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Does your driveway look like it’s sinking? Do the concrete slabs on your outer deck all look uneven? Well, these signs are not just an eyesore but should alarm you because left as is, they are a safety hazard and could cause irreparable damage to your home’s foundation.
There are a variety of reasons for this sunken concrete, including uneven soil, tree roots, and water erosion. One of the ways a lot of homeowners use to repair this damage and raise the concrete level on any cement surface, ranging from pool decks and garage floors to patios and driveways, is through a simple and effective method called mudjacking.
What is mudjacking?
Mud jacking, also called concrete leveling, is an affordable and effective method of leveling uneven concrete. Unlike the conventional approach to concrete repair used to address this kind of damage that involves tearing up the entire place and laying the concrete again, mudjacking is a lot less destructive as a way to maintain concrete structures.
What makes mud jacking an ideal choice is simple. Instead of tearing down your walkway, holes are drilled in strategic places, and a high-pressure pump injects a limestone/portland concrete mixture into those holes. Mudjacking lifts the concrete from where it has settled in the ground, making the slabs level again.
The process repressurizes the soil and fills up any gaps in between.
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How much does mudjacking cost?
Your concrete leveling project could cost as little as $300, or as high as $2,900, depending on the size of the area you want mudjacked. The national average is $1,034, with the average range hovering between $550 and $1,500.
At between $3 and $6 a square foot, mudjacking costs a lot less than slab replacement would. In fact, the cost difference between slab replacement and mudjacking is between 25% to 50%.
How long does mudjacking last?
While mudjacking is a temporary solution to sagging concrete, it does last between either and ten years on average. With the right care, you could get the concrete surface to stay level even longer. Of course, the kind of soil your concrete structure is built on makes a huge difference as well. Nevertheless, here are some handy tips to help you maintain your mudjacked concrete surface for longer.
- Prevent water and pests from entering underneath the concrete slab and creating more damage by backfilling around the perimeter of the slab.
- If you are working on your driveway floor, caulk the joint between the driveway and the garage floor slabs. This will help the rebar connecting the two last longer.
- Make sure you hire a contractor with sufficient mudjacking experience. While mudjacking is a simpler process than replacing a slab, it requires a fair amount of skill, so we wouldn’t advise you to do it yourself unless you have enough experience. Consider the cost of renting gear, buying materials, the time you will need to spend, and the fact that if you don’t do it right, you will need to redo the whole thing again.
- Make sure you let the concrete get enough time to settle before you start using the surface. This is a surefire way to help it stay stronger for longer over a long period of time.
- An outdoor gutter that is big enough to handle heavy rainfall will keep the soil beneath your concrete slabs safer from erosion for longer.
What to choose: Mud jacking and polyurethane foam injections
Polyurethane foam raising, or foam jacking as it is called, uses high-density geo-technical expanding foam and raises the concrete back to the level. The material is similar to foam insulation but is a lot stronger.
Polyurethane injections cost $5 to $25 per square foot and are more expensive than mudjacking as a solution for lifting concrete. However, it is a more durable solution than mudjacking is, meaning you will not have to worry about the surface sinking over time.
Read more: Concrete foundation maintenance