When you have to repair settled concrete around your home that is unsightly, a tripping hazard, pooling water or directing water into your basement, there are a couple of methods to choose from besides replacing the concrete. Both Polyurethane Concrete Raising and Mudjacking are processes in which existing concrete can be lifted back to the position it was in prior to the settlement occurring. While the processes at the core are similar, they have some pretty dramatic differences in material, equipment and longevity of the repair. The question is which repair is right for you?
Mudjacking- Mudjacking is a process that has been around for almost 60 years and can be used on a variety of surfaces, including sidewalks, patios, driveways and pool decks, but is limited beyond these common applications.
The first step in mudjacking is to drill large 1 5/8” – 2” diameter holes in the concrete in strategic locations. These locations are determined to get the maximum amount of lift/raise while still maintaining the integrity of the concrete slab. A cement slurry (or “mud” hence the mudjacking name) is mixed on site and then pumped hydraulically through the holes into the voids under the concrete slab. As the cement slurry fills the voids, it builds up pressure and then is able to lift the slab to the desired elevation. Once the concrete is lifted, the holes can be patched and the site cleaned up. The slab can be put back into service for pedestrian traffic within a few hours or 24 hours for vehicle traffic.
Polyurethane Concrete Raising- The steps in the Polyurethane Concrete Raising process are very similar to that of mudjacking but utilize advancements in material and technology to make the process quicker, less intrusive and more reliable. Polyurethane concrete raising is used on sidewalks, patios, driveways and pool decks but due to its lightweight and predictable results; it’s also used on factory floors, highways, airplane runways and other heavy duty applications.
Smaller holes only 5/8” in diameter are drilled in the concrete slab. The polyurethane structural foam material is injected through special ports that are placed in the holes. Once the polyurethane is injected, the material expands to fill all the voids and spaces under the concrete slab. The expansion of the foam then raises the concrete back to the desired level. The small holes can then be easily filled and the cleanup is minimal. The concrete slab is back into service immediately, no waiting for a mud slurry to cure.
Polyurethane Concrete Raising vs Mudjacking, Which Method is Best?
Polyurethane Concrete Raising has many advantages over mudjacking:
• Smaller holes in the concrete
• Does not add significant weight to the soil under the slab
• Fast curing time allows concrete to be put back into service immediately
• Material expands to fully fill voids under slabs
• Eco-friendly, recycled material
• Moisture resistant, will not wash out, similar to foundation crack repair material
• Does not shrink over time
• Increases concrete slab’s ability to bear weight
• Material is consistent in quality
Just like we see with automobiles and computers; newer materials and technology make the polyurethane concrete raising process of today faster, cleaner and more reliable than technology of the past. Mudjacking has its place if you are looking for an inexpensive, short term repair to the problem. The Polyurethane Concrete Raising vs Mudjacking debate is a relatively easy one to answer if you are looking for a fast, reliable, permanent cost and cost effective repair method for the settled concrete around your home.
At U.S. Waterproofing, we strive to use the best, latest technology and methods to repair your home. We have repaired thousands of homes with settled concrete, so if you have settled or uneven concrete around your home and aren’t sure how to correct it, schedule a free consultation.