As long as your settling concrete isn’t crumbling or excessively cracked, it can likely be lifted up into its original position without the need for the excessive cost and hassle of replacement by a process called concrete leveling.
Concrete leveling has been around for many decades, and over the years, a few different methods and processes have evolved in order to provide customers with safe, even, and level concrete.
“Mudjacking” may be the term you’ve heard to describe concrete leveling in the past. It’s one of the most common concrete leveling methods used today, but although it is a distinct process, it still sometimes gets used as an “umbrella term” to describe any concrete leveling involving a thick, natural mixture pumped below the surface.
Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we don’t do mudjacking. Instead, we provide customers with stone slurry leveling and foam leveling services. However, after 30 years in the industry, we’ve gotten familiar with what mudjacking is, how it works, and its strengths and weaknesses.
In this article, you’ll find all of that information summarized so you can have an easier time deciding whether or not a mudjacking repair is right for your home, or if you’d like to explore the alternatives to mudjacking.
What Is Mudjacking?
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 additional ingredients can be added to this mixture, like Portland cement.
Mudjacking, like any concrete leveling process, 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.
How Does Mudjacking Work?
All forms of concrete leveling generally follow the same three steps: drill, lift, patch. Although this is true, the process looks different for each method.
To level a concrete slab with mudjacking, the following steps are taken:
- Holes around 2 inches in diameter are drilled into the settled slabs.
- A mixture of sand, soil, and water is pumped through the hole and under the slab, using the pressure to lift it into a level position.
- Once the slabs are lifted, the drill holes are patched.
Alternatives to Mudjacking
Mudjacking is not the only way to lift settled concrete. Stone slurry leveling and polyurethane foam leveling are the two most common alternatives to mudjacking, and we will discuss them briefly here.
Stone Slurry Grout 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 harden under the surface of the concrete to create a solid, durable base for the newly-leveled concrete to rest on.
Related: The Pros and Cons of Stone Slurry Grout Leveling
Polyurethane Foam 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
Lifting Your Concrete With Mudjacking
Now that you know what mudjacking is, along with some additional information to help you get an idea of what it’s all about, you’re ready to decide if it’s a method you’re interested in for restoring the uneven concrete around your property.
Here at A-1, we know how important it is that you have all the information necessary to make informed decisions about your home, and for that reason, we’ve created an entire online library of resources dedicated to answering your questions about all things concrete.
Check out some of these related resources from Concrete Academy to continue learning:
- The Pros and Cons of Mudjacking
- How Long Does Concrete Leveling Last?
- The Concrete Leveling Process Explained
If you're interested in seeing what concrete leveling can do for your uneven concrete surfaces, click the link below to request a free onsite cost estimate with a member of the A-1 team!