Expert Advice: Can Crumbling Concrete Be Repaired?


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Concrete is a vital component of most American homes. Many homes sit on concrete slabs or have poured concrete basements. Steps and porches are usually made of concrete as well, along with driveways- in short, you’d be hard-pressed to find a home built with no concrete whatsoever.

Though concrete is a sturdy material, it ages over time and can begin to crumble. The question is whether or not crumbling concrete can be fixed once it starts. Should you invest in trying to fix your deteriorating concrete, or simply replace it? Learn more on our website at

What Causes Concrete to Crumble?

Concrete is a porous material, meaning that there are thousands of tiny holes in the material that let substances through. Though concrete is a fairly tough material, over time, the absorption of various things from the ground around it can cause it to break down and crumble. Here are a few common causes of crumbling.

  • Too much water in the mixture. Unless you either mixed the concrete yourself or supervised the construction crew while they mixed and poured the concrete for your home, you probably wouldn’t know that you had this problem. When concrete is mixed up, it requires a certain ratio of concrete mixture to water. If there’s too much water in that mixture, it doesn’t bond the way it’s supposed to and the concrete won’t hold up as well.
  • Absorbing water in cold temperatures. Concrete’s porous composition allows it to absorb water from the ground around it whenever it rains. When it gets cold out, the water can freeze inside the concrete. Since water expands when it freezes, the expansion of the ice inside the concrete can break it down and cause crumbling.
  • Mineral absorption. Ironically enough, the materials in concrete cause it to break down eventually. Concrete contains gravel or stone, which comes with a variety of minerals such as pyrite and mica. Over time, these minerals eat away at the concrete, causing breakage. This is why sidewalks develop crumbling issues and need to be replaced every few decades.

What to Look For

Is it possible to repair crumbling concrete before the damage gets too bad? If you catch the signs early, you may be able to save yourself some trouble with your concrete down the road. 

Check the exterior of your foundation regularly and make sure it isn’t sinking into the ground. If you notice that it’s getting lower in the ground over time, especially on one side, the concrete at the bottom may be beginning to crumble. You can also check the exterior with a screwdriver. If the screwdriver can chip at the foundation, then it’s already starting to weaken and it’s time to call a repair company. 

Methods of Concrete Foundation Repair

There are a few different methods your foundation repair company may suggest to repair your crumbling concrete foundation. Here are a few of the most popular ones, along with a brief explanation of how each repair method works.

Piering or Hydraulic Jacking

This method is typically referred to by one of two names: piering or hydraulic jacking. It uses 12-15 foot steel piers to support the weakened foundation from underneath. 

Piering is done by first digging into the ground right next to the house, which opens up a path underneath the foundation. A support bracket is installed, allowing the crew to guide the piers into place and drive them into the ground with a hydraulic drill.

Concrete Repair


Slabjacking is one of the most common and cost-effective methods of concrete foundation repair. It’s commonly used to lift one side of a foundation where it has sunk  into the ground. The materials used in slabjacking are similar to concrete itself- it’s a mixture of fly ash, Portland cement, water, and sand. 

To do this, small holes are drilled into the concrete slab. A hydraulic pump is then used to pump the mixture underneath the slab, raising one side up until the surface is even. The crew then removes the hydraulic pump, patches over the holes, and lets the mixture solidify.  

Minor Repairs

Sometimes, when concrete crumbles, it may not need a full repair yet. If a repair is not in the budget and you need a “band-aid” fix to tie it over until then, or you have some minor crumbling that’s not around the foundation, some minor repairs can be performed to patch things up.

How Much Does Concrete Foundation Repair Cost?

The cost of concrete foundation repair varies depending on which repair method is recommended for your home. Piering/hydraulic jacking is significantly more expensive than slabjacking, in part due to the labor that goes into excavating next to the house. Piering jobs require the use of heavy machinery, as well as several people to operate the hydraulic drills. Though slabjacking requires hydraulic pumps, it does not involve any excavation.

Slabjacking is also less expensive because of the materials that are used. Piering is typically done with steel, which hit an all-time high in 2021. Concrete, meanwhile, is fairly inexpensive and is easy to come by and mix up. 

With that said, the average costs of piering and slabjacking are pretty different. Slabjacking usually comes in at between $500 and $1,300, while piering can cost between $1,000 and $3,000 per pier. The number of piers used depends on the level of damage to your foundation, but it can be up to 12.

Keep in mind that these are national averages, so prices in your area may be higher or lower, and the less expensive option isn’t always the best one. Your foundation company will be able to recommend the best solution for the level of damage and the state of your foundation. 

Who to Call for Concrete Foundation Repair and When

So you’ve noticed crumbling around your foundation. Who should you call to get it inspected and repaired? As soon as you notice signs of a crumbling concrete foundation, call a top rated foundation company in your area. Recommendations from neighbors and review sites can help you figure out the best company to call. Unfortunately, once concrete starts to crumble, it will only get worse, so it’s best to have it addressed as soon as you find it instead of waiting.

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