Two Options for Lifting Concrete SlabsIf your driveway, patio, sidewalk, pool deck or garage floor appear to be sinking, settling and/or cracking, you may want to consider mud jacking or slab jacking to reverse the damage and prevent future problems. Both methods raise concrete slabs by injecting a stabilizing agent underneath the slab and the different materials used determine what the technique is called.

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Why is this important?

One of the main reasons to consider lifting concrete slabs is safety. Settling, root damage or erosion can cause concrete slabs to heave, crack and become uneven. This is frequently a slow process and might not seem like a problem until it eventually becomes a serious tripping hazard. Besides being a safety concern, consider your property’s curb appeal. Visitors will have a better first impression of your home if they’re not having to watch their step.

Lifting concrete slabs back into their proper positions is much more affordable than completely replacing or resurfacing the slab and the process is fast and effective, with minimal disruption of the surrounding property. The repair happens quickly, and the slab can be used again within hours as opposed to waiting days for a new concrete slab to set.

This repair technique is not intended to fix foundation problems or extremely crushed concrete; it is most effective on concrete slabs that are 3”-6” thick. And it’s important to address the reason for the sinking concrete or the repair most likely will need to be redone in a few years.

How does it work?

Both mud jacking and slab jacking are accomplished in the same manner, but this isn’t a DIY project. Because of the expensive equipment and materials needed to perform the job, it’s best to use a fully licensed and insured contractor who can provide a warranty for quality work.

The contractor will assess the damage and determine if lifting the concrete slab is the best course of action. They’ll also help fix the cause of the problem. Then it’s a matter of drilling holes in the slab, pumping material underneath to lift it back into the proper position and patching the holes.

Mud Jacking

This method is the original version of lifting concrete slabs and uses a cement slurry. It’s what many contractors are most familiar with and is a time-tested, acceptable fix. Of the two methods, it’s the less expensive option.

Because slurry is composed of chunks of cement, the holes drilled in the concrete slab need to be nearly two inches in diameter, which makes for a more obvious patch. And the slurry is very heavy and a rough texture that allows the soil below it to erode, potentially causing the slab to sink again. If there’s a need to lift a slab again after a previous mud jacking, it’s a trickier process to drill through solid slurry to inject more of the same.

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Slab Jacking

Polyurethane foam is used instead of cement slurry, which allows for fewer and much smaller drill holes. This environmentally safe foam is dense, durable and much more light weight. It doesn’t wash away and lasts longer than slurry. Foam is a more expensive option than slurry due to the expensive equipment and materials but is a more up-to-date method that offers lots of advantages.

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are ready to sell your home and need a qualified seller’s agent to assist you, or if you have any questions regarding Arizona Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time and we would be more than happy to assist you.

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