You may have heard the term “mudjacking” when talking to a neighbor, or seen it for the first time when Googling how to fix your sinking driveway.
However you ended up here, it’s likely you have questions about what mudjacking is, how it works, and what it can do for you.
In this guide, we’ll be using our 30+ years in the concrete leveling industry to answer those questions, so you can have an easier time deciding whether or not a mudjacking repair is right for your home.
Note: Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we don’t do mudjacking. Instead, we provide stone slurry grout concrete leveling services in all locations and foam in some.
However, even though we don’t provide mudjacking, we want to make sure you are aware of ALL the services available to you, not just the ones we offer, so that you’re able to make the right choice for your unique situation.
Mudjacking is the process of pumping a mixture of sand, soil, and water below the surface of a settled concrete slab in order to lift it back up to a level, even position. Sometimes Portland cement is added to the mixture to increase strength or speed up the dry time.
Lifting concrete with mudjacking does not do anything to correct or restore the surface texture or appearance of the concrete – it will only bring the existing slabs back to a level position.
Mudjacking is just one type of concrete leveling, alongside stone slurry grout and foam leveling.
Note: Mudjacking is often mistakenly used as an umbrella term to mean “concrete leveling” in general, but it’s only one of three types of concrete leveling.
All forms of concrete leveling generally follow the same three steps: drill, lift, and patch. Although this is true, the process looks slightly different for each method.
To mudjack a concrete slab, the following steps are taken:
Step 1: Holes around 2 inches in diameter are drilled into the settled slabs.
Step 2: A mixture of sand, soil, and water is pumped through the hole and under the slab at a high speed and pressure, lifting it into a level position.
Step 3: Once the slabs are lifted, the area is cleaned off and the drill holes are patched.
Average mudjacking costs can range from $585 to $5,400+ depending on the size, complexity, accessibility, and location of the repair. The chart below shows an overview of mudjacking price ranges by service type:
|Service||Low Range||High Range|
Garage Floor Mudjacking
Pool Deck Mudjacking
Interior Floor Mudjacking
AC Pad Mudjacking
For a more detailed breakdown of what the above ranges include, pricing per square foot, and what factors influence cost, check out this resource: How Much Does Mudjacking Cost?
When deciding whether or not mudjacking is the right solution for you, just like any big decision, you have to weigh the pros and cons.
This section will serve as a condensed list of these benefits and drawbacks, but for more detail, check out this resource: Is Mudjacking Worth It? The Pros and Cons of Mudjacking
Can be a durable repair when done correctly
Mudjacking can fully fill voids under concrete for a strong, lasting lift, but spreading material evenly to achieve this is difficult due to the high pressure and lack of control.
Can lift heavier concrete slabs
Mudjacking (and stone slurry grout leveling) can lift heavier objects compared to foam leveling. Without any chemical reaction, the lifting compound can theoretically spread, apply constant pressure, and level heavy concrete.
Can reach hard-to-reach places
Mudjacking is often done with mobile carts, which means technicians have an easier time accessing areas that are out of the way.
Higher pressure prevents even flow of material throughout voids
Mudjacking pumps the leveling compound beneath the slab at a high speed and pressure, which can cause pillars of material to form and leave the concrete unsupported in sections.
Hard to control and easy to overdo the lifting
Mudjacking uses high pumping pressure, making complex jobs tricky. The faster and stronger material flow leads to less control, potentially requiring additional time for a proper lift.
Larger drill holes compared to foam or stone slurry grout leveling
For mudjacking, drill holes have to be around 2 inches instead of ⅝ inches for foam or 1 inch for stone slurry, to accommodate high speed and pressure.
Many companies try to scare customers away from using mudjacking and toward foam concrete leveling services by claiming things that are simply false.
This section will list some of the common myths being spread about mudjacking, but you can read more about them in detail here: 5 Common Mudjacking Myths Busted
Myth #1: Mudjacking material is heavy and weighs down the soil
BUSTED: The weight of the concrete itself outweighs the leveling material, and regardless of which method is used to lift the concrete, it can last for the life of the concrete itself with proper maintenance.
Myth #2: Mudjacking doesn't come with a warranty
BUSTED: Some mudjacking contractors provide multi-year warranties and a company’s reputation for customer care matters more than any warranty offered.
Myth #3: Mudjacking repairs have to be redone
BUSTED: Exposure to water erodes the soil underneath the slab, not the lifting material itself. All concrete leveling methods are subject to natural soil compaction, water erosion, pests, etc. which may cause the concrete to resettle if not taken care of.
Myth #4: Mudjacking drill holes can cause concrete to crack
BUSTED: The risk of cracking due to drilling is very small, and the size difference in drill holes is aesthetic only. The risk of cracking is related more to the quality of the original concrete and the reinforcement installed within it.
Myth #5: Mudjacking leaves behind a mess
BUSTED: Mudjacking materials are all-natural and easily washed off while chemical foams are harder to remove once they’ve stuck to a surface.
Concrete leveling in general, including mudjacking, is good for fixing things like:
- Trip hazards
- Uneven or settling concrete slabs
- Voids or empty spaces under concrete
- Sinking concrete floors, like in basements or garages
- Concrete raised by tree roots
- Pooling water around retaining walls or homes
Mudjacking specifically is a good concrete leveling method when…
- You’re looking for the lowest-cost option
- The settled concrete is more than 200-300 feet away from the road or driveway
- Other options aren’t available to you
You should avoid concrete leveling in general (and mudjacking) when:
- The concrete is severely cracked in multiple places, crumbling, or excessively lifted by tree roots
- You want to add a feature or change the functionality of the concrete
- Your goal is to change the surface texture or look
Mudjacking specifically is not a good fit if:
- You want the patched drill holes to be invisible (or as small as possible)
- You need precision work or lifting around delicate areas (e.g. pool decks)
Mudjacking is not the only way to get even concrete. Stone slurry grout and foam concrete leveling are two additional concrete leveling options. To see each method compared, check out this resource: The Types of Concrete Leveling Compared
Stone Slurry Grout Concrete Leveling
Stone slurry grout leveling works in a similar way to mudjacking, but the process uses less pressure and pumps in the material at a slower rate. This allows for more control and accuracy during the repair.
Instead of soil and sand, stone slurry leveling is done using a mixture of agricultural limestone and water. These two ingredients fill the entire void and create a solid, durable base for the newly leveled concrete to rest on.
Polyurethane Foam Concrete Leveling
Polyurethane foam leveling is a newer technology that has become more popular in recent years. Instead of pumping in natural materials, a liquid chemical is pumped under the settled slab which undergoes a reaction, causing it to expand.
The pressure from the expansion of the foam causes the slab to lift, although this can be hard to control in some cases. Also, due to the nature of foam, it can be hard to fill the entire void under the slab.
Related: The Pros and Cons of Foam Leveling
How long does mudjacking last?
How long does mudjacking take to dry?
Mudjacking can take between 1 and 72 hours to dry, or it may never fully dry at all (which isn’t a bad thing). Learn more here: How Long Does Mudjacking Take To Dry?
Can I do my own mudjacking?
DIY mudjacking is possible, but it requires specialized equipment and knowledge to get right. Check out our DIY mudjacking guide to learn more.
Can mudjacking be done in the winter?
Yes, mudjacking can be done in winter weather as long as the ground temperature is above freezing and the water used to mix the mudjacking material doesn’t freeze.
Related Resource: Can Concrete Leveling Be Done in Cold Weather?
Mudjacking does come with its problems, but overall, it can be a good, durable concrete leveling option when done right and regularly maintained after the fact.
Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we don’t use mudjacking, but we know that it can be an effective way to lift settled concrete back up to the right position.
However, before committing to this concrete leveling method, be sure to learn more about all of your options. You can get started by exploring Concrete Academy, or check out the resources linked below.
If you’re already ready to learn what the other concrete leveling methods can do for your settling concrete, click the link below to request a free onsite cost estimate from an A-1 Concrete Leveling team near you!