Concrete Raising: What Is It and When Do You Need It?

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.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Find out all about concrete raising including pros and cons, when to use it, FAQ, and more.

Sunken concrete slabs aren’t just an eyesore – they’re also a recipe for disaster. Trip hazards can put loved ones in harm's way, and can be a big liability when guests and service workers step onto your property.

But what can you do about it?

It used to be that settled, uneven concrete had to be torn out and replaced. Nowadays, the concrete can be lifted back up with a process called “concrete raising” (AKA: concrete leveling).

Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we’ve been raising sunken concrete for over 30 years, and during this time we’ve gotten many questions about the process. And in this article, we’re answering some of these questions.

What Is Concrete Raising?

Concrete raising is the process of lifting settled concrete slabs back into their proper position, utilizing the existing concrete rather than tearing it out and replacing it.

Concrete raising is another name for the general, more common term, “concrete leveling.” 

It’s actually a more accurate way to describe the process. Rather than leveling out the surface texture or aiming for a totally level slope, technicians “raise” the concrete from the bottom up.

Some frequently used terms that also mean “concrete raising” are:

  • Concrete leveling
  • Concrete lifting
  • Concrete jacking
  • Slabjacking
  • Mudjacking (a type of concrete raising, but often used interchangeably)

How Does Concrete Raising Work?

There are three types of concrete raising (stone slurry grout leveling, polyjacking, and mudjacking – more on these next), but they all follow the same set of steps:

Step 1: Strategic holes are drilled into settled concrete slabs.

Step 2: Technicians pump a leveling compound beneath the slab (mud, foam, or stone) that spreads out to fill voids and lifts the slab.

Step 3: Once the slab is back in the proper position, the drill holes are patched and the area is cleaned off.

Types of Concrete Raising

Concrete raising is a general term, but there are three specific processes to go about actually raising the concrete.

This section will cover all three briefly, but for a more detailed look, check out this resource: Types of Concrete Leveling: Comparing Grout, Foam, and Mudjacking

  • Stone Slurry Grout Leveling

Stone slurry grout concrete leveling uses a mixture of pulverized limestone and water to gradually fill voids under the slab and lift it back into place. 

The thickness of the limestone compound can be adjusted to control how quickly the voids are filled and slabs are lifted.

Related Resource: The Pros and Cons of Stone Slurry Grout Leveling

  • Polyjacking

Polyurethane foam concrete leveling, also known as "polyjacking," involves injecting a two-part chemical solution under the concrete. 

These chemicals react, creating expanding foam beneath the concrete, exerting pressure and causing it to rise.

Related Resource: The Pros and Cons of Foam Concrete Leveling

  • Mudjacking

Mudjacking utilizes a mixture of sand, soil, water, and sometimes cement under the concrete to lift it back into position, often with greater speed and pressure. 

While often mistakenly used as an interchangeable term, mudjacking is a specific type of concrete raising.

Related Resource: The Pros and Cons of Mudjacking

Is Concrete Raising Worth It? The Pros and Cons

Concrete raising has its pros and cons, just like any other concrete repair option. This section will touch on them briefly, but for a more detailed discussion, check out this resource: The Pros and Cons of Concrete Leveling

Pros

  • Cost-Effective 

Concrete raising is significantly less expensive than replacement. It can save you up to 70% of the cost.

  • Fast Turnaround 

The process is usually completed within a few hours, while larger jobs may take 1-3 days.

  • Convenience 

Concrete raising is less messy than replacement, normal use of the concrete is allowed after 24 hours, and it doesn’t destroy your yard or landscaping.

  • Consistency 

Your existing concrete stays in place, so your slabs won’t look mismatched after the repair.

Cons

  • Existing Cracks

Existing cracks don’t go away, but they can be addressed with concrete caulk.

  • Outcome Uncertainty

Changing or unknown variables can make it challenging to predict how the repair will turn out with 100% accuracy.

  • Soil Dependency 

If the ground beneath the slab hasn’t fully settled or is experiencing erosion issues, it may settle again (just like new concrete).

When To Opt for Concrete Raising

Concrete raising is a great solution for many different scenarios, like these:

  • Trip hazards due to uneven or sunken concrete
  • Sinking concrete steps
  • Tree roots lifting slabs
  • Basement or garage floors settling
  • Excess water puddling around homes or retaining walls
  • Voids, gaps, or erosion beneath concrete slabs

Related Resource: 7 Common Problems That Concrete Leveling Can Solve

When Not To Choose Concrete Raising

However, there are situations where concrete raising isn't the ideal fix, such as:

  • Severely cracked or crumbling concrete
  • Desire to alter surface texture
  • Aim to add or remove features (e.g. adding concrete steps)
  • Excessive lifting by tree roots

Related Resource: When Is Concrete Too Far Gone for Concrete Leveling?

Concrete Raising FAQ

How long does concrete raising last?

Concrete raising can last for the life of your concrete itself, which can be from 20 to 50+ years.

Related Resource: How Long Does Concrete Leveling Last?

How much does concrete raising cost?

Concrete raising costs can range from $600 to $6,000. The pricing will vary based on location, project size, complexity, and more.

How long does concrete raising take?

Concrete raising projects are usually completed within a few hours, while larger jobs may take between one and three days.

Related Resource: How Long Does Concrete Leveling Take?

Can you raise concrete in bad weather?

As long as the ground temperature is above freezing and conditions are safe for technicians, concrete raising can be performed in rainy or cold weather.

Related Resource: Can You Level Concrete in Bad Weather?

Should You Raise Your Concrete Slabs?

Concrete raising is a valuable option for preserving existing concrete, and a concrete raising repair can last decades, right alongside your concrete. 

But like with any concrete repair method, it has its pros and cons that you’ll have to weigh carefully before deciding to go with this option.

Over the past 30+ years at A-1, we've helped countless customers all over the US restore their concrete using stone slurry grout and foam concrete raising methods. 

If you're curious about how concrete raising can benefit you, click the link below to request a free on-site cost estimate with an A-1 team member!

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.