Causes of settlement
Concrete slabs can be susceptible to settlement from a wide variety of factors, the most common being an inconsistency of moisture in the soil. Soil expands and contracts as the levels of moisture fluctuate during the dry and rainy seasons. In some parts of the United States, naturally occurring soils can consolidate over time, including areas ranging from Texas up through to Wisconsin. Soil erosion also contributes to concrete settlement, which is common for locations with improper drainage. Concrete slabs built upon filled-in land can excessively settle as well. This is common for homes with basement levels since the backfill on the outside of the foundation frequently is not compacted properly. In some cases, poorly designed sidewalk or patio slabs direct water towards the basement level of a structure. Tree roots can also have an impact on concrete as well, actually powerful enough to lift a slab upwards or breakthrough entirely; this is common along public roadways, especially within metropolitan areas.
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