Sinking Concrete in Chicago, What Does It Cost to Fix?


Sinking Concrete in Chicago, What Does It Cost to Fix?

In previous articles we have discussed how much sinking concrete is in Chicago, the different ways to repair it, the differences in those methods, but many people want to know…how much does repairing sinking concrete in Chicago cost?

The obvious answer is…it depends.  Whether the concrete is being replaced, mudjacked or being lifted with polyurethane concrete raising, the costs can vary, as well as the effectiveness of the repair.

The Cost to Fix Sinking Concrete in Chicago

Let’s take a look at the three typical ways sinking concrete gets repaired and the costs associated with them.  In surveying these costs, remember that in some cases, the cost to a homeowner is not only in the actual repair but also the cost of associated items that may need to be addressed after the actual concrete repair is completed.

Removal and Replacement-  This is probably the most commonly known process as there are hundreds of companies in Chicagoland that perform this type of work.  It also may be the only solution if the concrete is in very poor condition.

Regardless of the company doing the replacement, the costs should include not only removing the old sinking concrete, but removing/correcting the subgrade as well.  The preparation of the subgrade is the most important step in trying to correct the sinking concrete as if this step isn’t done properly, the concrete will sink again, making the replacement unsuccessful and putting the homeowner back to square one of having to deal with sinking concrete.

The costs for removing and replacing concrete sidewalks, patios, driveways and stoops can vary greatly.  Typical costs for removal and replacement of sinking concrete in the Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Southeast Wisconsin are between $9 and $16 per square foot. 

Why the broad range?  There are many things that can impact the difficulty of a project and ultimately drive costs up.  A few questions that affect cost are the following:  Is there access for a bobcat or other mechanical means to break up and haul away the concrete or does the contractor have to do it by hand?  Is it standard concrete or a decorative application such as exposed aggregate or stamped and stained concrete?  Can a ready mix truck place the new concrete easily or is a special pump required?  All of these questions directly affect the cost of replacing sinking concrete.

The other issue with replacing the sinking concrete is that the costs do not end at just the concrete contractor.  Typically landscaping needs to be repaired as part of this process and these costs should be taken into account when comparing methods of repair.  While not monetary in nature there is also a cost to homeowners in that the concrete cannot be used right way.  Typical driveways, sidewalks and patios require 2-3 days of cure time before it can be put into normal use.

Mudjacking- An alternative to removing and replacing the concrete is mudjacking settled concrete.  This method of repair requires 1.5”-2” holes to be drilled in the surface of the concrete through which a cement slurry is pumped and the concrete is rasied.  This process typically will cost $3-6 per square foot depending on how much the concrete has settled.

This method has been around for over 60 years and is relatively successful in raising settled concrete.  There are a few things to watch out for however.  First is the main reason as to why concrete sinks is because of the weight of the concrete sitting on top of improperly prepped subgrade.  Mudjacking material can add as much as 100lbs or more per cubic foot of material installed under the slab.  Adding this weight to soil/subgrade that is already sinking is not the best idea and may lead to future settlement.  The other is if you are dealing with any kind of decorative concrete or concrete that is in a main traffic area, the large holes are unsightly and impossible to hide.  Similar to concrete replacement, the concrete that was mudjacked cannot be used again until the material cures, typically 24 hours.  We have written a previous article about the disadvantages of mudjacking that goes into further detail on the topic.

Polyurethane Concrete Raising- Now if you want a modern, reliable, cost effective and long term solution to your sinking concrete, polyurethane concrete raising is the best solution.  It is basically a modern version of mudjacking but without the drawbacks of very heavy material adding burden to poorly prepped subgrade and large invasive holes that are difficult to conceal.

As long as the concrete is in good shape, small 5/8” diameter holes are drilled strategically in the surface of the concrete to be lifted.  Once the holes are drilled, expanding polyurethane structural foam is injected under the concrete to lift and level the sunken portion.  Once the concrete is raised, the holes are patched and the concrete can immediately be put back into service.

Polyurethane concrete raising typically costs in the $5-7 per square foot range, depending on the amount the concrete has settled and is a great solution for decorative concrete that has settled as well. 

U.S. Waterproofing has the experience and latest technology to solve all your home’s seepage, structural and sinking concrete needs.  If you need help figuring out what repair method is best for your sinking concrete, contact us for a free consultation.


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