There are several lifting and leveling techniques available today that have been around for generations, and one great example here is mudjacking. Popular for over 70 years, mudjacking is a common process where slurry (a mixture of cement and sand in most cases) is pumped into holes in a given concrete surface, with hydraulic pressure causing the slab to rise.
At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re experienced with mudjacking among our concrete lifting services. We’re also aware of cases where mudjacking might not be the preferred method for raising a given concrete area, whether it’s a driveway, walkway, patio or other area. Let’s go over a few issues that may arise in some cases with mudjacking, plus a suitable alternative that’s often used.
In some climates, the “slurry” material used in mudjacking won’t be particularly optimal for use in these kinds of projects. As we noted, slurry is generally comprised of a combination of sand and cement, occasionally involving soil as well. This material is not waterproof, meaning it’s not ideal for use in any climate where moisture might be present.
If there is indeed lots of moisture, it will be able to drain below the concrete due to a lack of waterproof qualities. As this happens, and moisture goes through a cycle of freezing and thawing, sand and cement will be prone to shrinking, eroding and other forms of damage. This can lead to the same areas of concrete that you were looking to raise in the first place sinking back down again, sometimes to even lower levels.
For mudjacking to take place, it requires that you drill fairly large holes of about one to two inches in the slab of concrete that needs to be filled in. In some cases, these holes can cause issues with the structural soundness of the concrete itself. Besides, they’re no fun to look at.
After about 24 hours, the slurry material pumped underneath your concrete will harden completely. At this point, it will be extremely heavy – and as it turns out, this weight is often the source of leveling issues to begin with. Original concrete poured over an unsuitable base is usually what leads to slabs settling and dropping after a period of time; if you add more weight to this equation, you’re risking the same thing happening all over again.
For certain projects that might not do well with mudjacking, the use of polyurethane has become more and more popular since its patent expired in the early 2000s and it became available for widespread use. This method was originally used by state and federal agencies to fill sunken roadways, but it can now be used in several raising areas. It cures and hardens in far less time than mudjacking slurry, and is often the more feasible material for areas like driveways and walkways. It’s the preferred method throughout the industry.
For more on mudjacking and suitable alternatives, or to learn about any of our concrete rising and leveling services, speak to the pros at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.