Concrete Leveling Services – What Do You Need to  Know?

There are many problems that can occur around the home. Some of those issues are going to be large, while others can be relatively minor.

At times, there may also be a problem that appears minor on the surface but can have a significant impact on the safety and stability of your home. This includes when concrete sinks–a problem that requires professional help with concrete leveling.

Concrete leveling is sometimes referred to as “slab jacking.” There are also different options available, including the material that is used to raise the concrete to an acceptable level.

In any case, however, the use of slab lifting is important because it addresses more than just the visible issues you see above the surface; it can also fix some of the issues below the surface and help keep you and your family safe.

Admittedly, most people will reach out to a contractor to handle a concrete leveling job because of the appearance associated with having uneven concrete–but when you think about it, there are often some significant tripping hazards involved as well.

In addition, as the concrete shifts and sinks, it can eventually crack. Obviously, concrete doesn’t bend, so having the problem repaired from underneath is something that can help save the slab and keep you from having the expense of replacing it.

As a homeowner, it is important for you to be aware of the different options available to raise the slab and keep it at an acceptable level. Being educated in this matter can help you make good decisions and choose a contractor that will work with you and your needs.

That is why we will consider the benefits and potential problems associated with concrete leveling. We will also look into the best methods available, along with some other common methods that are better off avoided.

You will also learn that there are times when slab leveling is not possible. It’s unfortunate, but if the damage is too extensive or it is the wrong type of damage, then no amount of slab leveling will help.

The Pros and Cons of Concrete Leveling

Something that is true for any type of construction project is the fact that there are going to be both benefits and potential issues associated with it. With this in mind, understanding the pros and cons can also help you make good decisions when it comes to slab leveling.

The first factor we will consider is that of the possible benefits, which can show you why it is a good idea to have this job done.

Convenience: When you compare the convenience of concrete leveling with the possibility of having the slab replaced or torn out, there really is no comparison. When the contractor comes to raise your slab, they will be there for a short amount of time–and when they leave, they will leave no traces behind.

Cost: Obviously, it would be an expensive process to have the concrete removed, hauled away, and then a new slab poured. Large or small, this job is going to cost quite a bit.

On the other hand, slab leveling is relatively inexpensive. There are some costs associated with it, but they are minimal compared to the option of having the slab replaced.

Looks: It is important to understand that trying to match concrete slabs is extremely difficult when you are pouring a new slab alongside older concrete. Since you are using the same slab and raising it up to an acceptable level, however, it will match the old appearance perfectly.

Time: The process of slab leveling is relatively quick. This is especially true of polyurethane jacking, which we will discuss further in this article. It only takes a short amount of time for the polyurethane to be injected–and once it expands and lifts the concrete, you can begin using it within about 15 minutes.

These are just a few of the benefits that come along with concrete leveling. There are some potential problems associated with it that should be considered as well.

Visible breaks: If the slab has already cracked, then the crack is going to close to a certain extent when the slab is lifted. That gap will close considerably, but will not go away completely. You will still be able to see the area where the crack exists–and although you can patch it, it will not match the old concrete perfectly.

Outcome: Professional slab lifting can raise the concrete to an acceptable level, and it will match the old slab in place very closely.

That being said, there will be times when things don’t work exactly as planned. In rare cases, the soil beneath the slab may not support the slab enough to lift it into place. There are also cases in which the slab can crack (although that is rare as well).

Mudjacking Vs. Polyjacking: Is There a Difference?

There are two primary types of slab lifting to consider. Each of these may be possible in your local area, and they both promise the same outcome, but they are very different in the material used and the benefits provided.

Mudjacking was in use for many years before polyurethane was available. The process involves pumping a mud slurry under the surface of the concrete to lift it into place.

In theory, this would work quite well–but unfortunately, it is only a temporary fix compared to polyurethane jacking. There are also other problems associated with mudjacking, including the large holes that are used for pumping the slurry under the surface.

There are some companies that still offer mudjacking, but it is better to avoid this process. Polyjacking (using polyurethane foam) is the best option available today for many reasons.

First of all, polyjacking is done using small holes in the concrete that are about the size of a dime. A special tool is used to pump the polyurethane mix under the concrete. In doing so, it expands quickly and lifts the slab into place.

Polyurethane has the benefit of being permanent compared to the mud slurry used in mudjacking. In addition, after the polyjacking job is complete, you will be able to begin using the slab almost immediately. It only takes about 15 minutes to set.

Although it’s good to consider both options, there are very few (if any) times when mudjacking is better. In fact, most companies that have moved over to polyurethane have now discontinued offering mudjacking altogether.

The Step-by-Step Concrete Leveling Process

The process of concrete leveling using polyurethane foam is relatively straightforward. There are a few steps, but in the hands of a professional, it takes place quickly and is done with very few potential problems.

The first step in the process is to drill small, dime-sized holes in the concrete. Next, ports will be inserted into the holes to allow the polyurethane to be pumped under the concrete slab.

Special guns are used to pump the polyurethane beneath the slab under pressure. When the polyurethane mixture combines, the foam begins to expand and does so very quickly. As the foam expands, it pushes in all directions.

In part, the expansion of the foam pushes down against the soil and compacts it. At the same time, it lifts the slab from the underside, helping push it into place. This back-and-forth continues, compressing the soil under the slab and moving the slab to an acceptable height.

Once the slab is at the correct height, the gun and port are removed. A patch is then used to fill in the holes. Extra care is given to ensure the colors match as closely as possible.

Common Problems Concrete Leveling Can’t Fix

Concrete leveling is used to level many different types of slabs, including driveways, patios, sidewalks, and other large pieces of concrete. There are also times when slab piers are needed to complete the job, but that is typically only in the case of a basement slab.

There may be times when concrete leveling is unable to fix an uneven concrete slab. When this happens, the slab will likely need to be removed, hauled away, and a new slab poured.

Typically, concrete leveling cannot be used when the damage is significant enough that the concrete will not lift into place. This includes when there is crumbling of the slab or when tree roots have destroyed the slab and caused it to break into multiple pieces.

Surface damage or dips in poured concrete are also not able to be repaired with the use of slab lifting. There may be options available to repair these types of damages, but slab lifting is not the go-to choice for them.

Slab lifting has come a long way since the old days of mudjacking. The use of polyurethane makes it not only possible to raise a slab into position, but also a convenient choice for homeowners.


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