Improper grading, frost heaving, poor water drainage, unstable soil – in Salt Lake City, Utah, concrete can sink and crack for any number of reasons. No matter the cause, however, concrete lifting is usually the right solution.
Otherwise known as mudjacking, concrete lifting is recommended over slab replacement for the repair of cracked sidewalks, tilted driveways, sloped patios, uneven porch steps, sagging garages and other settlement-related issues. Of course, being that we’re a professional concrete lifting company, you’d expect us to speak highly of the service.
Still, we do have several good reasons for saying that mudjacking is the better option. And after reading about how the repair method compares to slab replacement, you’ll appreciate our point of view.
In almost every situation, slab replacement is far more expensive than concrete lifting. The demolition and removal of the old slab must be factored into the price, as does the process of pouring new concrete. The entire project requires a great deal of manpower, too, and labor charges can be substantial.
Taking all of this into consideration, the total cost to tear out and replace a slab is typically two to three times the cost of mudjacking. Choose concrete lifting, and your wallet will certainly thank you.
Slab replacement isn’t a quick project. Tearing out the damaged concrete, prepping the area and pouring a new slab can take days – and at that point, the surface isn’t usable. Newly poured concrete needs time to cure to be capable of supporting any weight, and curing can take several weeks.
In contrast, concrete lifting offers much faster results. From start to finish, most projects take no more than a couple of hours to complete. No curing time is needed, and the surface can handle heavy weight after just a few hours.
When first installed, new slabs have a nice look. This is also true when all of the concrete around a Salt Lake City home or business property is replaced at the same time. However, if just one or two slabs are ripped out and repoured, the concrete tends to look mismatched.
With concrete lifting, very little evidence is left behind. A few small homes are drilled through the slab, but once the concrete has been leveled and stabilized, the holes and surface cracks are caulked to provide a uniform appearance.
While many people seem to think that replacing a settled slab is the right way to ensure that the surface is strong and secure, the opposite is actually true. The slab tear-out and replacement process doesn’t address instabilities in the underlying soil, and without that step, the new concrete is at risk of settling in the future.
Not so with concrete lifting. Holes are drilled through the affected slab, and voids in the soil underneath are filled with a cement-based slurry. As this solves the root cause of the problem, the stability of the concrete is restored.
Ripping out and replacing a settled slab requires heavy machinery, and Salt Lake City property owners often find the large, invasive tools and loud concrete trucks to be a nuisance. Worse than that, though, is the mess this equipment can create – in many cases, the grass and plants around the work area are ruined.
Landscape damage isn’t a concern with concrete lifting. The repair process involves just a single truck, and that remains parked in the driveway or on the street. Machinery may snake across the yard, but this doesn’t disrupt the landscaping.
Given the energy-hungry machinery and gas-guzzling trucks required, slab replacement is far from eco-friendly. But that’s not the only reason this isn’t a sustainable solution. Torn-out concrete is sometimes taken to a recycling center, but more often than not, it goes to a local landfill — where it sits forever.
Concrete lifting is a much greener option. Not only is the cement-based slurry used made of natural materials, but the process also requires only a minimal amount energy. What’s more, with mudjacking, no waste is produced.
Situations that Call for Slab Replacement
At Lift-Up Concrete, we specialize in concrete lifting, but we recognize that not every settled slab is suited for mudjacking. Meeting the needs of our customers is important to us, so when replacement is the right choice, we make that known. A few scenarios where mudjacking isn’t our recommendation include:
- Extensive damage – If a slab is badly crumbled or contains large, deep cracks, replacing it may be the only option.
- Surface imperfections – Concrete with surface defects or discolorations may need to be replaced, as those issues don’t go away with mudjacking.
- Multiple problems – With a slab that has both structural and cosmetic damage, concrete lifting may not be the best solution.
In most circumstances, mudjacking is the most effective and most reliable form of repair. And as we explained above, mudjacking also has several other advantages over slab replacement. But is it the right choice for you? To answer that question, you’ll need a professional opinion. For expert advice in Salt Lake City, Utah, contact Lift-Up Concrete and schedule a free, no-obligation concrete lifting consultation today.