Concrete Leveling

To Avoid Replacing a Cracked Slab, Consider Concrete Leveling

Think the cracked slab at your Salt Lake City property is a lost cause? With concrete leveling, saving the slab – and saving yourself from a costly and time-consuming tear-out and replacement project – may be possible.

Inevitably, if the slab in question is extremely cracked, tearing it out and pouring new concrete may be the only option. But if the damage isn’t too extensive, going that route may not be necessary. The alternative approach, concrete leveling, is both highly effective and affordable, and the entire process typically takes no more than a couple of hours to complete. Here’s how professional contractors in northern Utah use the technique to fix cracked concrete slabs.

Detection of Soil Voids

Voids, or air pockets within the soil under a slab, are to blame for the cracking – so the first step to the concrete leveling process is to find the precise location of each void. To accomplish this task, professional contractors use ground penetrating radar (GPR), an efficient, non-invasive imaging method that identifies subsurface anomalies by means of high-frequency electromagnetic waves. After guiding the GPR equipment over the cracked slab and evaluating the scan data, contractors know exactly where the underground air pockets are located.

Preparation of the Slab

Filling the voids under the cracked slab is the key to restoring its structural integrity and visual appeal. The air pockets aren’t within easy reach, but professional contractors solve this problem by drilling holes through the concrete. The holes are strategically placed – ordinarily two to four feet apart — to effectively lift the slab back to a level position. About two inches in diameter, the drilled holes aren’t all that large, and the number needed depends on the extent of the damage.

Utilization of Pressure

When the drilling is done, it’s time to eliminate the soil voids under the cracked concrete slab. To do so, professional concrete leveling contractors first attach a hydraulic pump to one of the holes. Then, an environmentally friendly cement-based slurry mixture is sent through the hole to fill the air pocket. Contractors repeat this process at each of the drilled holes, and once all of the voids are filled, pressure raises the concrete slab and returns it to its original level position.

Application of a Sealant

When the slab is even and stable, there’s one last task – sealing the cracked concrete. Leaving the cracks and drilled holes as-is leaves them vulnerable to water infiltration, and if too much rainwater or melting snow reaches the soil under the slab, further damage is likely. Applying a sealant helps preserve the integrity of the concrete, as it acts as a barrier to moisture. Property owners can opt to handle this task, but professional concrete leveling contractors offer sealing for a nominal fee.

Can Concrete Leveling Save Your Cracked Slab?

Concrete leveling not only costs quite a bit less than a slab tear-out and replacement project, it also takes much less time. What’s more, since the soil is stabilized with the slurry mixture, the repair offers long-lasting results – in fact, most concrete that is leveled remains stable and secure for at least 8 to 10 years.

No doubt all of that sounds excellent, and you’d probably rather get concrete leveling than go to the trouble of tearing out your cracked slab and pouring new concrete. But is repair the right choice? Can your slab be saved and made to look aesthetically appealing? Or does the concrete need to be replaced?

The answers to these questions depend on a few variables, but it really comes down to the extent of the damage. As such, the decision on whether to move forward with concrete leveling or replace a cracked slab must be made on a case-by-case basis. That said, professional contractors do follow a few rules of thumb:

  • If the slab has only small, narrow cracks, concrete leveling may be the most effective and least expensive fix.
  • If a section of cracked concrete has settled and is uneven with its neighbors, leveling can provide a remedy.
  • If the concrete has a good deal of material missing, a tear-out and replacement project is likely warranted.
  • If a large crack extends down to the subbase, causing it to be eroded, a new concrete slab may be needed.

Concrete leveling can be a real time- and money-saver for Salt Lake City property owners. Using the repair technique, slabs that are cracked, settled or uneven can be leveled and strengthened – without spending the time and cash it would take to replace the concrete. And while the results are noticeable up close, little evidence of the fix can be seen from a short distance away. But to find out if concrete leveling can work at your property, you’ll need to get an expert opinion from a local professional contractor.

Lift-Up Concrete, based in Kaysville and serving the surrounding northern Utah area, is a local industry leader with many years of experience. With us, you can expect top-notch workmanship, exceptional customer service and fair, affordable pricing. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss concrete leveling at your Salt Lake City home or business property, contact us today.