Can rats chew through concrete? Concrete, though robust for foundations, eventually deteriorates. Culprits behind concrete damage include improper installation, weak soil, freeze/thaw cycles, poor drainage, and the occasional havoc-wreaking burrowing animals such as rats.
Rats, mice, moles, voles, gophers, and other ground-burrowing rodents are innate diggers, constantly searching for shelter and food sources. Occasionally, they reside beneath concrete foundations, resulting in a host of problems that can escalate into significant issues and potentially cause structural failure if not promptly resolved.
Can Rats Chew Through Concrete?
Rats have very strong incisors that grow continuously throughout their life – Michigan State University Pesticide Education. This allows them to gnaw on a wide variety of materials. However, concrete is generally too hard for rats to chew through.
Different rodents have varying abilities for digging. Mole rats, for instance, have large teeth and claws for burrowing, while house mice are better at gripping and climbing. However, almost all modern rodents have continuously growing front incisors that need constant gnawing to keep them in check. Therefore, if a rat has been present for a while, it’s almost certain that they’ve been chewing on something.
While not a common choice, rodents can indeed chew on concrete, although it is not their preferred material. Solid and well-maintained concrete is typically resistant to their teeth.
However, deteriorating or crumbling concrete slabs expose softer inner layers, which are more vulnerable to rodent gnawing, particularly during desperate circumstances. Addressing a crumbling concrete slab promptly is crucial, as it not only indicates underlying problems but can also exacerbate them.
Rats typically burrow under or squeeze through existing holes and cracks. If there’s a weak spot or a small gap in the concrete, rats might be able to enlarge it over time, but generally, solid and well-maintained concrete structures should be impervious to rats.
Rat Burrowing Can Also Damage Concrete
In the previous section, we explained that rats chew through concrete. Now, the chewing happens in the first place due to rat burrowing. One of the prevalent issues linked to sinking or failing concrete is soil settlement and shifting. Various factors, including erosion and drainage problems, contribute to soil displacement. While less frequent, burrowing rodents can also accelerate soil displacement, often surpassing the rates caused by natural elements.
Rats exhibit a relentless drive to dig beneath various structures, seeking refuge or eluding predators. This behavior extends to burrowing under concrete slabs and foundations, rapidly forming voids that jeopardize the structural integrity of the concrete and pose significant hazards.
While elemental deterioration may take years to manifest, a large population of mice or rats can accomplish similar damage within a matter of days. Voids created by burrowing rodents pose a significant risk, as they can cause concrete to crack or sink. The peril lies in the fact that these voids are often undetectable visually. Even seemingly intact concrete slabs can harbor substantial hidden voids, posing a severe danger to unsuspecting individuals above.
What to Do if Rats Chew Concrete
When faced with rats chewing through concrete, reach out to a reputable concrete raising company that specializes in mudjacking services. While some concrete repairs such as resealing or leveling can be accomplished as DIY projects using compounds, the process of raising a concrete slab due to underlying voids is more intricate and demanding. therefore, you need the expertise, skills, and equipment of professionals to restore the foundation.
The mudjacking process involves drilling holes into the damaged slab, injecting a slurry mixture, and raising the concrete to the correct level.
This long-term solution fills voids and restores stability. However, it’s important to note that severely damaged concrete may require replacement rather than repair.
How Do I Stop Rats from Chewing on Concrete?
After successfully addressing your sinking concrete problem due to rats chewing, don’t overlook the situation and disregard it. Unchecked burrowing rodents have the potential to return to the same area and cause havoc once again.
The idea is to remain vigilant and monitor the affected area for as long as required, ensuring that no furry critters persist in making it their home.
If you find rats under your concrete early, you can rectify the situation before significant damage occurs. This can be achieved through the use of rat poison, as well as smoke or gas bombs, readily available at home improvement stores and online retailers. However, it is crucial to prioritize safety and thoroughly read all accompanying information and documentation pertaining to these products before utilizing them.
Contact Your Local Professionals
If rodents have taken complete control of an area on your property, and all other measures have been exhausted, it may be necessary to engage the services of a professional pest control specialist to effectively eliminate the infestation.
Although not the most prevalent cause of sinking or damaged concrete, the risk of burrowing rodents causing concrete damage persists for almost any structure. If you or someone you know has experienced concrete damage as a result of rodent activity, reach out to AAA Concrete Raising without delay to initiate the repair process using our reliable mudjacking services.