3 Ways Concrete Becomes Damaged

white grey and red wooden house

Typically when you notice concrete cracking, chipping, or unevenness, the damage is still salvageable. However, if you continue to put off repair, the issues will worsen beyond a repair situation to a replacement situation.

RELATED: Determining When to Repair vs. Replace a Concrete Driveway

Companies around the Kansas City area, including PolyMagic, specialize in a process called “polyjacking” which drills tiny holes (5/8″) and injects polyurethane material to naturally raise the concrete to a stable and even surface. However, in other situations when the damages are beyond repair, concrete replacement is needed. Before we understand the process of replacement, let’s explore the 3 ways concrete becomes damaged to be aware of the situations, and also to protect your concrete from these.

#1: Exposure to Weather Elements

According to concretenetwork.com, the American Concrete Institute report “Cold Weather Concreting” (ACI 306R-88) defines cold weather as follows. This report has been the accepted standard for cold weather concrete for years.

Cold weather is defined as a period when, for more than 3 consecutive days, the following conditions exist: The average daily air temperature is less than 40 F and the air temperature is not greater than 50 F for more than one-half of any 24-hour period. The average daily air temperature is the average of the highest and the lowest temperatures occurring during the period from midnight to midnight.

As Kansas City and the Midwest are known for their four seasons, which is such an amazing part of living here, residents can experience dramatic weather changes and extreme temperatures in many months out of the year. If you look at the timeframe between October and March, Kansas City will see a 70 degree day and within 12 hours, hit 20 degrees with sleet and snow. The weather elements are extreme, which can most definitely wreck havoc on your concrete. Be mindful of chemicals you are placing on your driveway, sidewalks, patios, porches, and garage approaches. Click here to view a list of the 10 Best Ice Melts for Concrete Driveways from Angi.com.

Utilizing one of those options on your driveway when the snow and ice hit can keep your concrete safe and in better shape for a longer period of time.

#2: Faulty Foundation

When your foundation isn’t stable or solid, the concrete will crack, crumble, or become uneven. This is a natural process because the concrete isn’t able to adhere to anything if the foundation and soil is not in good shape. The foundation is essentially the “base” to all of the concrete and should be laid properly and be a licensed, experienced, and insured concrete contractor.


#3 of 3 Ways Concrete Becomes Damaged: Age and Natural Settlement

With anything else, natural settlement and age play a factor in damaged concrete. The older a property is, the older the concrete, soil, and foundation are; which results in sinking, cracking, and crumbling areas. A void can form under a concrete slab, causing concrete issues. The result is an uneven and unstable surface that can become unsafe, aesthetically displeasing, and even pose a trip hazard. The process of lifting or repairing the concrete must occur at this point. DS Concrete has the best of both worlds because our crew can not only replace concrete and lay new, but they can also repair concrete by using the process of polyjacking.

Kansas City’s DS Concrete offers flatwork for the following applications:  

  • Large Residential Projects
  • Commercial Projects
    • Footings
    • Walls for Additions
    • Stamped – Color Options 
    • Patios
    • Driveways
    • Sidewalks
    • Commercial Slabs
    • Parking Lots
    • Basement Slabs

Are you ready to have a free evaluation on your concrete situation? Let the team at DS Concrete help you! Reach out today to schedule your time: (816) 765-4800

What to Look For When Selecting a Concrete Contractor

building house grass lawn

When searching “Kansas City concrete contractors,” you will find pages and pages of companies that are seemingly viable. So, how do you know which is truly reputable, responsible, and experienced?

Here are a few tips on what to look for when selecting a concrete contractor.

  1. Timeline

    If you can pick up the phone and ask a contractor when their next available appointment and they are able to come out today…that is a red flag. 2020/2021 has seen a housing market like no other, and people are making home improvements and revamping their outdoor spaces. If a concrete contractor is not backed up for weeks, something isn’t right.

    Some of the reasons for the busy schedules for concrete contractors is that people are spending more time outside and at home with family so a viable option to invest in their property is with a larger outdoor space. Patios and outdoor living space with larger concrete areas, pools, sports courts, sheds, and more.

    Any upgrade or addition to your residence is an investment, so be sure you evaluate the Return on Investment of your project. Questions to consider: Do you plan to stay at this resident for years? Are you flipping the house and need a quick and inexpensive concrete pour? Are you in the market to sell and want to make immediate ROI? Do you have piering or any other concrete services needed?

2. Research

The internet is a powerful tool for researching local concrete companies. Aside from reviewing the company’s website, be sure to complete the following checks as well:

Find their Google reviews. Are there any red flags, such as only a few reviews (could indicate a new company),
poor (1 or 2 star) reviews, fake reviews…

Ask the company for referrals…. and actually call the referrals. Again, if a company is hesitant to send you
referrals, or simply doesn’t have any on hand to send you… red flag.

Simply google the company. Within the first few results, you’ll find the good, bad, or ugly about the company.
Have they been reported to BBB? Are they on Angie’s List? If so, they had to pass a background check for the company. Are they on Thumbtack? Do they have a social media presence?

3. Insured

An imperative part of the process is verifying the insurance of the contractor. Most contractors will include this information within their estimate/proposal so the customer can confirm the legitimacy of the company. However, if a company is not insured, or not up to business standards, you are opening yourself up to a large liability. What if something went wrong on the project… who takes responsibility? It’s on your yard… and if the contractor has no insurance, what recourse do you have? All professional and reputable contractors should have general liability insurance coverage. 

4. Past Projects/Gallery

Experience is key. One of the rules of thumb is to select a contractor with over 5 years of concrete experience. Ask to see a portfolio of their completed projects. Most companies will have before/after pictures on their website. A reputable and experienced company will have pictures that showcase their work.

Don’t be afraid to ask who their past clients are… which neighborhoods they work in…. what commercial experience they have… etc. You are investing in a lot to have the project done, so ask questions!

5. Communication

So many companies lead with their ‘best customer service’ pitch. Those that get back to you with an estimate in a timely manner are already investing in building a relationship with you.

If the sales team agreed upon a day to have the estimate to you, and that day comes and goes within the company reaching out… pass. If they aren’t working hard enough for your business, then the process will likely lack communication. Some of the best reviews that DS Concrete receives is about the thorough process and how our team walks the customer through each step. This is what we aim to do and it’s incredibly powerful to have customers recognize this.

If the contractor shows up for your estimate appointment and is rushed or doesn’t have time to answer your questions… pass.

As with any home project, we understand the time and stress that can be associated with the project. However, understanding and being aware of what to look for when selecting a concrete contractor can reduce stress and enjoy the process of transforming a space!

Questions to Ask Your Concrete Contractor

Questions to Ask Your Concrete Contractor

When deciding on concrete contractors, many range in price, experience, reliability, quality, and professionalism. Pouring new concrete is a big (and can be an expensive) project, which is important to get right the first time. This blog post will explore some questions to ask your concrete contractor before getting started on your upcoming project.

#1: When will the work begin?

As with many of the items on your home “to-do” list, you want to get the project done ‘yesterday’ but need to do the proper research to find a reputable concrete contractor. A booked schedule typically means the contractor is busy working on jobs and has a work calendar that is mapped out to efficiently schedule jobs. If the contractor is ready and willing to begin tomorrow, that could be a red flag. You may want to ask… how many jobs have you completed in the past several months/years? What is your experience? How long have you been in the industry? Can I take a look at recent projects?

Questions to Ask Your Concrete Contractor

#2: References.

Not all concrete flatwork contractors have completed the same training, or have the same experience and process. Each process can differ slightly from company to company, so understanding if past customers would recommend the contractor is key. Simply ask the concrete contractor for a list of a few past project customers. When you have a few minutes, give them a call and ask them about their experience with the said contractor. Here are a few questions that you could ask the customer to gather information:

  • How long did the company say the project would take? Were they on-time each day, and did they complete the project within the timeline promised?
  • Were they within budget?
  • Did you have a mess to clean-up after they left or did they keep the area tidy?
  • Were the results as you expected? Anything that stood out either good or bad?
  • Would you hire them again for another project?

#3 of Questions to Ask Your Concrete Contractor: Google search

Yep, Google is a powerful tool. With a quick search of “Concrete Companies in Kansas City,” over 16,200,000 results populated. That is overwhelming and unhelpful if you’re not sure what you are looking for. A way to gather additional, and more helpful, information is to take a look at a companies’ Google Reviews. This will tell you a lot about that company, both the good and the bad. Also, check out their social media pages for project pictures and testimonials, their website for additional information, and their Google MyBusiness page. Businesses like DS Concrete Kansas City are transparent with their services and offer an in-depth website. Many Kansas City concrete companies can promise quick and cheap concrete work, but their work reflects the promise.

#4: Price

Concrete work can range drastically in price. Recently a neighbor of mine requested a quote for a basketball slab in their backyard, and received quotes ranging from $4,200 – $9,990. All of the companies quoted the same size, but obvious differences occur in the pricing. How do you know what is a fair and honest price? Again, ask for references… when you are speaking with them, ask about their project price… how much did they pay? Did they go over the amount estimated? How did the company fall within the other estimates they received? Did they show up on the date/time they scheduled? As with anything else… you get what you pay for.

RELATED: Check out this homeadvisors article, “How to Choose a Concrete Contractor” – https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/hiring-a-concrete-contractor/

If you are in the market for a new concrete pour – either residentially or commercially – reach out to the team at DS Concrete here in Kansas City. info@dsconcretekc.com or (816) 765-4800

Ways to Revamp Your Home for Resale

Ways to Revamp Your Home for Resale

How many of us are looking for a positive take on 2020 and 2021? Besides COVID, the years will be remembered as the housing market boom! According to an article titled “Housing Market Forecast 2021: How Hot Will It Be?” on Daveramsey.com, the housing market predictions for 2021 are showing the following:

  • Existing home sales up 9%
  • Newly build home sales up 21%
  • Home prices up 8%
  • Mortgages rates (30-year fixed) at 3%2,3

The perfect storm for homeowners to list their house and get top dollar for it. Now, as a home seller, how can we utilize this market and get the most money out of our investment? Let’s explore the ways to revamp your home for resale and get underway to see these impactful and effective results.

#1: Landscaping

You have 2 seconds for the potential homeowner to decide if they are interested in your property or not. First impressions are everything in real estate. Some of the most appealing factors of the landscape are trimmed bushes, nicely planted flowers/trees, freshly cut grass, and removal of yard waste (leaves, trimmings, branches, etc.). These factors can impact your buyers first impression by “inviting” them into the house…. welcoming them into the residence to envision memories being made.

#2: Trip Hazards/Uneven Concrete

A potential home buyer doesn’t want to approach your home and see a list of things that need repairs. Nothing will deter a buyer as much as a laundry list of “to-dos” before they even buy a home. One of the most unappealing parts of a home that draws in the most attention is your driveway, sidewalk, garage, and patio…. and all of the concrete that accompanies that. The concrete should be a nice flat surface in good shape, meaning no huge cracks, uneven dips, or crumbling. When concrete is uneven and cracking, home buyers automatically assume there are foundation issues. Even if there aren’t any, the assumption is there – and it’s an expensive repair.

One question that a homeowner asks time and time again is… how do I know when to repair or replace the concrete? This article outlines the ‘must-know’ tips on deciding when to repair vs. replace the concrete: https://www.polymagic.net/when-to-repair-vs-replace-their-concrete/

Without doubt, a homeowner should contact a professional concrete repair company and determine their assessment. Many around the Kansas City area including DS Concrete will provide a free estimate, however not all will do the same craftsmanship. Some contractors will quote a ridiculously low price and the work reflects that. As a responsible homeowner, do your homework and ask questions. If a company isn’t willing to give you references, that’s a red flag!

#3: Consider Paint and Minimal Updates

A potential buyer wants to walk into a home and envision their belongings in there. This is helpful when the paint colors are neutral and less distracting for the vision of a home buyer. If your daughters bedroom is blinged out with the princess theme, complete with hot pink walls, you may want to consider a neutral paint application. The cost of paint could be the deciding factor of a potential home buyer envisioning that space as a boys nursery, when it’s currently looking like a Barbie dream house.

The great news for any homeowner is that the market is on our side for selling! However, you need to recognize the repairs that can gain additional revenue on your home, increasing your Return on Investment. We hope this article helped outline the Ways to Revamp Your Home for Resale as we navigate the remainder of 2021!

Determining When to Repair vs. Replace a Concrete Driveway

Determining When to Repair vs. Replace a Concrete Driveway

When it comes to concrete, you typically have two options: repairing the existing concrete or replacing the problem areas with new concrete. Climates similar to Kansas City, especially during the winter months, are the perfect recipe for concrete destruction. Cracking, chipping, and sinking are all caused by the weather fluctuating quickly and frequently. From rain, ice, and snow to thawing and freezing cycles; determining when to repair vs. replace a concrete driveway can be a question that residential and commercial property owners encounter often. Before we can understand the best option for your situation, let’s look at a few questions to consider when comparing your options: repair or replace concrete. 

Determining When to Repair vs. Replace a Concrete Driveway
(1) How bad is your current concrete situation?

A qualified expert should assess the state of your concrete. This may seem overwhelming to select a company you trust, but many find reputable companies through Google reviews, recommendations, and referrals. Here is an article that outlines Questions to Ask a Concrete Leveling Company. This may be helpful to residential or commercial businesses as they explore polyjacking instead of concrete flatwork.  

A reputable company will evaluate your concrete to see the extent of the damage. If the concrete has broken into smaller three to four square foot pieces, it becomes difficult to polyjack. Polyjacking is a process where polyurethane is injected into the concrete through tiny holes, lifting the concrete evenly.

Many companies around the Kansas City area are equipped to handle new concrete projects. DS Concrete stands out as one of Kansas City’s leaders for customers service, and based upon Google Reviews, customers appreciate the level of knowledge and expertise. An estimate from a reliable company should be free, so if a company tries to charge you for an estimate, sound the alarms.


(2) What is your budget?

Concrete raising is typically less expensive than concrete replacement. However, when the damage is simply beyond concrete lifting, concrete replacement is needed. Replacing the concrete is a longer-term solution, which comes with more manpower, materials, time, and naturally cost.  Concrete repair and replacement could be the difference between two hours vs. two days.

When considering a budget, it is imperative that you trust your concrete company. Companies like PolyMagic offer polyjacking services, but also understand when the damage is beyond their repair expertise, and will refer customers to their go-to concrete flatwork specialists, DS Concrete.

Aside from the initial expense of new concrete, you won’t need to worry about repairing the concrete in the years to come, as new concrete is under warranty. In addition, the process also allows you to select a new floor coating if desired to create a new look and feel to the space.

(3)  Has the concrete caused any safety concerns?

Safety is a major concern when it comes to concrete. Questions to consider when Determining When to Repair vs. Replace a Concrete Driveway include:

  • Does the area pose a safety concern?
    • Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls. (https://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/)
  • Will repairing the concrete allow for a smooth and safe surface?
    • If not, will the area need to be replaced in order to return to a safe surface?
  • How much of the area will need to be repaired or replaced?
    • The troubled area may look confined to a certain area, but the use of polyjacking or repair will expand beyond the visible nature. The company will need to assess the soil conditions under the concrete to see how much surface area will be disrupted.

Why Replacing Concrete is the Best Solution

We’ve offered several reasons above that outline why repairing concrete is the best solution, but let’s explore reasons when replacing concrete is the optimal solution.

  • Cracks are too large and deep
    • This allows for water to seep into the concrete, enabling the freeze/thaw cycle causing expansion 
    • Typically the rule of thumb is if the concrete is sinking more than 8″, it is more cost effective to replace
  • Polyjacking services can simply be more expensive for repair so opting for replacement could be a more cost effective approach.
  • Warranty – evaluate the warranty offered by both the repair and replacement companies to see which benefits your situation (will you be moving within 5 years, are you planning to list your house soon, etc.)
  • Aesthetics: uneven or cracked concrete just bothers some people, so they want to replace it when it reaches that point. Other aesthetic situations could include real estate… potential buyers may look at a cracked driveway as a deterrent for purchasing a home. In this case, it may be worth the sellers investment to replace the concrete driveway for additional return on investment.

Kansas City’s DS Concrete offers flatwork for the following applications:  

  • Large Residential Projects
  • Commercial Projects
    • Footings
    • Walls for Additions
    • Stamped – Color Options 
    • Patios
    • Driveways
    • Sidewalks
    • Commercial Slabs
    • Parking Lots
    • Basement Slabs

Are you ready to have a free evaluation on your concrete situation? Let the team at DS Concrete help you! Reach out today to schedule your time: (816) 765-4800