Mudjacking, also known as concrete lifting, slabjacking, or concrete rising, is a cost-effective method of removing and replacing sunken and uneven concrete. The process, which has been in use since about the mid-1920s, is used to repair various types of sunken concrete, including foundations, driveways, patios, and other slabs of concrete. Mudjacking is used to raise the concrete slab and fill the void underneath it. When concrete settles, it causes cracks, voids, and can become a hazard. This process is an alternative to breaking up the slab and pouring a new one. The following information will educate homeowners on how mudjacking works and why it is an effective option for repairing concrete.
What Does Mudjacking Entail?
Mudjacking only requires a few steps and a few pieces of specialized equipment, including a pump that is designed to pump grout in a controlled manner. Although the process can be completed in a few steps, it does require a professional to complete the process. Here’s how the mudjacking process works:
- Several small holes are drilled through the concrete slab. The number of holes depends on the size of the slab. For instance, a driveway may require as many as 6 holes, whereas a section of the sidewalk may only require 4 holes.
- The slurry or grout is mixed and pumped by way of high pressure through the holes in the concrete slab in order to fill the void. As pressure builds up, hydraulics is used to raise the slab up to its original level. The slab has now been lifted and will be supported by the grout that was pumped underneath its surface. If there are multiple slabs that need to be mudjacked, the slabs will be leveled at the joints and, often times, a new grade is created.
- The holes that were previously drilled are then patched with a concrete mix, finished, and blended to hide the drilling location.
Once the concrete has cured, the slab will be ready for use.
What Causes Concrete to Settle?
Concrete settles for a number of reasons, but one of the most common reasons is due to the excavation of a basement. When a basement is excavated, the area that is dug out is larger than the actual size of the basement. This is done to allow room for the workers to build the basement walls, but unfortunately, it leaves a rather large space around the walls. The ground in this area isn’t compacted, which causes it to settle and shift over time and results in the concrete floor or slab shifting and sinking. The more the concrete shifts, the greater the risk is of other damages occurring throughout your home, including cracks in the foundation and the walls and uneven floors.
Positives of Mudjacking
There are a lot of structures made by using concrete, which means there is a risk of an area on your property sinking that can lead to serious structural problems and pose a safety hazard. If your basement floor, patio, garage floor, or walkway begins to sink, you will have a variety of repair options, but mudjacking is one of the most popular choices. Some of the benefits of mudjacking include:
- Saves you money - If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to repair a sinking foundation, this is one of the best options for those on a budget. It is much less expensive than replacing the foundation in your home because it only involves raising the concrete slab and stabilizing it. In most situations, the cost of mudjacking is about half of what it would cost to replace a concrete slab.
- Repairs aren’t weather dependent - Many other methods of foundation repair including excavating and pouring the concrete rely on the weather - if it’s too wet or too cold, the process can’t be completed. So, if you choose to replace the foundation, you should be prepared to live with the sinking concrete until the weather is ideal. Mudjacking can be done at any time of the year, as it isn’t affected by environmental conditions.
- Landscaping remains intact - Mudjacking is a relatively minimal invasive process that doesn’t involve any excavating. There is also no heavy equipment brought in that may damage your landscaping.
- Minimum disruption to your family - Household construction work can be extremely hectic and stressful. Many construction jobs require several workers coming in and out, heavy equipment on the lawn or in the driveway, and loud noises for several days. Mudjacking is typically completed in a short amount of time, depending on the degree of sinking, so there are minimal disturbances to your household.
Your home is not only an investment - it’s the place where you spend time with your family and friends, so it should feel safe. If you are noticing signs that indicate a problem with the foundation, such as cracks in the walls, sticking doors, and windows, or uneven floors, it is important to have the foundation inspected as soon as possible. If it is determined that the foundation has started to sink, it is essential that you have repairs done as soon as possible. The longer you delay repairs, the greater the risk is of serious damage. Mudjacking allows you to have the concrete slab raised to its original level and the void filled in order to prevent any further damages from occurring throughout your home.
Contact Tomlinson Cannon to schedule a consultation to determine if mudjacking is the best method to repair your sinking foundation.