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Concrete Floor Leveling: How it Works

February 17th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Sarah Etler

Have a settled or sunken concrete floor? Learn how you can lift it up with concrete leveling!

Whether you’ve slowly been watching your basement floor sink, or if you’ve only just noticed your interior concrete floor is falling away from the wall, you’re likely very concerned for the health of your home, and maybe even worried about the condition of your foundation.

Luckily, sloped floors, gaps between walls, and cracking flooring are usually all signs that the concrete floor in your home needs a little TLC, not your foundation. But what exactly can you do if this is the case?

As experts in raising settled concrete, A-1 Concrete Leveling has helped countless homeowners like you struggling with their interior concrete floors get the even result they’re after with concrete leveling.

This article will walk you through what concrete floor leveling is, how it works, explain why self-leveling compounds aren’t best for this application, and describe how you can prepare for the repair. 

What is concrete floor leveling?

If your concrete floor is sloping to one side, sinking and settling, or falling away from the walls, it can likely be raised back up with a process called concrete leveling

This process works to lift the concrete slab back up to its original position and fill any voids underneath, creating a stable base that helps prevent future repeat settling.

The concrete floor leveling process is quick, usually over within a day or two, cost-effective, and hassle-free.

How does concrete floor leveling work?

While there are different methods to professionally lift and level interior concrete floors, they all follow the same set of steps:

  1. Strategic holes are drilled in the affected concrete floor slabs
  2. A leveling compound is pumped through the holes and into the voids below the settled floor
  3. The pressure from the compound causes the concrete floor slab to lift
  4. Once the floor slabs are in a level position, the drill holes are sealed off

Stone Slurry Floor Leveling Process

During the stone slurry concrete leveling process, a grout-like mixture of agricultural limestone and water is pumped under the settled floor slab in order to lift it up.

This leveling compound does a good job of spreading out and filling all the voids, which equates to a strong repair. This repair method is also extremely durable, as it can last the life of the slab itself. This is great news for settled concrete floors, as you don’t want to apply flooring on top only to have to re-level the concrete later.

Here at A-1, we typically use the stone slurry leveling method to level settled floors, as well as all other types of sinking concrete, but we always determine the best method based on the individual circumstances of each repair and use that to achieve the desired results.

Related: The Pros and Cons of Stone Slurry Concrete Leveling

Foam Floor Leveling Process

During the foam leveling process, a liquid polyurethane foam mixture is pumped through the drill holes and under the settled floor slabs. Once under the slab, the mixture creates a chemical reaction, causing the foam to expand. The pressure from this expanding foam pushes the floor slab back up into a level position.

While A-1’s usual method for lifting concrete is stone slurry leveling, many of our locations feel that foam is great for interior projects.

The professional concrete leveling company that you choose to work with will be able to tell you how they will lift your floor and why it is the best method for your concrete’s specific characteristics.

Related: The Pros and Cons of Foam Leveling

Can you level a concrete floor with self-leveling compound?

Self-leveling concrete, when applied correctly, can be a great way to even out the surface of a bumpy or wavy interior concrete floor. It can also be great for filling dips and valleys on the surface of a concrete floor that were created when the concrete was poured.

Self-leveling concrete compound is meant to even out surface imperfections, either to work as standalone flooring, or to prepare the concrete slab for flooring like hardwood to go on top.

When Not to Use Self-leveling Concrete

Self-leveling concrete is NOT a way to lift sloping slabs up to a level position. If your floor is settling, pouring an overlay on top is not the best solution.

This is because, in order to achieve a level, even surface across sloping concrete floor slabs, you will likely have to add a large amount of product to the area, which can prevent proper curing and result in cracking or crumbling down the line.

Applying a superficial layer to level the settled floor also does nothing to actually address the reason the floor is settling. Professional concrete leveling, on the other hand, fills the voids and leaves you peace of mind that the concrete is likely finished settling.

Related: Can You Pour Self-Leveling Concrete Over Existing Concrete?

How to Prepare for Concrete Floor Leveling

In order to lift your settled concrete floor, you’ll have to do a little bit of prep work. This includes removing any flooring in the affected area and getting all furniture, decor, and personal items out of the space before the repair takes place.

It’s also important to have a plan when it comes to pets, as the team will likely have to be going in and out of the house often. In addition, we’ll need access to a functioning water spigot, so checking that yours is in working order before the repair is crucial, as well.

Your Next Steps for Level Concrete Floors

Now that you know how professional concrete floor lifting works, you can decide if it’s a method you’d like to use to bring your settling floors back up to a level position.

At A-1 Concrete Leveling, we’ve been helping homeowners with all things concrete for over 30 years, and in this time we’ve made countless improvements to basement and interior concrete floors with our professional concrete leveling services.

If you’re interested in seeing what concrete floor leveling can do for your home, click the link below to request a free onsite cost estimate!

Want to know more about concrete repair or maintenance? We have an entire online library called Concrete Academy dedicated to answering your questions about all sorts of concrete topics. Check out these related topics:

Sarah Etler

Sarah Etler joined A-1 Concrete Leveling after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northern Kentucky University. As A-1's Content Marketing Manager, she works closely with industry experts to produce content that will best answer questions related to concrete repair and maintenance practices. Sarah loves living a life full of discovery and is excited every day to see what new things she can learn and share with those around her.