Lifting settled concrete is typically much less expensive than replacing uneven, cracked and sunken slabs. The process isn’t simple, however, and requires specialized materials and equipment to accomplish.
Also known as concrete leveling or slabjacking, the lifting process raises the slab back to its original position by stabilizing the soil underneath. This is accomplished by injecting a material through the slab to fill voids or empty areas in the underlying soil foundation.
The specific materials used by concrete leveling contractors may vary based on the region, but most use either a cement-based mixture or a polyurethane foam. Let’s take a closer look at some of the products we might use for lifting your settled concrete.
Lifting Settled Concrete with a Cement-Based Mixture
When the concrete raising process was first developed back in the 1930s, a mixture of Portland cement, water and earth was used to lift settled slabs.
This blend is still in use today, though some contractors add a limestone aggregate or sand. The cement mixture has a slurry consistency that resembles mud. This is why we refer to concrete leveling repairs that use this blend as “mudjacking!”
During the mudjacking process, the cement slurry is hydraulically pumped through several holes drilled in the slab. Most residential and small commercial concrete leveling projects use the mudjacking process.
Polyurethane Foam for Raising Settled Concrete
In the 1980s, specialized closed-cell polyurethane foam products were developed for use in raising and stabilizing bridges and highways.
Functioning much like the spray foam insulation systems used in homes, these products expand to fill empty spaces in the soil. When polyurethane foams are used to raise settled concrete, the process is called foamjacking.
With foamjacking, two separate liquid materials are combined as they are injected through the holes in the slab. When the liquids are mixed, they react to form a foam that expands and hardens to stabilize the soil.
Today, foamjacking is widely used in residential and commercial slab leveling projects.
Which Method of Lifting Settled Concrete Is Preferable?
Mudjacking and foamjacking achieve the same result, raising the slab to an even and stable position. So how do we determine which is best for a specific project?
Due to the cost of materials, mudjacking is less expensive than foamjacking. So, if the customer has a limited budget, we may recommend this approach.
However, foamjacking requires fewer holes to be drilled in your slab, and the holes are much smaller. Consequently, a foamjacked concrete repair will be less noticeable. In addition, polyurethane foam holds its shape and volume better than cement-based mixtures. So, in some cases, foamjacking offers a better long-term solution.
Whichever way we ultimately recommend for you, we approach every concrete lifting project individually. We will carefully evaluate your sunken concrete and the soil and site conditions nearby. Based on our extensive knowledge and experience, we will recommend the approach that will work best and save you the most money.
Are you ready for an estimate on your residential or commercial concrete leveling project? Lift Right Concrete LLC, with offices in West Jordan and Grantsville, Utah, is your local expert for lifting settled concrete.