A concrete slab can last for years, but the slab is affected by the soil underneath it. If the soil isn't compacted well, the slab can sink, shift, or crack. When this happens to the slab your AC condenser rests on, the air conditioner could be damaged. Here's why you want to repair a sunken or cracked condenser slab and ways to do it.
Why Repairing A Condenser Slab Is Important
If the slab is sinking, but still level, the main problem is with water pooling around the AC if the slab sinks to ground level. In that case, it's important to raise the slab to keep the condenser dry. However, it's common for the slab to sink on one side only and put the condenser at a tilt. This can stretch out the connecting lines and cause leaks in the refrigerant. When the condenser tilts, the AC is at risk of damage, so you want to repair this situation promptly whether your AC is in use or if it's in the offseason.
How To Fix A Tilted Slab
Fixing a tilted slab might be a DIY project you can handle yourself if you have a strong board and some sand. A problem you may have is that the slab is heavy with the condenser on it, and if you attempt DIY repairs, you'll have to leave the condenser in place. If you can work a board under the sunken area you might be able to slowly raise the slab and pack sand under it until you have a level surface again. If you're not successful, then call an HVAC contractor for help and suggestions. The HVAC contractor might not repair the slab, but they can disconnect the HVAC so it can be moved to allow a concrete contractor to work on the slab.
How To Replace A Cracked Slab
When a slab has a crack in it, you may want to replace the slab entirely because repairing a crack will be difficult when there's a condenser on top of it. The first step is to call an HVAC service to disconnect the condenser so it can be moved aside. Then, you can get help replacing the slab or you can do it yourself. This entails busting up the old concrete, compacting the soil, and then pouring a new slab from a ready mix. Once the new concrete has cured, the condenser can be moved back and reconnected.
It's good to finish with an inspection of the HVAC just to make sure it doesn't have any damage, and if it does, have the repairs done so your air conditioner is ready to go.