If you see your front steps begin shifting to one side, or your deck furniture that appears to slide off of a patio that is tilting or the walkway you walk on or driveway is becoming uneven–sinking concrete can be difficult to ignore. These are usually indications of problems beneath the concrete that may not be resolved by changing the slab. Find out how concrete leveling could be the solution you require to get your concrete back to its original position.
What Is Concrete Leveling, and Does Concrete Leveling Work?
Concrete slabs sink and can get uneven with time for different reasons. The most common causes are rainwater washing away soil that holds up the slab. Sometimes, the tree roots or soil grow or contract, bringing slabs with them.
Concrete leveling is a method that fills in voids beneath slabs of concrete that are sagging, such as patios, steps, porches as well as driveways, sidewalks and walkways. The procedure involves drilling holes in the concrete slab and then pumping a leveling substance through those holes , and then underneath the slab. The substance stabilizes loose soil and raises the level the sunken slab to where it should be.
When Do You Need Concrete Leveling?
Surfaces that are level are particularly important for concrete walkways, driveways and walkways, because uneven slabs can cause pedestrians to slip or fall on wheel hubs of scooters or bicycles. It is also possible to repair sinking patios that you use many hours. The process of tearing up and re-laying a slab can be messy and time-consuming, not to mention damaging to your landscaping and lawn, so you might want to consider concrete lifting when the conditions are ideal.
Most of the time, you’ll be in a position to determine if a particular section of concrete slab isn’t in the exact same place as slabs adjacent to it. A slab that is at least a quarter-inch lower than the original level might be be repaired with concrete leveling. There may be problems with water in your basement during rainy days that could be due to concrete patios shifting close to your home.
There are other signs that are not as evident. Voids can grow beneath concrete, without causing immediate damage. Be aware of slabs that shake when moved over or stepped on or produce hollow sound when tapping.
When Not to Use Concrete Leveling
In the event that you’re concrete slab has damaged into multiple pieces, each one smaller than one square foot, concrete leveling won’t resolve the issue. This type of damage needs the replacement of the entire slab.
Different Concrete Leveling Options
There are two primary methods for leveling concrete: mudjacking or poly leveling. It is possible to engage experts in concrete leveling to choose either of these methods for your specific project. The main differences between these two techniques and the projects they’re most suitable for:
Mudjacking is the process of “jacking” concrete up from below by using a mud-like mix consisting of water, cement soil, sand and water. The first step is to drill several holes that are two inches in width are made into the concrete slab. The concrete is then injected into the holes to raise the slab up to its height.
Pros of Mudjacking
- Costs lower than poly leveling or a complete slab replacement
- Doesn’t require heavy equipment , or large teams
- Lasts between 5 and 10 years
- Work for walkways that are intact as well as patios, steps and driveways
Cons of Mudjacking
- It can take up to 48 hours for be cured.
- The drilling of large holes could cause cracks to the slab
- It is not waterproof, and could be damaged
- The material is extremely heavy and could cause sinking
- Will not work for basements, garage floors foundation repair and pools. It will not work for heavily damaged slabs
Another method for leveling concrete is poly leveling, also known as the use of polyurethane foam to raise concrete. As with mudjacking techniques, small holes are cut in the concrete slab. Instead of cement and mud but poly leveling injects a polyurethane-based foam which expands to level sunken concrete. It is as “slabjacking,” though that word is also used to describe the practice of mudjacking.
Pros of Poly Leveling
- It doesn’t require any heavy equipment or large teams
- It should last at least 10 years.
- In less than an hour, you can get the cure.
- The holes needed are smaller, only 5/8-inch in size.
- Waterproof foam is extremely light
- Garage floors and basements, foundation issues and swimming pools.
Cons of Poly Leveling
- It is more expensive than Mudjacking
- It won’t work on severely damaged slabs
- The entry points of holes in the slab’s surface might have a different hue that the initial material
Is Concrete Leveling Worth the Cost?
If the slab is in good condition concrete leveling is usually superior to a complete slab replacement. If you choose to replace it you’ll have to take away the old slab, dispose of any materials, deliver new concrete to make a new slab.
Removing and breaking up the concrete is about $2-$6 to $6 per square. In addition, you’ll have to pay $4.50 or $10.50 for each square foot to build an entirely new slab, bringing the total price up to $6.50 or $16.50 for each square foot.
Compare these costs with concrete leveling. Mudjacking is the cheapest alternative at between $3 and $6 for a sq. foot. Poly leveling is a good option, but you’ll pay between five to twenty dollars per square feet. Before making a decision, think about making contact with a concrete contractor for a price estimate and make sure that the root problems that cause the concrete to sink are correctly taken care of.