, replacement may be necessary.

  3. Extent of damage
  4. The size and extent of the damage to the concrete will affect the decision to repair or replace it. Minor cracks and surface damage can often be repaired, but larger cracks and deep structural damage may require replacement. A1 Concrete Leveling provides estimates and evaluations at no charge.

  5. Cost
  6. The cost of repair versus replacement is an important factor to consider. In general, repairing concrete is more cost-effective than replacing it, but this may not always be the case, especially if the damage is extensive. Leveling is approximately ⅓ the cost of replacement.

  7. Safety concerns
  8. If the damaged concrete poses a safety hazard, such as tripping hazards or structural instability, it is necessary to act quickly. It is wise to begin creating a plan of action and gathering information on the options available to you.

  9. Aesthetics
  10. If the appearance of the concrete is important, compare leveling vs. replacement services as a solution.

  11. Timeframe
  12. The timeframe for the project is also a consideration. Leveling concrete can often be completed in a shorter timeframe than replacing it, which may be important if the area is heavily used and downtime needs to be minimized.

The Takeaway: Are You Still Unsure About the Best Option for You?

It’s important to carefully consider all the factors involved. Ultimately, it’s always best to consult with a professional concrete contractor who can provide expert advice and guidance on the best course of action for your specific situation. Get your free estimate with us at A1 Concrete Leveling. Call us at (515) 402-7848 or send us an email at By doing so, you can ensure that your concrete structures remain strong, durable, and safe for years to come.


What Makes Concrete Leveling Eco-friendly

What Makes Concrete Leveling Eco-friendly

Concrete leveling is a popular method used to repair uneven concrete surfaces. This process involves drilling small holes into the surface and injecting a mixture of crushed limestone beneath the concrete surface to lift it. There are no harmful chemicals in A1 Concrete Leveling slurry.

Besides the practical benefits of concrete leveling, it is also an eco-friendly solution, which makes it beneficial for both humans and the environment. In this blog, we will discuss what makes concrete leveling a great choice when fixing concrete surfaces and why A1 Concrete Leveling is the premier provider

  1. Reduced Waste
  2. The great thing about concrete leveling is that it doesn’t require the contractors to remove and replace the damaged concrete. Therefore, it produces less waste compared to replacing it.   Traditional methods consist of removing and replacing the damaged concrete, which results in a significant amount of waste and overfilled landfills. In contrast, concrete leveling only requires materials to be injected under the concrete surface, which helps eliminate all waste produced by replacing it.
  3. Reduced Disruption
  4. Since concrete leveling requires the use of equipment that is permanently mounted on trucks, most of the generated noise is contained and will take less time. Unlike removing or replacing concrete, there are no roll off containers, multiple heavy-weight trucks, or construction traffic.
  5. Reduced Energy Use
  6. For contractors, it’s very hard to work under the hot sun while moving materials or removing drilled concrete repeatedly. Traditional methods require a lot of manpower and consumable materials, such as gas for machinery to finish the project. But with A1 Concrete Leveling, less energy is needed compared to traditional repair methods. Not only does concrete leveling use fewer materials, it will also lower project costs, and the project time is significantly reduced.
  7. Long-Lasting Solution
  8. Often concrete leveling is utilized to increase the lifespan of existing concrete. Bringing uneven concrete back to its proper level will reduce ongoing concrete separation and growth of cracks.Stabilizing and restoring the concrete’s surface level can help prevent further damage and deterioration, reducing the need for frequent repairs. This method not only saves money in the long run but also reduces the need for additional materials and energy use associated with frequent repairs, making it an eco-friendly choice.The lifted concrete will remain stable so long as the underlying soil remains stable.
  9. No Harmful Chemicals
How about the use of chemicals? No worries because A1 Concrete Leveling does not use chemicals, making it a safe and eco-friendly  solution. The mixture  used in the process is non-toxic, and it does not emit any harmful gasses or chemicals. Using this type of non-toxic mixture is not only great for the environment but also keeps the workers and residents near the area safe. It is also very good for soil.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly solution to repair uneven and cracked concrete surfaces, concrete leveling is the way to go. By using this method, you can help reduce waste, material, and energy, as well as provide a long-lasting solution. If you need concrete leveling services in the Des Moines area,  A1 Concrete Leveling is the company you can trust.


Why Does Concrete Sink?: Cause and Prevention

Isn’t it annoying to suddenly find the concrete of your home or other property sinking without knowing the reason why? In the process of building your home or your property, you wanted everything to be perfect and aesthetically pleasing to everyone’s eyes. And then suddenly, you wake up one morning only to find out that in some parts of your property, the concrete is starting to sink. Why does this happen?

Causes of Concrete Sinking

Here are some reasons or causes why the concrete in your property may sink.

  1. Poorly Compacted Soil
  2. A trusted and skilled concrete contractor should know how important it is to compact the soil before pouring the concrete. But if the contractor you hired failed to do so, this can be an issue, as the soil will start to compact irregularly under the weight of the concrete over time, which will eventually lead to the concrete sinking.

  3. Water Erosion
  4. Best practices include caulking or creating a seak between the joints. If water or moisture is allowed to intrude below the slab, there is a big possibility that it will cause erosion to take place. When this happens, the concrete on your property will sink and move. This can also create a gap or void under the concrete.

  5. Dry Soil Conditions
  6. Long periods of drought have a lot of negative effects, and one of these effects is the shrinking of the soil, especially in areas with lots of clay. This will result in sinking concrete because of the unstable sub-surfaces. Another cause of the concrete sinking is when the soil has been dried-out and then suddenly soaked with heavy rain. Voids may be filled with unstable moistened soil.

  7. Error in the Construction of Foundation
  8. Concrete sinking usually happens around the foundation of your home or property. This is because the area is excavated a few feet wider to allow workers to put in and remove the forms. If your contractor fails to backfill the area properly, it will settle over time and cause your concrete to sink.

  9. Animal or Pest Influences
  10. Voids under concrete created by animals such as groundhogs, chipmunks, and others can cause sinking of the concrete. Furthermore, pests like ants can also cause small pathways beneath the concrete to sink. When these voids are widened by running water, worse issues and problems can occur.

How to Prevent Concrete Sinking

If there are a lot of causes for the concrete on your property to sink, of course, there are also ways to prevent it from sinking, and here are a few of them.

  • Sealing the cracks or openings near the concrete works of your property using polyurethane caulk.
  • Make sure to pack any open sides of the concrete slab with soil to ensure that water cannot slip below them.
  • You should also make sure that your gutter discharges water at least five feet away from any of the concrete slabs on your property.
  • Don’t forget to establish the base of at least 4 inches of gravel and that it is compacted when pouring new concrete. Make sure that the base won’t move when you stomp your feet on it.
  • Drain pipes that are close to any concrete slabs like a walkway should be installed below the concrete and extended into the yard.

Final Thoughts

When deciding to pour concrete around your properties, make sure that you know the causes of sinking and that you also know the ways to avoid it. If concrete sinking does takes place, then hiring a trusted contractor like A1 Concrete Leveling of Des Moines will help determine the best course of action. 

Call us today for your concrete leveling projects, and we assure you that we will provide you with the highest quality services that you and your property deserve.