concrete leveling

Repair Trip Hazards / Mitigate Legal Risks with Concrete Leveling

In Commercial Blog Posts by John Topa

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Unlevel concrete has the potential to be a very expensive legal risk, especially for owners of multi-story buildings, industrial facilities, and commercial buildings. Unlevel concrete also affects homeowners who have concrete sidewalks located on their property. The best way to mitigate any legal risks is to enlist the help of a soil remediation company to deploy a variety of chemical grout or concrete injection methods for fast and easy concrete leveling repair.

Why is Florida so Prone to Unlevel Concrete?

The ground in Florida is constantly contracting and expanding as it adapts to the constantly changing heat and rainwater associated with the State of Florida. Florida’s soil contains more acres of Aquods (sandy, wet soils) than any other state; therefore, a lot of engineering goes into the construction of the ground before the foundation or slab can be poured.

There are also varying environmental conditions such as drought conditions and tropical storms that can cause the soil to expand or shrink, and due to the water tables throughout the State of Florida, it provides the perfect conditions for sinkholes to occur. When a foundation or slab settles beyond the normal threshold limits, the lifted sections of concrete often results in a dangerous tripping hazard.

So, Who’s at Risk?

concrete leveling

Uneven concrete is not only a tripping hazard, but it also poses a liability for industrial manufacturers with a sizable workforce, investment owners who lease space in commercial buildings, municipalities with government and state employees, and landlords who rent to tenants living in multi-story buildings. Unlevel concrete can even create a serious lawsuit for the average homeowner who may have sidewalks with just one section of lifting concrete.

All it takes is for one tripping accident to occur on your property before you find yourself being contacted by personal injury lawyers, insurance companies, police detectives, local code enforcement officers, and the worst one you want to see is a representative from OSHA. Depending on the nature of the injury, one tripping accident on your property can cost home and business owners $100,000 or more in hospital bills, increased insurance premiums, personal injury claims, lawyer fees, and substantial fines handed down by OSHA.

Trip Hazards for ADA Complaint Florida Business Owners

While fall and trip hazards can be a challenge to the general public, it’s even more dangerous for toddlers and individuals with disabilities, especially if you own a business that’s ADA compliant. If a toddler or elderly grandmother becomes seriously injured on your property due to your negligence of lifted concrete, you will see a robust increase in your insurance rates, and in some cases, the repercussions can be so serious that some small businesses and homeowners have been slapped with liens so heavy that eventually, it led to bankruptcy and foreclosure.

Make no mistake about it, if you’re found in violation of an ADA lawsuit due to lifted concrete, your place of business could be in serious jeopardy, especially if the investigators can prove the tripping hazard has been there for a while. Your best course of action is to repair the damaged section of slabs as soon as it’s noticed.

A variety of concrete leveling techniques can be used such as concrete leveling or concrete injection with a chemical grout that effectively fills voids in the soil and relevels the slab. Once the slab has been repaired, the soil remediation technician can fix the cracking with another type of grout. The scars of the repair may still be visible; however, they’re safe and stable while drastically lowering your legal risks.

The Most Common Repair Methods for Lifting Concrete Slabs

Home and business owners are generally faced with two options: replacement of the slab or to have it repaired with concrete injection. It is far more feasible to simply have the concrete repaired than it is to tear out and replace a slab; therefore, you will need to hire a soil remediation company that specializes in concrete slab repair.

Below are three common methods for repairing lifting concrete in the State of Florida:

1. Demolition and Replacement

The demolition and replacement of a section of damaged concrete can be very expensive, messy, and time-consuming. It is highly recommended by experts in the field to have a soil engineering assessment conducted before you start jackhammering away. In most cases, the slab can be repaired the same day with a variety of concrete injection techniques. On the other hand, a professional assessment can also disclose if a replacement is warranted due to unstable soil beneath the slab, which requires a deep foundation before the new slab can be poured.

2. Mudjacking With Cement Grout

The next option facing property owners is mudjacking the damaged sections of concrete with cement grout. Although this is a more affordable option for property owners who want a quick fix, it can cost more in the long run. Depending on the type of business environment you have, mudjacking is extremely messy; therefore, if your business has heavy foot traffic, you may need to close the shop for a few days or have the crew work during off-hours. Another drawback of mudjacking is the cement grout is very heavy. It can shrink, crack and wash out over time.

3. Polyurethane Grout Injection

The best solution for effectively repairing lifting concrete is polyurethane grout injection. When compared to replacement and mudjacking, polyurethane grout injection is the one that makes the most sense. Some of the benefits of polyurethane grout injection include:

  • Lighter than cement – will not sink or settle
  • Its cell structure eliminates shrinkage and makes it water impermeable
  • Less expensive than replacement and mudjacking
  • Very clean installations -will not interfere with business
  • Fast and effective repairs -typically the same day

The Best Way to Eliminate Your Legal Risks Today

The best way to avoid and eliminate any potential legal risks due to lifting concrete on your property is to contact a professional soil remediation company today before a tripping accident does occur. For more information about hiring a soil remediation company in southern Florida for an immediate reply to your concerns, click here.