Are you tired of tripping over your concrete surfaces? Or setting the stroller down for one second, only to have it roll away from you? Are you wishing that the exterior of your home looked more polished and, well, new?
You must be dealing with a sunken concrete slab.
Sunken concrete is a common problem that many property owners deal with at one point or another. Many property owners also put off fixing the problem, afraid of the expense. But what if we told you there was an affordable alternative to a full replacement of the concrete?
We’re talking about mudjacking.
If you – like most people – have never heard of mudjacking, you likely have some questions, such as:
- What the heck is mudjacking?
- How expensive is it?
- Will it fix my concrete for good?
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about mudjacking and how it affects your home.
What Is Mudjacking?
Let’s start simply: What is mudjacking?
Mudjacking is a temporary elevation fix for homeowners that are dealing with sunken concrete slabs. Typically, these slabs shift when the soil beneath them shifts as well. Soil can move for a variety of reasons, including:
- Changing weather that causes it to expand and contract ☀️
- Water sweeping the soil away 🌊
- Insubstantial soil density to stand the weight of the concrete 🏋️
The mudjacking process is fairly simple. A professional contractor will examine the area before drilling small holes into the concrete. The drilled holes will then be injected with a cement slurry, which also contains soil, water, and other materials.
As the slurry begins to fill the voids beneath the concrete, you’ll see the concrete lifting to the proper level.
When to Consider Mudjacking
Is mudjacking right for your home? Here are some signs that you should (and shouldn’t) opt for mudjacking:
- Smooth Concrete Surfaces – If you are dealing with old concrete that is riddled with cracks and crevices, it may be too late for mudjacking. Instead, you will have to replace the concrete slab entirely. However, if the surface remains smooth, despite the shifting, you may be in luck!
- Pooling Water – A lingering puddle of water after a rain storm may no seem overtly threatening, but it is a sure sign that you are dealing with an uneven surface. In fact, if the water is pooling near your home, you could actually deal with severe water damage to your foundation, as well as mold, mildew, and wood rot.
- Uneven Walkways – Many homeowners neglect a sunken concrete surface, thinking that it is no big deal. However, without concrete leveling, you may be dealing with a tripping hazard for you or your guests.
Pros and Cons of Mudjacking
Mudjacking is a great solution for homeowners. But, like everything, it comes with it’s own problems. Check out some of the pros and cons of this home solution!
- A Simple Fix – Replacing concrete can be a long and tedious repair process. Mudjacking, on the other hand, can be completed in a matter of hours.
- Affordable – Compared to concrete slab replacement, mudjacking is a hugely affordable solution that works for many homeowners in search of a budget option.
- A Consistent Look – Pouring new concrete can oftentimes leave homeowners with concrete that is two different colors. Raising up the existing concrete slab will help to keep a clean, uniform look for your home.
- Not a Permanent Solution – Unfortunately, mudjacking will not last forever. Most installations will only last you for 5-10 years before needing a replacement.
- Inconsistent – The harsh truth is that mudjacking, even when installed by an expert, does not always work. You may go through the whole process only to find that your structural issues are too severe for mudjacking alone to fix.
Mudjacking vs. Poly Foam Raising
Mudjacking isn’t your only option!
Some homeowners prefer poly foam raising, which is similar to mudjacking in a lot of ways. The main difference is that the slurry is replaced with an injection of polyurethane foam to assist with concrete lifting.
Some homeowners prefer poly raising, as it has a longer lifespan than mudjacking typically does. Keep in mind, though, that that longevity comes with a steep increase in price.
Speaking of prices, how much does concrete leveling actually cost?
The mudjacking process costs between $3-$7 per square foot. This, of course, does not factor in labor costs, which can add a couple of hundred dollars to your overall bill.
Overall, expect to pay between $600-$12,00, depending on the size of your project.
Concrete Maintenance Tips
Want to keep your concrete looking fresh for years to come? It all comes down to maintenance. While some situations like weather and soil conditions are out of our control, there are some simple maintenance tasks that you can do to keep your home looking good all year long.
1.) Regular Cleaning
One of the best ways to extend the life of your concrete surfaces, is to ensure that they are free of debris! Regular sweeping and raking will stop water from accumulating, causing the concrete to crumble and crack.
We always recommend that homeowners seal their concrete surfaces for a long-lasting finish that can stand up to tough weather conditions.
3) Avoid Salt
While Texas isn’t known for its cold weather, those who live in colder climates should avoid salting their driveways and patios to get rid of ice and snow. The salt can wear down the concrete over time, leading to expensive repairs.
4) Expert Inspections
Not sure what state your concrete slab is in? A professional assessment can help you gather information and form a plan of action to protect your concrete slab from any vulnerabilities.
Get Professional Help!
Ready to restore your sunken concrete surface? Perma Pier can help! Our team of foundation experts is ready to assess your home and offer personalized solutions that work with your lifestyle and budget. Contact us today to learn more!