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Concrete Leveling: What Are Your Options? 

Renowned for its strength, concrete is  used to build a range of structures—some of the most common of which are on our properties, including sidewalks, driveways, pool decks, and patios. Despite its strength, concrete is still prone to damage over time.  

Concrete leveling serves to correct damage like uneven or settling concrete surfaces. This guide offers a comprehensive overview of concrete leveling, its operation, and the various techniques available. 

We will also cover the circumstances under which it is required, the experts to contact for professional services, and the associated costs. Whether you are a homeowner or a business proprietor, this guide aims to assist you in deciding whether concrete leveling is a suitable solution for your situation. 

Introduction to Concrete Leveling  

Here are the basics: 

Concrete leveling is a corrective method applied to fix uneven or settled concrete surfaces. This technique raises and balances the concrete to return it to its initial position, mitigating risks associated with its irregularity. By doing so, it enhances the concrete area’s safety, utility, and visual appeal. 

Concrete leveling goes by a few different names

  • “Concrete Repair” 
  • “Concrete Lifting” 
  • “Concrete Raising” 
  • “Slabjacking” 
  • “Slab Lifting” 
  • “Concrete Jacking” 
  • “Cement Jacking” 

Depending on the method and tools used to perform concrete leveling, it might also go by one of its more technically specific names

  • PolyRenewal™ (our method), commonly known as “Polylifting,” “Polyjacking,” or “Polyurethane Foam Leveling.” 
  • “Mudjacking” 
  • “Stone Grout Slurry Leveling” or “Cement Slurry Leveling” 
  • “Self-Leveling Concrete” 

We’ll talk more about these in the next section, but if we had to summarize, all four are different processes with the same goal and typically yield the same outcome.  

Understanding How Concrete Leveling Works 

Concrete leveling is designed to adjust and correct uneven and sinking concrete surfaces, bringing them back to a safer level. This process enhances the concrete’s safety, utility, and visual appeal.  

There are four primary methods used for concrete leveling: polyurethane foam injection, stone slurry grout injection, mudjacking, and application of self-leveling concrete, with the selection based on specific circumstances and desired results. 

To decide whether concrete leveling is necessary, evaluate your surfaces’ state. Contact a professional if there’s noticeable unevenness, sinking, or potential tripping hazards. 

Even if your surfaces seem to be in good condition, concrete leveling can be used as preventative measure to avoid damage down the line. 

The price of concrete leveling can differ due to various elements, including the size of the area, the degree of damage, the chosen repair technique, and the scope of the repair work. Obtain estimates from reputable firms to get accurate pricing. 

Opting for concrete leveling can be more economical than opting for full replacement. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages, assess your requirements, and seek professional advice to ensure an informed decision. 

There are a few different ways that you can get your concrete to be level. In order of best to worst, here’s the list: 

1. Polyurethane Foam Concrete Leveling  

Polyurethane foam injection is generally a quick and easy way for professionals to lift and level sunken concrete slabs. It involves injecting lightweight polyurethane foam through small holes drilled into the affected concrete.  

Once injected under the concrete, the foam expands to fill voids between the soil and the slab. This allows for the precise lifting and leveling of the slab.  

You may have heard about a similar process—mudjacking—but leveling with polyurethane takes the concept to the next level, a more effective level. Polyurethane foam does not require invasive drilling, a long cure time, or only affect a small area of concrete.  

Instead, only penny-sized holes are required, the foam hardens within 30 minutes, and it completely fills gaps between the sunken slabs and the earth. You’ll get more bang for your buck, a smoother finish, and a longer lasting result with polyurethane foam injections compared to other leveling methods. 

 2. Mudjacking  

Mudjacking is a relatively straightforward process. It involves pumping a mortar-based mixture of slurry beneath the slab. This material is mixed with water, soil, sand, and cement; it looks like mud once it’s mixed, hence the name “mudjacking.”  

As the mixture cures, it creates a solid, stable structure that fills in the gaps that are causing the concrete to deform. While there are many times when mudjacking will help, there are some instances when it won’t effectively solve the problem.  

For example, it cannot be used to lift both a slab and heavy partition walls. This is because it can be difficult to control the process, and it may result in lifting the walls unevenly.  

Most importantly, it is not a “do-it-yourself” project. Mudjacking can cause serious damage to structures, and without the proper training and equipment, it’s possible to do permanent damage to your home.  

Believe us when we say that no number of videos on YouTube or quick reads of websites can teach you the skills required to safely and effectively perform the procedure.  

If you attempt to DIY, you may find yourself in a position where you complicate the repair process and multiply the number of problems. You’ll also add to the cost required to repair the damage.  

3. Cement or Stone Slurry Concrete Leveling  

Stone slurry grout concrete leveling is a blend of mudjacking and polyurethane foam injection. The process involves mixing crushed stones—particularly limestone—and water and installing the material with equipment like polyurethane injection tools.  

Like mudjacking, large holes about 1” are necessary, but it’s easier to control the thickness of the material being pumped under the uneven slabs. The stone and water mixture also adds significant weight on top of the soil.  

Unlike mudjacking, this slurry mix typically fills voids completely. It’s environmentally friendly and durable, but it’s usually more expensive than mudjacking.  

4. Self-Leveling Concrete  

Self-leveling concrete is exactly what it sounds like—concrete that you can level by yourself. It is comprised of polymer-fortified cement, but advances over time have made it more user-friendly than ever.  

With its rapid drying time, low water requirements, and compatibility with various materials and finishes, DIYers can achieve smooth, flat surfaces when patching or resurfacing interior floors.  

Though pricier than traditional concrete, self-leveling products target small-scale repair jobs and home improvement projects where concrete work is needed but structural reinforcement may not be required.  

While once considered a specialty material, innovations have put self-leveling concrete within reach of everyday homeowners looking to refresh their concrete floors affordably. However, DIY repairs with methods like self-leveling concrete can quickly turn into dangerous and expensive endeavors. 

When to Level Your Concrete 

Numerous factors might necessitate the leveling of your concrete. If your driveway has inflicted damage on your vehicle (a surprisingly frequent occurrence!), it’s imperative to evaluate your options for concrete lifting and promptly mend the impacted segment. Continuously traversing over depressed, irregular slabs in your garage or driveway can damage your vehicle’s suspension and tires, leading to increased wear and depreciation as well as escalated maintenance needs. 

The presence of cracked or subsided concrete prominently indicates the need for concrete leveling. You might observe cracks emerging on your basement floor, perceive that steps are becoming uneven, or spot cracks in exterior brick, stone, or siding. It’s also not unusual to witness chimneys cracking or detaching from the house. 

Apart from detracting from the aesthetics and reducing the value of your property, cracked and uneven concrete poses a safety risk and potential liability. The risk of tripping over dropped slabs and sustaining injuries is high, especially for the elderly and those with mobility issues, making it exceptionally perilous around concrete pool decks. 

Addressing concrete issues before they escalate into significant concerns is advisable. Engaging with local experts in concrete leveling at the first sign or suspicion of concrete problems on your property is crucial. 

Who to Call When You Need Concrete Leveling 

Concrete leveling is a nuanced task that is ideally handled by seasoned experts. 

At Foundation Support Services, we have over five years of experience in concrete leveling, earning the trust of homeowners across Texas for dependable, enduring repairs and outstanding customer support. 

In a complimentary inspection, we conduct an exhaustive assessment of your property to identify the root cause of the concrete issues. This allows us to accurately assess your home’s needs and suggest the appropriate repairs customized to meet those needs. 

When Not to Level Your Concrete 

There are two scenarios where concrete leveling might not be required: minimal to no damage or extreme damage. 

Minor, hairline cracks in concrete can occur as a natural aspect of its curing process. These cracks may remain static, never altering in size, appearance, or depth. Such minor issues are usually addressed with cosmetic solutions rather than concrete lifting. 

On the other hand, concrete can experience considerable damage over time, leading to severe deterioration. This can involve sections breaking away and edges crumbling, which affects both the safety and structural stability of the concrete slab. In these instances, replacing the concrete entirely may be the best course of action. 

Who to Call When You Don’t Need Leveling 

Before your concrete deteriorates beyond the point of being salvaged by concrete lifting, consider consulting with concrete repair specialists such as FSS for an in-depth assessment and recommendations on the optimal repair strategy. 

Should concrete leveling not suit your specific case, we are prepared to suggest alternative actions, including repouring or resurfacing. 

The Cost of Concrete Leveling 

The most frequently asked question about concrete leveling revolves around money and how much a project is going to cost. Because the answer is dependent on so many factors, finding a straight answer online is almost impossible. Some of these variables affecting the total include:   

  • Extent of the damage  
  • Size of the are requiring repair  
  • Appropriate repair method  
  • Amount of product required  
  • Labor, materials, permits  

The best way to get an accurate price for your concrete leveling project is to contact us at Foundation Support Services to schedule a free inspection and no-obligation repair estimate.   

Concrete Leveling vs. Replacement: A Cost Comparison 

Identifying and addressing concrete deterioration early on is essential to prevent significant damage. The use of concrete leveling techniques, especially PolyRenewal™, offers a swift and more affordable solution. 

In cases where concrete is extensively damaged and appears irreparable, the only option may be to completely remove the damaged concrete and pour new cement. This approach is not only time-consuming, requiring several days for the cement to cure and leaving the area unusable, but also costly due to the weight of concrete and the eventual settling of the new slab into the ground. 

The cost of replacing concrete can exceed $5,000. However, opting for a less invasive and proactive approach can reduce expenses, sometimes averaging around $1,000. 

The Cost of Elevating a Driveway 

Due to frequent vehicle movement, driveways endure significant wear and tear, making any damage highly visible. The expense for leveling driveways and garage floors often varies between $800 and $4,000. 

The Cost of Lifting a Patio 

Although patios are smaller and only bear pedestrian traffic, not the heavy load of vehicles like driveways and garage floors, their lifting costs are comparatively similar, often ranging from $800 to over $3,000. Elevating a porch can exceed $5,000, particularly if it requires piering

The Cost of Raising a Walkway 

Sidewalks and walkways provide critical access to homes and can see more use than patios and porches. The cost to raise sidewalks typically spans from about $500 to over $2,000. 

How to Save Money on Your Concrete 

PolyRenewal™ stands as our preferred solution for concrete issues. We rely on this exceptional system due to its adaptability across various problems. The advantages of polyurethane foam extend in two directions: it not only evens out concrete slabs but also fortifies the soil beneath. Below, we explore additional attributes of this system and consider its possible limitations. 

Pros 

  • Reduced cost 
  • Time 
  • Convenience 
  • Consistency 
  • No mess 
  • Eco-friendly 

Cons 

  • Will never be 100% level 
  • Cracks may still be visible 
  • Can be affected by variable soil conditions 

Reach Out to FSS for Expert Concrete Lifting and Leveling Services! 

Don’t overlook the issues caused by cracked and uneven concrete slabs. These defects not only detract from the aesthetic appeal of your property but also pose a risk to safety. To address these problems effectively, consider seeking assistance from experienced concrete leveling experts in your area. 

FSS boasts over 5 years of expertise in enhancing the safety of homes across\[Texas through our innovative PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection technique. This advanced and adaptable solution not only repairs your property but also reinstates your peace of mind. Get in touch with us to find out more and to arrange for a complimentary inspection

FAQs

Absolutely, opting for the appropriate concrete leveling solution for your needs is beneficial. Instead of spending on temporary fixes that need frequent redoing, professional concrete leveling can secure your concrete’s durability and improve your property’s value and appearance. FSS stands as your reliable local expert in concrete lifting. Get in touch with us for a no-cost inspection and estimate.

Among the various methods for leveling concrete, the PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection technique is superior. This method is preferable over traditional options like mudjacking and concrete repouring because it is less disruptive, has a longer lifespan, cures faster, and is eco-friendly. Reach out to FSS, your local experts in concrete leveling, to schedule a complimentary concrete assessment and discover more about this advanced repair method.

Yes, a stamped concrete driveway can be leveled. The process involves careful lifting and leveling to ensure the preservation of the driveway’s unique patterns and textures. Utilizing advanced techniques like PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection, professionals can effectively address the unevenness without damaging the intricate designs of stamped concrete. It’s important to consult with concrete leveling experts, such as FSS, who have the expertise in handling such specialized surfaces. Reach out to FSS for a free inspection and to discuss the best approach for leveling your stamped concrete driveway. 

Phillip Mazzotta

Phillip Mazzotta

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