Sinking or unlevel concrete slabs are common, causing unsafe and unsightly sidewalks, porches, patios, and other concrete surfaces. The most common cause of sunken concrete is the erosion or shrinkage of the soil underneath it. Soils constantly change, expand, and contract to adapt to temperature fluctuations, moisture, and drought conditions.
There are two main methods to level concrete: mudjacking and concrete foam lifting. The basic concept is similar; however, each process has pros and cons to consider.
What is Mudjacking?
Mudjacking involves “jacking” concrete up from below using a mud-like mixture of cement, water, soil, and sand. This mixture, often called a slurry, is pumped through holes drilled in the concrete using pressure to lift and level the concrete. Mudjacking works for intact walkways, patios, and driveways but should not be used for garage floors, basements, foundations, or heavily damaged slabs. This mixture is very heavy, weighing an average of 100-110 pounds per cubic foot of material.
What is Concrete Lifting?
Concrete lifting consists of an environmentally safe liquid polyurethane foam injected through small holes drilled in the concrete and into the loose, unstable soil beneath the concrete. The high-density polyethylene foam expands through a chemical reaction to stabilize the loose soil and lift the settled concrete. After approximately 15 minutes, the foam is cured and ready for traffic. Polyurethane only weighs about 2 pounds per cubic foot of material. This repair process works for all types of concrete including garage floors, basements, foundations, and swimming pools.
The Basic Steps Are the Same With Either Method
- A technician carefully drills holes into the sunken portion of the concrete slab.
- A special substance, either a cement slurry or a polyurethane foam, is pumped into the space beneath the sunken concrete. The substance expands, lifting the sunken concrete back to the same level as the surrounding concrete. This process is carefully controlled to ensure that the risen concrete is flush with the surrounding surface.
- The work site is thoroughly rinsed and cleaned. The remaining holes or cracks are patched and treated to blend in with the existing concrete.
Why Choose Polyurethane Foam for Concrete Lifting?
Polyurethane foam has been in use by the U.S. Department of Transportation and local municipalities since the 1970s and is a proven method of concrete stabilization and lifting. Polyurethane concrete lifting and leveling are effective under the harshest conditions.
Technicians drill ⅝” holes in the damaged concrete to inject the polyurethane foam under the surface. Traditional mudjacking generally requires two-inch holes which are more difficult to patch and blend with existing concrete.
Polyurethane foam is the most reliable method to ensure long-lasting repairs. Polyurethane foam is waterproof and lightweight. Mudjacking relies on the soil underneath the concrete to stabilize the repair. Since the underlying soil is already loose and crumbled from the damaged concrete, a mudjacking repair rarely lasts as long as one done with polyurethane foam.
Water and weight are the most common causes of concrete failure. Polyurethane foam fills voids and forms a waterproof base to lift and stabilize concrete permanently. The foam creates a solid foundation and forms a barrier against new water damage.
Most repairs only take a few hours to complete. And since polyurethane foam cures quickly, you can drive on surfaces within 30 minutes. Mudjacking repairs often take several days to fully cure.
Polyurethane foam works for both residential and commercial properties. Whether it’s a walkway, patio, or porch steps, concrete lifting can repair almost any sunken concrete. Concrete lifting using polyurethane foam works for load-bearing concrete, including driveways, foundations, basements, and garage floors.
Concrete lifting is a winning solution for commercial and residential property owners that offers a less disruptive, quicker repair process with long-lasting results. In most cases, concrete repairs can be completed in less than a single day.
Trust RT Construction for Concrete Lifting Services
RT Construction is proud to partner with Alchemy-Spetec to offer concrete lifting services for residential and commercial property owners. If you live in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area or the Lake of the Ozarks, call RT Construction at 636-317-5636 to schedule an inspection and free estimate.
RT Construction has completed residential and commercial projects in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas, all with the same high level of precision and quality. With over 25 years of experience, we take pride in our work, and your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are licensed, insured, and bonded for your protection.