Sinking foundations are common results of both time and environmental stressors. There are two main options for concrete repair–concrete lifting, affectionately known as “mud jacking” or foam foundation repair.
If you find yourself asking, “What is mud jacking?” or, “Is polyurethane safe?” continue reading as we explore the details of both procedures, along with the pros and cons of each, to help you make an informed decision concerning your sinking foundation.
WHAT IS MUD JACKING?
Mud jacking, also known as slab jacking or slab leveling, is a procedure that begins with drilling holes in sunken concrete. These holes are then filled with a slurry containing cement, soil, water, and sand. This slurry expands as it dries, filling each void in the sunken foundation and raising concrete slabs back to their proper level.
WHAT IS POLYURETHANE CONCRETE INJECTION?
In this procedure, expanding foam concrete made of polyurethane is injected into pre-drilled holes. The polyurethane finds its way into cracks and cures, raising concrete slabs as it dries. It is also referred to as poly-jacking.
MUD JACKING: PROS AND CONS
This procedure has the advantage of being the least costly way to perform concrete leveling. It has the benefit of a low wait time from performance to use; homeowners can be back in their homes a mere 48 hours after the procedure is completed, as the slurry used can bear weight much faster than an additional application of new concrete. Additionally, it is the one that most contractors can easily complete and has zero impact on the environment, as the majority of its components are naturally sourced.
Unfortunately, it has a number of downsides. The texture of the slurry is naturally rough; this makes it difficult to fill all the spaces between sunken concrete slabs and leaves the foundation prone to more sinking. This makes it a short term fix, as more slurry would have to be injected in a matter of a few years. Because the slurry ingredients are sourced naturally, they are prone to erosion. Additionally, they are very heavy–an average of 40 percent heavier than polyurethane–and eventually cause soil compression and further sinking. This procedure is also less visually appealing, as holes as big as 2 inches in diameter must be drilled in order to apply the slurry.
POLYURETHANE CONCRETE INJECTION: PROS AND CONS
The application of expanding foam concrete is a procedure that lasts; frequent repetition is not necessary. But is polyurethane safe? Yes! Polyurethane is both light enough to prevent further soil compression and dense enough to fill each crack in the concrete slabs. In fact, any soil existing beneath the layers of polyurethane will bind to it and become more structurally sound. It is even environmentally safe, making it a suitable alternative to the naturally sourced slurry used in slab leveling. Visually, the hole drilled to insert the foam is as small as 5/8 of an inch and easily repaired.
Unfortunately, polyurethane injections are less commonly completed because the process is only practiced by a minority of contractors. When it is practiced, it is markedly more expensive than slab leveling, as the materials to create the slurry and equipment to inject it comes at a high price.
CONCRETE LEVELING IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Both methods of concrete leveling have their merits. Most importantly, both are safe for your family and your environment, and both will lift the concrete of your foundation back to its former glory. Have you decided that mud jacking is for you, or you would rather go with foam foundation repair?