Concrete Repair: Mudjacking vs. Polyurethane Lifting
As a home owner you may come across several home repair issues that are unexpected and seem impossible to repair. One of the main home repairs is leveling concrete in driveways, patios, garages, sidewalk, walkways, or concrete steps. Home owners may have problem areas where sunken concrete has caused uneven surfaces and tripping hazards to form. Conditions where outdoor concrete has already begun to sink are not uncommon in Colorado and are often the result of shifting or a weak soil base or erosion. While you may consider replacing the slab, there are more affordable and long-lasting solutions available. Many times, the first solution home owners think to use to repair this issue is to find someone to mud jack the uneven concrete. So, what exactly is mud jacking?
Mud jacking uses a mixture of sand and water infused with a small amount of cement, which helps the material solidify. The sand and water mixture is pumped through large holes in the concrete using hydraulic pressure to lift the sunken concrete. This mixture is considered a structural fill and is very heavy, weighing an average of 100-110 lbs. per cubic foot of material. There’s a problem with this though. The heavy weight of the slurry sitting on the same soil that had caused the initial settling of the slab is likely not going to fix this long-term.
In the past, contractors relied upon mud jacking, also known as slab jacking, to level concrete that had settled over time. This entailed pumping concrete slurry under the settled slab to raise it and hoping that the settlement wouldn’t continue.
Although this technique will get the job done, it’s not the most productive solution. That’s why at Peak Structural, we use our PolyLevel® polymer injection to lift and level concrete. Why is this a better solution?
The PolyLevel® only weighs about 2 pounds per cubic foot of material and is an inert, non-toxic, environmentally safe material. It is impervious to moisture or decay, ensuring that over time, it will not only be environmentally friendly, but your concrete repair will last a lifetime. Not only that, but following the repair, those holes are filled with a cementous grout to match the surrounding concrete.
PolyLevel® concrete lifting consists of an environmentally safe liquid polymer foam that is injected through penny-size holes, rather than 1” holes, in the concrete and into the loose, unstable soils below. The high-density foam expands to stabilize the loose soils and lift the fallen concrete. After approximately 15 minutes, the polyurethane material is fully cured and ready to return to be used as usual. At Peak Structural, we use PolyLevel® to lift concrete slabs to a level position with less weight and disruption than the typical mud jacking or slab jacking process.
In case you’re not sure if you have the symptoms of uneven hazardous concrete, here are some telltale signs.
SIGNS OF SUNKEN CONCRETE:
- Sinking concrete steps or sidewalks
- Cracked, bumpy and uneven driveways or patios
- Cracking and sinking sections of slabs
- Washout of soils under concrete slabs
- Repeated cracking of concrete slabs
If you have any of these issues and are concerned about the liability of visitors tripping on your property, preparing your home for sale, or simply want to enjoy your home with your family and friends, we would be happy to provide you a free evaluation and estimate for concrete repair and leveling!