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How To Repair a Sinking Concrete Patio - Your 3 Options

May 3, 2017 • By Matthew Stock with Mike Likvan.

Thinking Man

Your backyard concrete patio can be a great gathering place for parties or an escape for enjoying a good book on a sunny afternoon.  But if your patio has sunken and is pitched toward your house, it can also be a great source of trouble every time it rains.

Basements and crawl spaces don’t mix well with excessive water which is why we recommend keeping water away from them. Unfortunately, too much water is exactly what a sunken patio can attract and direct toward your house every time it rains. Then each new rain soaks into the ground under the patio causing the soil to get softer and the patio to sink deeper.

Fortunately, there are several ways to repair a sinking concrete patio.  Below is information about each option so you can best decide which is right for you and your budget.

Options For Repairing Your Patio

The oldest and most expensive method for repairing a sinking concrete patio is to jackhammer it into pieces and start over. Once the patio is broken up and loaded into a dump truck, the ground is leveled, the forms are installed and a new patio poured.  One of the downsides to doing it this way, besides the cost, is the disruption to your landscaping and the very real possibility you will need to also repair your landscaping afterward.  Concrete workers want to take up the concrete quickly so it’s likely they’ll use a skid-steer loader to remove your back patio. This means they will be driving that mini-tractor back and forth over your lawn to take the concrete pieces to a dump truck parked in front. If patio replacement still sounds appealing, keep in mind that once the concrete is poured, you can’t use the patio for a few days while you wait for it to cure properly. And if hot weather is in the forecast while it’s curing, expect to be out watering the new concrete to keep it from curing too quickly.

An alternative to replacing the patio is called mudjacking (because the original material used in the process was mud).  Over time cement and rock were added to the mud mix in an attempt to make it last longer. During the mudjacking process, wet material is forced under the concrete to raise it.  The upside is mudjacking usually costs less than replacing your patio.  The downsides of mudjacking are that there’s no real formula for mixing ‘mud’ so the results are inconsistent; your patio will have injection holes over 1 ½” wide cored into it wherever the mud is injected. The ‘mud’ adds even more weight to the area that’s already having a problem supporting the weight of your concrete patio, and the water-based mud-mixture can be eroded over time by ground water.

Using hydraulic methods to raise concrete has been around since the late 1930s.  Polyurethane concrete raising is the newest method and uses the same lifting concept as mudjacking but with these benefits; the stability of the polyurethane helps it to be a long-term solution, especially in situations where it will be exposed to the elements. It’s less expensive than replacing concrete, extremely lightweight, considerably more durable and stable than mud and the injection holes are the size of a penny.  Curing time is also substantially less than concrete so the patio can be used within a few hours of completing the work.  If you’d like to read more about concrete raising here’s a comparison between polyurethane concrete raising and mudjacking.  Or you can watch a video on our concrete raising process to get a better idea of how the process works.

There are your three options for repairing a sinking concrete patio.  Feel free to contact us if you would like a free estimate on polyurethane concrete raising.  We have the experience and expertise to handle this kind of heavy lifting whenever your concrete patio, sidewalk or driveway needs to be raised.

Tags: mudjacking, polyurethane concrete raising, sinking concrete patio

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