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Soil Washout

Soil washout leads to uneven concrete every time. When sources of water like rain or sprinklers saturate the soil on your property, the ground becomes weak.

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Even though rain is the largest cause of soil washout, most people don’t think about rain when they think about Texas. Austin and San Antonio consistently receive a below-average amount of rainfall every year, so homeowners might think their yard is safe from the weakening effects of soil washout. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case – even a small amount of rainfall can disrupt the soil below your concrete. Here’s what you need to know about how soil washout affects your Texas property.

What is Soil Washout?

Soil washout refers to the process by which water erodes soil in a specific area. Water sources of all kinds lead to soil washout such as rain, sprinklers, a leaking hose, or faulty gutters and downspouts. When a massive amount of water permeates the soil, it breaks down particles. Water drains below the surface, causing soil to shift. Meanwhile, surface soil becomes muddy and unable to support the weight of concrete. Over time, soil washout leads to soft soil that is weak in structure. As a result, heavy concrete sinks into the ground, which leads to cracked and uneven sections.

What Causes Soil Washout?

Soil washout is a process that happens when water erodes soil particles in your yard, especially with sandy loam soils. Parts of Travis County and Bexar County contain sandy loam soil which can be a problem for homeowners.

Precipitation

Precipitation of any kind can cause soil washout to occur. In Austin and San Antonio, the main concern for homeowners is rain that occurs during the wettest months (May, June, and October). When rain permeates the soil in your yard, it breaks down soil particles by making them soft and muddy. As the water drains below the surface, it also displaces soil particles and weakens the structural integrity of your yard. Concrete is heavy, and the weakened soil won’t be able to support it effectively.

Sprinklers

Believe it or not, sprinklers can actually cause problems for concrete, especially if they are located close to your driveway, patio, or sidewalk. When sprinklers shoot water into your yard, the water drains into the soil the same way that precipitation does. Concrete surfaces are also porous, which allows water to easily seep through them into the soil directly below. Much like rain, water from sprinklers will erode the soil on your property over time. If you have sprinklers in your yard that run regularly, keep an eye out for this problem sign.

Faulty Gutters and Drainpipes

Most homes have gutter and drainpipes that move water away from roofs and walls. However, without regular maintenance, these important systems can actually drain tons of water into your yard. Gutters tend to become clogged with debris from trees or roofs which forces captured water to overflow into your yard. Drainpipes are sometimes located too close to concrete structures, so they spit out tons of water into the soil below. Both cases lead to soil washout problems – muddy, eroded soil that can no longer support your concrete driveway, patio, or sidewalk.

FAQs

When it comes to protecting the soil under your concrete, the best answer is with polyurethane injection. Our team uses PolyRenewal™, a polyurethane solution that can lift your concrete permanently the same day as installation. Polyurethane is a polymer foam that is injected below your concrete. It starts as a liquid, but quickly expands and hardens into supportive structure that is strong enough to support the weight of concrete. Even better, it acts as a waterproof barrier on top of the soil. Water from rain, sprinklers, or drainage systems won’t be able to penetrate the polyurethane surface.

Damage concrete is easy to identify. Looking out for cracks, uneven sections, and discoloration are all signs that your concrete is damaged. You might also notice certain sections of concrete where water pools after a storm. Normally, concrete is able to quickly drain water – but damaged sections that have sunken into the ground won’t be able to do this. If you notice cracks in your concrete, contact FSS to have one of our experienced technicians inspect your property.

Sometimes, concrete that has experienced soil washout becomes so damaged that it needs to be replaced. Since soil washout often leads to sinking section of concrete and cracks along the surface, it leads to a loss of value to your home and a negative curb appeal to potential buyers. Moreover, damaged concrete is a tripping hazard to anyone living in your home and can damage vehicles as they drive over it. Keep in mind, after you replace badly damaged concrete with help from a contractor, be sure to invest in concrete lifting solutions like polyurethane injection. FSS will prevent this process from happening ever again to your newly installed concrete.

How FSS Defends Against Soil Washout

Protecting your yard from soil washout is something that our company specializes in. We use PolyRenewal™, a polyurethane injection system that is installed below your concrete. This material is waterproof, so it can’t be affected by water sources. When the material is inserted below your concrete, it starts in a liquid form and quickly fills any voids in the soil initially caused by soil washout.

As PolyRenewal™ settles into these gaps, the material cures in 30 minutes. That means your soil is protected from washout the same day as installation. Once it is completely dry, polyurethane is non-porous and won’t allow any liquid to seep into the soil beneath it.


Avoid Soil Washout with Help from FSS

Most homeowners use concrete structures every day, from relaxing on the patio to parking on their driveway. When these structures become damaged by soil washout, it looks unnerving and becomes a safety hazard. Since 2017, our team at FSS has been solving concrete issues for our neighbors in and around Austin and San Antonio. With experienced technicians with over 20 years of combined experience in this industry, you can count on a job well done every time. Contact us to learn more about polyurethane injection and to schedule a free inspection for your property today!


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